'Purple Rain' selected for preservation in Library of Congress

It's been deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
Publish date:

Though its star has achieved a kind of immortality, "Purple Rain" hasn't quite gotten the same treatment.

But that's about to change.

The 1984 cult classic, a semi-autobiographical rock drama shot in Minneapolis, has been added to the National Film Registry (NFR), meaning it will be preserved in the Library of Congress (LoC).

Every year, 25 films are selected for the honor, which ensures the safe, permanent storage of film prints. This year, "Platoon," "Clerks" "Sleeping Beauty" and "Amadeus" are just some of the iconic movies on the list alongside Purple Rain. 

To make the registry, a film has to be at least 10 years old as well as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

(You can check out all this year's selections right here, and if you're curious about how preservation works at the LoC, Mental Floss has this a piece about it right here.)

As the NFR points out in its writeup of Prince's movie debut, the film's multi-platinum soundtrack — which includes "When Doves Cry" as well as the title track, among other classics — was previously named to the LoC's  National Recording Registry. 

Purple Rain's director, Albert Magnoli, had this to say in an NFR press release:

“I am deeply honored that ‘Purple Rain’ has been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry in 2019. All of us strived to create a film that would capture the attention of what we believed at the time was a small audience. None of us expected this longevity. We simply worked hard every day to get it right, and this honor is a testament to the music, story and characters that were created by all of us so many years ago.

Prince's co-star Apollonia Kotero also weighed in, saying: 

“As a young Latina actress, being cast in ‘Purple Rain’ was the opportunity of a lifetime. Roles for women that looked like me were scarce in the ’80s. Prince was never afraid of taking risks. He created a melting pot of cultures and racial interactions within his purple worlds."

"Prince would be thrilled,” she added.

Here's a trailer for the film, in case you haven't seen it:

The 2019 NFR selections were announced this past week. 

Next Up