“Once upon a time in France, there lived a bad boy named Christoper Tracy. Only one thing matter to Christoper… money.”
Under the Cherry Moon is a 1986 American musical drama film directed by and starring Prince. It was the first feature film directed by Prince and the first to feature The Revolution as his backing band. The film was released in the cinema on July, 1986 and flopped pretty soon after. The Rotten Tomatoes review suggested, “Under the Cherry Moon may satisfy the most rabid Prince fans, but everyone else will be better served with this vanity project’s far superior soundtrack.”
But I love it, and suggest it is worthy of your time. Good story, engaging characters, beautiful locations shot in Black & White with a killer soundtrack.
The film is a romantic comedy that follows the story of Christopher Tracy (Prince), a young and wealthy playboy who lives in the French Riviera and spends his days partying and indulging in hedonistic pleasures. Christopher falls in love with a wealthy heiress Mary Sharon (Kristin Scott Thomas), against the strict wishes of Mary’s father (Steven Berkoff) who thinks Christopher is a money chasing playboy (which isn’t totally incorrect!)
The lead characters spark wonderfully together, Christoper – the enigmatic playboy beloved of wealthy (often married) women and Tricky (Played by the Time’s Jerome Benton) playing distraction and smoothing ruffled feathers. For the duration of this movie, Prince is really Christopher, not Prince or ‘the Kid’ as he played in Purple Rain or Graffiti Bridge. For me, it’s Tricky that steals the show and just adds a layer of mischief that stops the movie from becoming too pompous.
Under the Cherry Moon was filmed on location in the South of France, specifically in the French Riviera towns of Cannes, Grasse and a shot of the Negresco in Nice. The film’s production team took over several luxury hotels in Cannes, including the Carlton and the Majestic, and transformed them into lavish sets for the film. The film’s beach scenes were shot on the Croisette, the promenade along the Mediterranean coast in Cannes, and the film’s interior scenes were shot in several of the town’s grand hotels and mansions.
In addition to Cannes and Grasse, the film’s production team also traveled to Paris to film some scenes. The film’s final scene, in which Christopher Tracy (played by Prince) is seen walking through the streets of Paris, was filmed on the Place des Vosges in the Marais area of Paris.
Christopher Tracy’s Parade
Parade, the soundtrack to Under the Cherry Moon is one of Prince’s classic albums, selling over 2 million copies worldwide. The songs on the album are all played in the movie in broad order (although it finishes with Mountains.) The opening song, Christopher Tracy’s parade obviously a reference to our hero. As you might expect the songs play beautifully to support the story from mischief to heartbreak.
The movie also includes a few tracks not on the original album including Love or Money, which is now separately on Spotify.
Under the Cherry Moon is not available on streaming platforms but you can buy or rent it from Apple or Amazon Prime.