Prince’s Cherry Moon Personal Notebook with Extensive Handwritten Working Script
Prince drafts his script for Under the Cherry Moon, including the ‘Wrecka Stow’ scene and 'Girls & Boys’ musical sequence
Mead college-ruled notebook containing fifteen single-sided pages of Prince’s handwritten working script for the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon. In the middle of the notebook there are two consecutive pages with messages written by Susannah Melvoin in red colored pencil, with large happy and sad faces drawn in the center. These are soon followed by the fifteen pages of Prince’s working screenplay for Under the Cherry Moon, written by him in pencil; several pages are annotated by Prince in purple pencil, with notes indicating scenes and page numbers. The dialogue begins with a line from “Tricky,” “I like 'em nice 2, u know that certain special way.” Mary replies, “Special. What do u mean?” Tricky: “U should know, Mary. That’s what u are."
The next page has a scene that takes place slightly later in the film and features some memorable dialogue. Tricky says, "Man that was a dog thing 2 do. You mean she set u up 2 bust into her old man’s private business?” Christopher replies, “She don’t know what’s good enough 4 Isaac Sharon is even better 4 me.” Tricky: “She’s bad, cuzzin.” Christopher: “She’s tricky, Tricky.” Tricky: “But she ain’t as smart as us.” Christopher: “She’s smarter. But she ain’t got no street. U know I wish there was some way 2 bring her down 2 our world then she could experience the real fun.” Tricky: “Gimme a dark room & a Johnny Mathis album and I’ll show her the real fun.” In the film this conversation differs slightly, with “Johnny Mathis” swapped out for 'Sam Cooke.’
A few pages later is the famous 'Wrecka Stow’ scene in the restaurant. Prince sets up the joke: “(He begins 2 write on a napkin) 'It’s obvious Little Miss Mary has never been off the city block.’ He shows the napkin 2 Mary. There are 2 words—Wrecka Stow.” Mary: “What is that? Some new language?” Christopher: “Read it. Do u know what it is?” After some back-and-forth, Mary says, “Wrecka Stow. Wrecka Stow. It’s nothing. Admit it. (Tricky is laughing harder now. People are starting 2 stare).” Christopher: “Surely you must know. Again. This time say it louder.” Mary: “Wrecka Stow! Wrecka Stow!” Chris: “Louder!” Mary: “(very loudly) WRECKA STOW! I give up. What is it?” Christopher: “If u wanted 2 buy a Johnny Mathis album where would u go?” Mary: “(very embarrased) The Wrecka Stow.” As in the previous dialogue, “Johnny Mathis” is changed to 'Sam Cooke’ in the film.
For the most part, it seems that few changes were made between the dialogue as written here and in the final film—some short sequences were omitted, and some words were changed here and there, but in general this draft matches what became the final script for Under the Cherry Moon. It is rare to have so much of Prince’s handwriting in a single item, and outstanding to see the evolution of his creative thought process as it was committed to paper. His sense of humor shines in this script, and that it so closely resembles the final product makes it all the more remarkable.
You know what really bothers me the more I think about it? How much of Civil War would have been avoided if Steve had come to Tony when he found out Bucky killed Howard and Maria and told him.
Because picture this: He’s still reeling from seeing Bucky again, he’s still trying to process everything that’s happened and everything that this means. He’s still trying to believe it, but Steve knows he can’t be silent about this. Bucky was his best friend but Howard was his friend too and he can’t look at Tony without seeing Howard in him, without guilt twisting up in his stomach hard enough to make him feel sick.
So he sits Tony down with a bottle of Tony’s favorite scotch even if he doesn’t really approve of how much Tony already packs away, but he sits him down and pours him a drink because he knows this is going to be messy and complicated and painful and he takes a steadying breath and he looks Tony in the eye and says, “I have to tell you something.”
Because picture this: Tony doesn’t know what’s going on and he’s already thinking of six different reasons why this ominous little talk is happening (only two of which he’s directly responsible for, scout’s honor)
and eighteen different jokes to deflect with before Steve can say another word. Except Steve is grim-faced and uncomfortable and hesitating like he doesn’t know whether he should start or not and once he does Tony kind of wishes he’d just walked away the minute he saw Steve Rogers bearing booze as a peace offering. He’s silent as Steve talks but his face says enough, his expression shifting from disbelief to heartache to shock to rage in the space of a heartbeat before settling into that dangerous, deceptive calm that never means anything good. His voice is hard when he asks, “Where is he?” and Steve is honest when he says, “I don’t know. But I’m going to try to find out. He still needs me, Tony.” and Tony takes the bottle and leaves without another word.
He’s gone for a week and no one knows where he is. (Which is a lie because Pepper and Rhodey know exactly where he is, Steve can see it in the tight, tired, worried lines of their eyes, but they don’t offer and he doesn’t chase them for it. He’s done enough already.)
Because picture this: Tony thinks of Clint and those dead eyes of his, of what Loki did to Barton, to all those other people. He thinks of what he might have done, what he would have been forced to do, if Loki’s staff hit his body and not his arc reactor. He thinks of Yinsen and he thinks of the cave and he thinks of all those weapons with his name on them in the hands of people who should have never had them and he tries very, very, very hard not to directly think of Obadiah Stane.
He comes back to HQ and he’s exhausted and wrung out and maybe a little hungover but he finds Steve and he ignores the concern clear in the other man’s eyes and he tells him, “Let me know if I can help.” and that’s all he’s got left but it’s enough.
Because picture this: She was the love of Steve’s life but she was also Tony’s Aunt Peggy and when they find out she’s died suddenly the urgency behind their fight about the Accords dims. It’s Tony who sits shoulder to shoulder with Steve at her funeral, listening to Sharon talk about this fierce, strong woman who they both loved so much, who’d knock their heads together if she saw them at each other’s throats the way they were.
And after the service they can agree on one thing: The Accords aren’t perfect and if Steve can’t agree to them maybe they can sit down with the UN and find a better middle ground.
Their team, their family, is worth more than this and when Bucky is pegged for the UN bombing, Tony is still standing shoulder to shoulder with Steve, not ready to believe Barnes is totally innocent but willing to spend the time to find out if it means helping Steve keep his head on straight, if it means keeping the Avengers together.
Because picture this: Tony finally coming face to face with Bucky in Sibera after being blindsided with the footage of his parent’s murder, reeling and feeling like his heart’s been ripped open, feeling like he can’t fucking breathe. Tony having to meet the eyes of this man, his parent’s murderer, the person who took them away from him, and taking a shaky breath that hitches in his throat too hard to be steadying, watching Bucky’s face for a long moment before he says, “Someone had to remind me once I was a mechanic. That’s kinda what I do. I, you know. I fix things. I have a solid track record of that working out pretty well for me.”
Because this man is a murderer but he isn’t, he doesn’t want to be, and Tony can see it, he can remember what that feels like. And maybe Tony’s sickly pale and maybe his heart still feels like it’s broken and maybe he’s going to be seeing the images of his parents being killed over and over again in his head every time he closes his eyes for a while but that doesn’t mean he can’t try to help. They’re the good guys. This is what they do, so he looks at Bucky and he says, “So that’s just what we’re gonna have to do, right? We try to fix this.”
This is Kristine Jae Rogers, Tiff’s twin sister. Most people just call her Kris.
Age: Same as Tiff
Occupation: Cashier at a thrift store
Resident of: Gotham City
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Likes: Painting, Hot coffee, Music
Dislikes: Rude people, Cold coffee, Her job
About: Living in Gotham with her sister, Kris has become numb to a lot of the mayhem in Gotham. Like her sister, she knows how badly life sucks. However, while distant at work, she’s easier to get along with off the clock, especially while writing and playing music with Tiff, though usually preferring Classical to Rock and Roll. Staying sane is Gotham is hard, but is made easier by her hobbies.