The following article is for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as scholarly research or as a final authority on the topic.
It’s Wild Card Wednesday, the day you never know what you’re gonna get until you get here. As you can see by the title of this post, we’re talking Madonna movies today.
Madonna was it when I was a teenager. Like any teenaged wanna-be, I tried to imitate her cool style. My fashion journey was to be one of unfortunate peril.
My shorter, flesh revealing clothes made my mother furious. I multi-pierced my earlobes. Those heavy, dangly earrings irritated my earlobes and led to infection. My hair wouldn’t stand up like Madonna’s. To make matters worse, my hair looked pretty silly bleached blonde. I learned pretty durn quick I’d never be as sexy as Madonna.
Regardless of my shortcomings, Madonna was…it. She could dance. She could sing. She could act. Madonna still fascinates me because she’s selling sex. She’s selling a fantasy that is all wrapped up in fashion, dancing, and music. Other people have done it, but nobody ever did it like Madonna.
Madonna’s movies were an offshoot of the whole persona she’d built. She’s played some interesting roles, and she made the movies different because she is Madonna.
Originally, I was going to do Desperately Seeking Susan, Who’s that Girl, and Shanghai Surprise as a Sexy 80s Party: Madonna Edition. Problem is, I never saw Shanghai Surprise and don’t want to watch it now. My third favorite Madonna movie is A League of their Own. It was released in the 90s, so it’s ineligible for a Sexy 80s party.
Then, I started researching Madonna movies, and I learned something that made me want to do my Madonna Movies post that much more. We’ll get to that later, though. First we’ll talk about my three favorite Madonna movies.
When Desperately Seeking Susan came out, zillions of girls just like me flocked to see it. The 80s weren’t like the internet age. Mega-pop-stars like Madonna were mysterious. Seeing her in a movie was about as close as I would get get to knowing more about her.
Desperately Seeking Susan is a screwball comedy/romance about a case of mistaken identity. Back then, of course, I thought Susan’s (Madonna’s) transient lifestyle was cool. That she mooched off people and stole from them never occurred to me. Now, watching it is like watching a thumbnail of new-wave pop culture. And, besides, Aiden Quinn was rather hot.
Here’s the trailer:
“Into the Groove” was featured in the movie and became very popular, but it was not released on the soundtrack.
The jacket Madonna wore in Desperately Seeking Susan is still desperately sought by some. Occasionally I see reproductions selling on ebay. Sometime back, I found a costume shop that made the Desperately Seeking Susan jacket. The thing I learned about the ones for sale is that they are not the sparkly green material you see in the picture and on the movie. So buy carefully if you’re going to buy.
A few years later in 1987, I saw Madonna in Who’s That Girl. It was another screwball comedy. Nicki Finn (Madonna’s character) was just released from prison where she served four years for murdering her boyfriend. Now that she’s free, Nicki wants to find the guys who framed her for the murder. Along the way, she falls in love with Griffin Dunne and charms everyone she meets.
Here’s the trailer:
Madonna wrote and recorded “Who’s that Girl” which was featured both in the movie and on the soundtrack. Neither the soundtrack nor the movie was critically acclaimed, but I thought the movie was hysterical.
A League of Their Own came along several years later in 1992. It is a fictionalized account of the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Expectations of women during that time and the fear of losing a loved one to war add layers to the conflict.
A League of Their Own is a girl-power movie that makes me want to try harder at my endeavors. Madonna played a secondary character named All The Way May. She was great in the role and totally fit into the theme of challenging gender-based expectations.
Here’s the trailer.
Madonna’s song “This Used to be My Playground” was featured in the movie. This is still one of those Madonna songs I just love. It’s so pretty, and it came along at a time in my life when it really fit.
Now, let’s go back to what I learned that made me really want to write this post.
I had seen Madonna’s “Crazy for You” cameo in Vision Quest. Because both Desperately Seeking Susan and Vision Quest came out in 1985, I figured these were Madonna’s first two movies. Boy, was I wrong. Imagine my surprise when I learned Madonna made a movie in 1979.
Madoona’s first movie was titled A Certain Sacrifice. It was filmed in 1979, but it wasn’t released until 1985–probably to cash in on Madonna’s popularity. Madonna did sue to block the release of the movie, but she was unsuccessful.
Having never seen the movie, I can only give you the plot summary I’ve read online. Madonna plays Bruna, a streetwise bohemian. Bruna lives with several lovers, but breaks up with them all when she falls for Dashiel–a college dropout. Bruna and Dashiel are happy until a nasty friend of Dashiel’s rapes Bruna. Bruna, Dashiel, and her army of lovers kill Bruna’s rapist in a weird cult ritual.
Here’s a short clip from the movie:
The picture quality is terrible, but it’s the only clip I could find where Madonna’s voice could actually be heard. If you’re interested in owning A Certain Sacrifice, it is available for purchase online. Click here, and it’ll take you straight to Amazon.com.