Under the Cherry Moon is a 1986 American musical comedy drama film directed by and starring Prince in his directorial debut. The film also stars former The Time member Jerome Benton, Steven Berkoff, Kristin Scott Thomas (in her feature film debut), and Francesca Annis.
Gigolos Christopher Tracy (Prince) and his brother, Tricky (Benton), swindle wealthy French women. The situation gets complicated when Christopher falls in love with heiress Mary Sharon (Thomas) after planning to swindle her when he finds out that she receives a $50 million trust fund on her 21st birthday. Mary's father Isaac (Berkoff) disapproves of the romance and provides an excellent adversary for Christopher. Christopher rivals his brother Tricky for the affection of Mary.
This film features examples of:
- Bittersweet Ending: Mary's father kills Christopher, truncating their romance, but it's implied that this will motivate her to escape her father's influence for good.
- Con Man: Christopher and Tricky gain a living by swindling wealthy French women.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Mary's father Isaac disapproves of her romance with Christopher, which motivates her to love Christopher more. In Isaac's defense, Christopher is a con man.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The entire film is in black-and-white despite being made in the '80s, clearly as an artistic choice due to being apparently set in The Roaring '20s.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Yes, through the course of a film. Mary's introductory scene has her stripping out of her dress in front of the attendees of a party just for the fun of it, seemingly establishing her as a sort of The Gadfly... except that she never behaves like that again for the rest of the film, and is portrayed as the "uptight" in the Uptight Loves Wild dynamic she has with Christopher.
- The Hero Dies: Christopher dies at the end of the film.
- In Love with the Mark: Mary was supposed to be just another of Christopher's targets, before he falls in love with heir for real.
- Karma Houdini: Mary's father. Sure, it's implied at the end that Mary leaves him, but it seems likes he's getting scot free for having killed a guy (Christopher).
- Uptight Loves Wild: Gender-inverted from the usual example; the stuffy Mary forms a couple with the wild and untamed Christopher.
- Uptown Girl: Mary, a rich woman, falls in love with Christopher, a poor man.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Christopher, being Prince after all, spends quite the amount of scenes shirtless.