By Pete Croatto
1) The music is great, coming from a legendary line-up of soul and blues artists: James Brown, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Cab Calloway, and Ray Charles, whose performance of "Shake a Tail Feather" will get you dancing with the horde of extras onscreen.
2) There's not one ineffective cameo in a movie with many because there's no sense of stunt casting or camera hogging. Twiggy plays a customer at a gas station; Steven Spielberg works at the Cook County assessor's office.
3) What's so cool about The Blues Brothers is how much of it doesn't involve stars Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, which is why their title characters are so beloved: They don't hog the action. Everyone has their little moments.
4) At one point, the movie held the world record for car crashes.
5) Director John Landis (he gets co-writer credit with Aykroyd) does not offer any glibness or irony, which pops up all too often in today's blockbuster. Here, you get a heaping dose of fun without any apologies or attempts to pass the movie off as accidental art (no wacky camera angles, extreme editing, sly pop culture references).
6) Jake and Elwood's outfit: Sunglasses. Dark suit. Black hat. It's now a legitimate part of Americana.
7) The car chases are phenomenal. Who hasn't been on an open stretch of highway, going 80 mph, and felt like Elwood outracing "Illinois' law enforcement community"? I can't be the only one, right?
8) Guitarist Steve Cropper has the best facial hair since Abraham Lincoln.
9) "Your women. I want to buy your women. The little girl, your daughters... sell them to me. Sell me your children."
10) A thin Aykroyd dancing like a soulful Gumby.
11) Belushi's sideburns.
12) "You're gonna look pretty funny eating corn on the cob with no fuckin' teeth."
13) Frank Oz, the voice of Sesame Street's Bert, saying the word, "prophylactic." So funny, that Landis repeated a similar scene with Oz in Trading Places three years later.
14) "Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips."
15) Cool nicknames galore: Tom "Bones" Malone, Donald "Duck" Dunn, "Blue Lou" Marini, Steve "The Colonel" Cropper.
16) It's not Blues Brothers 2000.
17) It's a movie based on characters from Saturday Night Live that doesn't suck the life out of you. That alone is an accomplishment.
18) The Bluesmobile, R.I.P.
19) The Penguin.
20) It succeeds as a musical.
21) It succeeds as an action movie.
22) It succeeds as a buddy picture.
23) It succeeds as a comedy.
24) It's a triumph despite the presence of Steve Lawrence.
25) "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.""Hit it."
Again and again.
Run time: 133 mins
In Theaters: Friday 20th June 1980
Box Office Worldwide: $115.2M
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Production compaines: Universal Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 45 Rotten: 7
IMDB: 8.0 / 10
Director: John Landis
Producer: Robert K. Weiss
Starring: Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues (as Elwood), John Belushi as 'Joliet' Jake Blues (as Jake), Cab Calloway as Curtis, Carrie Fisher as Mystery Woman, Ray Charles as Ray, James Brown as Reverend Cleophus James, Aretha Franklin as Mrs. Murphy, Steve Cropper as Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn as Donald 'Duck' Dunn, Murphy Dunne as Murphy 'Murph' Dunne, Willie Hall as Willie 'Too Big' Hall, John Candy as Burton Mercer, John Lee Hooker as John Lee Hooker, Lou Marini as 'Blue Lou' Marini, Matt Murphy as Matt 'Guitar' Murphy, Kathleen Freeman as Schwester Mary Stigmata ('Die Pinguin-Tante'), Tom Erhart as Prison Guard, Gerald Walling as Prison Guard, Walter Levine as Prison Guard, Alonzo Atkins as Choirmaster, Chaka Khan as Choir Soloist, Armand Cerami as Trooper Daniel, Steven Williams as Trooper Mount, Kristi Oleson as Sales Girl, Gary McLarty as Man in Toy Store, Joe Cuttone as Lloyd, Layne Britton as The Cheese Whiz, Toni Fleming as Mrs. Tarantino, Rosie Shuster as Cocktail Waitress, Alan Rubin as Mr. Fabulous, Paul Reubens as Waiter, Ben Piazza as Father, Gwen Banta as Mother, Lari Taylor as Daughter #1, Cindy Fisher as Daughter #2, Elizabeth Hoy as Daughter #3, Tony M. Conde as Sommelier, Eugene J. Anthony as Gruppenführer, Dean Hill as Nazi, Jack Orend as Nazi, Gene Schuldt as Nazi, Charles Mountain as Cop, Frank Oz as Corrections Officer, John Landis as Trooper La Fong, Henry Gibson as Head Nazi, Gary Houston as Nazi, Judith Belushi-Pisano as Cocktail Waitress, Elmore James as Choir, Tom Malone as "Bones" Malone, Stephen Bishop as Charming Trooper, Charles Napier as Tucker McElroy, Steven Spielberg as Cook County Assessor's Office Clerk
Also starring: Donald Dunn
Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...
An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...
Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...
After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...
The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...
Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...
This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...
With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...
Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...
With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...
Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...
Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...
It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...
Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...