THR, RogerEbert.com

Cinematographer on Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ Dead at 81. He Also Filmed ‘An Officer and a Gentleman,’ ‘Scent of a Woman’ and Other Well-Loved Movies

Apr 29, 2016  •  Post A Comment

A cinematographer whose impressive list of credits included Prince’s 1984 breakthrough movie “Purple Rain” has died. Just a week after the death of Prince on April 21 at 57, news surfaced that Donald E. Thorin had recently died.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thorin died Feb. 9 at his home in Tucson, Ariz. He was 81.

Thorin’s son, Donald E. Thorin Jr., talked about his father with the publication, saying of “Purple Rain” that his father “loved doing that one. He really melded with Prince on the film.”

The report notes a review of the movie on RogerEbert.com by Odie Henderson, who rewatched “Purple Rain” in 2014 and wrote: “Until this viewing, I’d completely forgotten how well ‘Purple Rain’ is shot. Cinematographer Donald Thorin … earned his paycheck on the musical numbers alone. The concert footage is awe-inspiring, both in shot composition and lighting, and somehow Thorin makes Prince’s goofiest dramatic moments look polished and glossy.”

Thorin had a strong run in the 1980s and 1990s, starting with the action movie “Thief” in 1981.

THR adds: “He went on to collaborate with director Taylor Hackford on ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ (1982) and ‘Against All Odds’ (1984); with Michael Ritchie on ‘The Golden Child’ (1986), ‘Wildcats’ (1986) and ‘The Couch Trip’ (1988); with Martin Brest on ‘Midnight Run’ (1988) and ‘Scent of a Woman’ (1992); with Herbert Ross on ‘Undercover Blues’ (1993) and ‘Boys on the Side’ (1995); with Hugh Wilson on ‘The First Wives Club’ (1996) and ‘Dudley Do-Right’ (1999); and with Steve Oedekerk on ‘Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls’ (1995) and ‘Nothing to Lose’ (1997).”

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