The Blues Brothers

"Essential"

The Blues Brothers Review


The Blues Brothers has been re-released on DVD for its 25th anniversary. You've probably seen it countless times between its 1980 release and repeat airings on TV, so you know the basics. Still, here are 25 reminders why you have to see it again.

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.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 133 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th June 1980

Box Office Worldwide: $115.2M

Budget: $27M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 45 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Robert K. Weiss

Starring: as Elwood Blues (as Elwood), as 'Joliet' Jake Blues (as Jake), as Curtis, as Mystery Woman, as Ray, as Reverend Cleophus James, as Mrs. Murphy, as Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn as Donald 'Duck' Dunn, as Murphy 'Murph' Dunne, as Willie 'Too Big' Hall, as Burton Mercer, John Lee Hooker as John Lee Hooker, as 'Blue Lou' Marini, as Matt 'Guitar' Murphy, 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, as Choir Soloist, Armand Cerami as Trooper Daniel, 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, as Mr. Fabulous, as Waiter, 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, as Corrections Officer, as Trooper La Fong, as Head Nazi, as Nazi, Judith Belushi-Pisano as Cocktail Waitress, Elmore James as Choir, as "Bones" Malone, as Charming Trooper, as Tucker McElroy, as Cook County Assessor's Office Clerk

Also starring:

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