Film: Under The Cherry Moon

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1984: FilmPurpleRain-movieposter.jpg Purple Rain Movies Television Films And Specials 1987: Filmsign o the times-movieposter.jpg Sign O’ The Times
Under The Cherry Moon

Under The Cherry Moon movie poster

Movie details

Premiere: 1 July 1986: Centennial Theatre, Sheridan, WY
Released: 2 July 1986 (USA)
22 August 1986 (Denmark)
27 August 1986 (France)
28 August 1986 (West Germany)
29 August 1986 (Finland)
4 September 1986 (The Netherlands)
4 October 1986 (Japan)
19 October 1986 (UK, Ireland)
February 1987 (Australia)
Director: Prince
Writers: Becky Johnston (screenplay)
Producers: Robert Cavallo

Steven Fargnoli
Joseph Ruffalo &
Graham Cottle

Productions Companies: Warner Bros.
Music by: Prince
Genre(s): Music Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 96 minutes
Technical Specification(s): Country: USA
Language: English
Sound Mix: Dolby
Color: black & white/Technicolor
Aspect Ratio:1.85 : 1

Warner Bros. (1986)

Box Office, Nominations & Awards

Box office

  • Opening Weekend (2 Jul. 1986)
USA: $3,150,924 (976 Screens)
  • Gross:
USA: $10,090,429


  • Golden Raspberry Awards, USA 1987
Worst Actor, Prince
Worst Director , Prince
Worst Original Song , ♥ Or $
Worst Picture , Under The Cherry Moon (tie with Howard The Duck)
Worst Supporting Actor , Jerome Benton
  • Minnesota Music Awards, USA 1986
Best Film, Score

See also

Under The Cherry Moon
(home video)
Under The Cherry Moon
score & cues


Under The Cherry Moon is a 1986 American musical drama film starring and directed by Prince and written by Becky Johnson (screenplay).

Filmed primarily in Studios de la Victorine in Nice, France and on location in the French Riviera, the film tells a story of a gigolo and his friend swindling women. But when Prince’s character Christopher Tracy falls in love with the 21 year old heiress Mary, things get complicated.

The film had less than stellar reviews and reception and bombed in cinemas.

Production Following the huge success of Purple Rain and Prince becoming one of the biggest stars in the world he had pretty much carte-blanche when developing ideas for a new film and the studio green-lit the project without even having seen a script, expecting another success like Purple Rain.

With no experience as scriptwriter, Becky Johnson from New York was assigned to develop a screenplay. Despite her lack of experience Prince and the studio were willing to take a leap of faith based upon a test screenplay she wrote.

Prince wanted the film to be a romantic comedy with a 1930’s vibe set in an exotic location like Palm Beach, Miami or Capri. The idea was then born to shoot the film in France and in mid-June 1985 Prince together with his manager Steve Fargnoli and tour manager Alan Leeds flew to France to scout locations and meet with potential cast. After visiting the French Riviera Prince decided he wanted to shoot the film there.

He wanted Jean-Baptiste Mondino to direct, but when he was unavailable video director Mary Lambert was recruited. German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus was hired as director of photography.

Originally Prince wanted Madonna to star as the female lead, but after she declined Susannah Melvoin, who by now was Prince’s fiancée was considered. She did a test-reading, but it was decided that the role of Mary needed a more experienced actress. Ultimately young British actress Kristin Scott-Thomas was cast as female lead after auditioning for Prince in Paris. Terrance Stamp and Francesca Annis were cast as Mary’s parents.

Prince wanted to shoot the film in black and white, but Warner was afraid it would not go down well with the audience if the film was in black and white, but since Prince was at the top of his fame he got his way.

Once filming commenced in September 1985 the production was marred by problems. A few weeks into shooting Terrance Stamp retracted himself from the film saying: it was not the role he was led to believe. Steven Berkoff was quickly hired as his replacement. Prince and the crew were also unsatisfied by Mary Lambert’s performance. She was fired and Prince, who was already co-directing many scenes helmed the directing of the film by himself.

Cast & Crew
  • Prince - Christopher Tracy
  • Jerome Benton - Tricky
  • Kristin Scott-Thomas – Mary Sharon
  • Steven Berkoff - Mr. Sharon
  • Emmanuelle Sallet - Katy
  • Alexandra Stewart - Mrs. Sharon
  • Francesca Annis - Mrs. Wellington
  • Pamela Ludwig - Girlfriend
  • Barbara Stall - Girlfriend
  • Karen Geerlings - Girlfriend
  • Victor Spinetti - The Jaded Three #1
  • Myriam Tadesse - The Jaded Three #2
  • Moune De Vivier - The Jaded Three #3
  • Amoury Desjardins - Young Boy at Party
  • Garance Tosello - Young Girl at Party
  • Sylvain Levignac - Eddy
  • Guy Cuevas - Lou
  • Patrice Melennec - Larry
  • Azouz Saieb - Mary’s Minder
  • Jean Allaz - Sharon Butler
  • Rosette Jaubert - Sharon Maid
  • John Rico - Mary’s Chauffeur
  • Veronique Denoyel - Party People
  • Lydie Diakhate - Party People
  • Patricia Poulain - Party People
  • Catherine Allard - Party People
  • Nicky South - Party People
  • Christine Christen-Giguet - Party People
  • Beatrice Berthet - Party People
  • Maurice Lenorman - Maitre d'hôtel
  • Sam Karmann - Police Inspector
  • John Cooper - Mrs. Wellington’s Butler
  • Jobby Valente - Champagne Lady
  • Alexa Fioroni - The Dancer
  • Lionel Turchi - Musician
  • Roger Capello - Musician
  • Scott Allen - Musician
  • Juan Villalobos - Musician
  • Patrick Carocci - Musician
  • Richard Gow - Musician
  • Daniel Bensadoun - Musician
  • Maurice Simon - Pianist
  • Jean Marie Julien - Violinist
  • Nicolas Monard - Photographer
  • Michael Kotzritzki - Doorman
  • Claude Coppola - Uniform Policeman
  • Monica Quigley - Bombshell Blonde
  • Giselle Finazzo - Voluptuous Blonde
  • Patricia Davidson - Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Sharmagne Leland-St. John - Party People (uncredited)
Main Crew



  • Michael Ballhaus

Film Editing

  • Éva Gárdos
  • Rebecca Ross


  • Jose Villaverde

Production Design

  • Richard Sylbert

Art Direction

  • Damien Lanfranchi

Set Decoration

  • Ian Whittaker

Costume Design

Makeup Department

  • Michelle Bühler - assistant makeup artist
  • Annie Coppini - assistant makeup artist
  • Earl Jones - hair stylist: Prince
  • Robyn Lynch - makeup artist
  • Aida Rossignol - hair stylist
  • Thierry Zemmour - hair stylist

Other Crew

Company Credits


Christopher Tracy (Prince) is a piano player at the Venus de Milo nightclub in Nice, France. With his friend Tricky (Jerome Benton) he spends his days identifying rich women to target, in order to gain large amounts of money via marriage. When learning that socialite Mary Sharon (Kristin Scott-Thomas) is due to inherit a $50 million trust fund on her 21st birthday, they decide she is the perfect candidate.

But before long Christopher starts to genuinely have feelings for Mary. And he and Tricky realize that if they continue to pursue her, her father (Steven Berkoff) will deal with them severely. Yet when Mary reciprocates Christopher love, a tragic chain of events is set in motion.

Making of

Principal shooting started on 16 September 1985 and lasted until 20 November 1985 . Scenes where Christopher accidentally climbs in Mary’s mother’s bedroom, thinking it is Mary’s and a scene where Christopher and Tricky escape a tavern after a scare of bats were not in the shooting script and added while filming. The end of the film is also different from the original script.

Shooting Schedule & Locations
Additional Information

Promotion (at time of release) Trivia

  • In 1796 Napoleon Bonaparte stayed on the top floor of the Palais Hongran at 2 rue Saint-François-de-Paule, Nice (Christopher Tracy’s apartment building in the movie)

FilmPurpleRain-movieposter.jpg 1984
Purple Rain
Movies Television Films And Specials 1987
Sign O’ The Times
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