- The Blues Brothers (film)
name = The Blues Brothers
caption = IMDb 7.9/10 (49,015 votes)
Bernie Brillstein George Folsey Jr. David Sosna Robert K. Weiss
John Belushi Dan Aykroyd John Candy Carrie Fisher
released = United States: June 20, 1980
United Kingdom: October 10, 1980
Australia: December 26, 1980
runtime = 133 min.
148 min. (extended version)
country = USA
language = English
budget = $27 millioncite web | title=Rotten Tomatoes | work=Info & Tidbits on The Blues Brothers | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/blues_brothers/about.php#mistakes | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
gross = $115,229,890
followed_by = "
Blues Brothers 2000"
website = http://www.bluesbrothers.com/
amg_id = 1:60974
imdb_id = 0080455
"The Blues Brothers" is a 1980 musical comedy directed by
John Landisand starring John Belushiand Dan Aykroydas "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues, characters developed from a " Saturday Night Live" musical sketch. It features musical numbers by R&B and soul legends James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charlesand John Lee Hooker, and car chasescenes.
The story is a tale of for
paroled convictJake and his brother Elwood, who take on "a mission from God" to save from foreclosure the Roman Catholic orphanagein which they grew up. To do so they must re-form their rhythm and bluesband, the Blues Brothers, and organize a performance to earn $5,000 to pay the tax assessor. Along the way they are targeted by a destructive "mystery woman", Neo-Nazis, and a country and western band – all while being relentlessly pursued by the police, and eventually the military and a SWATteam.
The film is set in and around
Chicago, Illinois, and also features non-musical supporting performances by John Candy, Carrie Fisherand Henry Gibson.
"Joliet Jake" Blues is released from
Joliet Prisoninto his brother Elwood's custody, having been paroled after serving three years of a five-year sentence for armed robbery. Jake is irritated at being picked up in a battered former Mt. Prospect police car instead of the Cadillacthe brothers used to own, but is mollified when Elwood demonstrates the "new" Bluesmobile's powers by vaulting it over an open drawbridge.
Over Jake's protests, they visit their childhood home, a
Roman Catholic orphanage. They learn the institution will be shut down unless $5,000 in property taxes can be paid. Jake indicates they can quickly obtain the funds, but the orphanage director, Sister Mary Stigmata (nicknamed "The Penguin"), emphatically refuses to accept any stolen money from the brothers. She drives them out, and tells them not to return until they have redeemed themselves. At the prompting of Curtis, the elderly orphanage worker who introduced the duo to the blues, the brothers visit a lively evangelical church service where Jake has an epiphany: they can legitimately raise the funds by re-forming their legendary rhythm and blues band. As they head home, Elwood's driving attracts the attention of two Illinois State Policetroopers named Daniel and Mount. Elwood proceeds to both escape and earn the officers' undying enmity by driving through a shopping mall. Arriving at the flophousewhich Elwood calls home, the brothers also suffer a bazookaattack launched by a "Mystery Woman" who is targeting Jake, but neither is injured or even significantly perturbed. The next morning, as the troopers are about to arrest the pair, she remotely detonates a bomb that demolishes the entire building. The brothers again emerge unharmed from the rubble, followed by the troopers a few moments later.
Jake and Elwood begin tracking down members of the band. Trombonist Tom "Bones" Malone and the core rhythm section of the group (Willie "Too Big" Hall, Steve "The Colonel" Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, and Murphy "Murph" Dunne) are found playing in an empty
Holiday Innlounge, and are fairly easily convinced to rejoin. Trumpeter "Mr. Fabulous" (Alan Rubin), now maître d'at a high-class French restaurant, is harder to sway, but Jake and Elwood gleefully proceed to make a ghastly spectacle of themselves, swilling the restaurant's food and drink and harassing the other patrons. When they threaten to repeat this performance at every meal, Mr. Fabulous gives in.
"En route" to meet saxophonist Louis "Blue Lou" Marini and guitarist Matt "Guitar" Murphy, the brothers disrupt the
neo-Nazirally of the American Socialist White People's Party ("The Illinois Nazis"), [The Illinois Nazis were likely modeled on the real-life National Socialist Party of America, who successfully sued for the right to march in Skokie, Illinois] adding another bitter enemy to the brothers' rapidly-growing list. Marini and Murphy are at the soul foodrestaurant which Murphy owns with his wife. Against her emphatic advice, the two musicians walk out and rejoin the band. The reunited group uses an IOU to obtain instruments and equipment from a pawn shop, Ray's Music Exchange.
Jake leads the skeptical band out into the countryside, stopping along the way so that he and Elwood can make a phone call. The Mystery Woman appears and sprays a nearby
propanetank with a flamethrower, setting off an explosion that launches the phone booth into the air. As before, though, her attack does no harm to the brothers.
The band stumbles into a gig at Bob's Country Bunker, a bar which features "both kinds of music: country "and" western." After a rocky start, the band wins over the bottle-tossing crowd with the theme from "Rawhide" and "
Stand By Your Man." At the end of the evening, however, not only is their bar tab greater than the pay for the gig, but the band that was actually meant to play turns up: a Nashvillegroup called the Good Ol' Boys. Jake and Elwood escape the Good Ol' Boys and Bob when Daniel and Mount inadvertently crash their police car into the trailer driven by the angry pursuers.
The Blues Brothers blackmail Maury Sline, their friend and booking agent, into securing a big gig for them – a performance at the Palace Hotel Ballroom, located 100 miles north of Chicago. After being driven all over the area promoting the concert, the Bluesmobile runs out of gas, making Jake and Elwood very late. The ballroom is packed, and the concert-goers are joined by the Good Ol' Boys, Daniel and Mount, and scores of other police officers. To settle the crowd, Curtis appears and performs a magical version of "
Minnie the Moocher" with the band. Jake and Elwood finally sneak into the venue and perform two songs. A record company executive in attendance offers a large cash advance on a recording contract, more than enough to cover the orphanage's property taxes and the cost of the band's instruments, and tells Jake and Elwood how to slip out unnoticed.
As the brothers escape via some grimy service tunnels, they are confronted one last time by the Mystery Woman, whereupon it is revealed she is Jake's brutally-jilted ex-
fiancée. She fires an M16 riflein their direction, but Jake charms her, kisses her, then unceremoniously drops her in the muck, allowing the two brothers to escape to the Bluesmobile. They hit the road back to Chicago with dozens of state/local police and the Good Ol' Boys in close pursuit. Jake and Elwood eventually elude them all, leaving piled-up police cars in their wake.
After a gravity-defying escape from the Illinois Nazis, Jake and Elwood arrive at the
Richard J. Daley Center, where the Bluesmobile literally falls to pieces. Finding the office of the Cook County Assessor, they discover a sign saying "Back in 5 minutes." As they wait, the building is stormed by hundreds of police, firefighters, and Illinois National Guardsmen. An assessor clerk ( Steven Spielbergin a cameo) finally appears, and the brothers pay the tax bill. Just as their receipt is stamped, handcuffsare placed on their wrists, and they turn to face a sea of armed law officers. As the film ends, Jake is back in prison, now joined by Elwood and the rest of the band, and they play "Jailhouse Rock" for their fellow inmates.
Cab Callowayas Curtis
Carrie Fisheras Mystery Woman
Aretha Franklinas Mrs. Murphy
Ray Charlesas Ray
James Brownas Reverend Cleophus James
John Candyas Burton Mercer
Kathleen Freemanas Sister Mary Stigmata, "The Penguin"
Henry Gibsonas Head Nazi
Steve Lawrenceas Maury Sline
Twiggyas Chic Lady
Frank Ozas Corrections Officer
*Jeff Morris as Bob
Sheilah Wellsas Claire
*Charles Napier as Tucker McElroy
Steven Williamsas Trooper Mount
Armand Ceramias Trooper Daniel
Chaka Khanas Choir soloist
John Lee Hookeras musician on Maxwell Street
John Landisas State trooper
*Stephen Bishop as State trooper
Joe Walshas Prisoner
Paul Reubensas Chez Paul waiter
Steven Spielbergas Cook County Assessor's Office Clerk
Joe Cuttoneas Lloyd
Toni Flemingas Mrs. Tarantino
Carolyn Franklin, Brenda Bryant Corbett, and Margaret Branchas Soul Food Chorus.
John Belushias "Joliet" Jake Blues, vocals
Dan Aykroydas Elwood Blues, harmonicaand vocals
Steve Cropperas Steve "the Colonel" Cropper, rhythm guitarand vocals
Donald "Duck" Dunnas Donald "Duck" Dunn, bass guitar
Murphy Dunneas Murphy "Murph" Dunne, keyboards
*Willie Hall as Willie "Too Big" Hall, drums and
*Tom Malone as Tom "Bones" Malone,
trombone, tenor saxophoneand vocals
Lou Marinias "Blue Lou" Marini, alto saxophoneand tenor saxophoneand vocals
*Matt Murphy as Matt "Guitar" Murphy,
Alan Rubinas Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin, trumpet, percussionand vocals
The characters, Jake and Elwood Blues, were created by
John Belushiand Dan Aykroydin performances on " Saturday Night Live". The fictional back story and character sketches of blood brothers Jake and Elwood were developed by Aykroyd in collaboration with Ron Gwynne, who is credited as a story consultant for the film. As related in the liner notes of the band's debut album, " Briefcase Full of Blues", the brothers grew up in an orphanage, learned the blues from a janitor named Curtis and sealed their brotherhood by cutting their middle fingers with a steel string said to have come from the guitarof Elmore James.cite web | title=Fortune City-Blues Brothers | work=Biography of the Blues Brothers-From their album, A Briefcase Full of Blues | url=http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/fitzgerald/12/bio.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
When it was decided the act could be made into a movie by
Universal Pictures, Aykroyd set about writing the script. He had never written a screenplaybefore, he said in the 1998 documentary, "Stories Behind the Making of The Blues Brothers", and he put together a very descriptive volume that explained the characters' origins and how the band members were recruited. It was 324 pages, which was three times longer than a standard screenplay. To soften the impact, Aykroyd made a joke of the thick script and had it bound with the cover of the Los Angeles Yellow Pagesdirectory for when he turned it in to producer Robert K. Weiss. John Landiswas given the task of editing the script into a usable screenplay."Stories Behind the Making of The Blues Brothers", documentary feature on 1998 DVD and 25th Anniversary DVD (2005).]
The premise of the underlying plot, that a church-owned orphanage would have to pay a property tax bill, has been questioned — in Illinois, and generally elsewhere in the world, church-owned property is exempt from taxes. However, at the time of writing of the film, a legislative proposal to tax such property was under consideration. The proposal was never enacted into law, making the Blues Brothers film a sort of
alternate history.cite web | title=411Mania | work=Band: The Blues Brothers Movie: The Blues Brothers | url=http://www.411mania.com/music/columns/44932 | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
Much of the film was shot on location in and around
Chicago, Illinoisbetween July and October 1979.cite web | title=Blues Brothers Central | work=The Blues Brothers : About The Movie | url=http://www.bluesbrotherscentral.com/movie1.php?moviepage=about | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] Made with the cooperation of Mayor Jane M. Byrne, it is credited for putting Chicago on the radar as a venue for filmmaking. Mayor Richard J. Daleyhad all but prevented movies from being produced there up until his death in 1976. This is alluded to in a line by Mr. Fabulous, when he said, "No, sir, Mayor Daley no longer dines here. He's dead, sir." Since then, nearly 200 movies have been filmed in Chicago.
"Chicago is one of the stars of the movie. We wrote it as a tribute," Dan Aykroyd told the "
Chicago Sun-Times" in an article written to mark the film's 25th anniversary DVD release.cite web | title=Chicago Sun-Times | work=Movie still remembered after 25 years | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050825134024/http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-bbintro20.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
The first traffic stop was in
Park Ridge, Illinois. The mall car chasewas filmed in the real, albeit abandoned, Dixie Square Mallin Harvey.cite web | title=The Center for Land Use Interpretation | work=The CLUI Land Use Database-Dixie Square Mall | url=http://www.clui.org/clui_4_1/ludb/sites/IL6020.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] The bridge jump was filmed on an actual drawbridge, the 95th Street bridge over the Calumet River, on the southeast side of Chicago. The main entrance to Wrigley Field(and its sign reading "Save lives. Drive safely, prevent fires.") makes a brief appearance when the "Illinois Nazis" visit it after Elwood falsely registers the ball field's location, 1060 West Addison, as his home address on his driver's license. (Elwood's Illinois driver's license number is an almost-valid encoded number, with Dan Aykroyd's own birth date embedded). The other chase scenes included Lower Wacker Driveand Richard J. Daley Center.cite web | title=Blues Brothers Filming Locations | work=Locations in the Blues Brothers | url=http://kevinforsyth.net/film/blues.htm | accessdate=December 23 | accessyear=2006]
In the final car chase scene, the production actually dropped a
Ford Pinto, representing the one driven by the "Illinois Nazis," from a helicopter at an altitude of more than a mile — and had to gain a special "air-unworthiness" certificate from the Federal Aviation Administrationto do it.cite web | title=DVD Laser | work=The Blues Brothers | url=http://www.dvdlaser.com/search/detail.cfm?id=22868 | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] The FAA was concerned that the car could prove too aerodynamicin a high-altitude drop, and pose a threat to nearby buildings. The shot leading up to the car drop, where the "Illinois Nazis" drive off a freeway ramp, was shot in Milwaukee, Wisconsinat the Hoan Bridgeon Interstate 794. The Lake Freeway (North) was a planned but not completed 6-lane freeway and I-794 contained an unfinished ramp that the Nazis drove off. [cite web|url=http://www.wisconsinhighways.org/milwaukee/lake.html|title=Milwaukee Freeways: Lake Freeway|first=Christopher|last=Bessert|accessdate=December 1 | accessyear=2007|publisher=Wisconsin Highways] Several Milwaukee skyscrapers are visible in the background as the Bluesmobileflips over, notably the US Bank Center.
The "Palace Hotel Ballroom," where the band performs its climactic concert, was at the time of filming a country club, but later became the
South Shore Cultural Center, named after the Chicago neighborhood in which it is located. The interior concert scenes were filmed in the Hollywood Palladium.cite web | title=Onscreen Illinois | work=Chicago-The Blues Brothers | url=http://www.enjoyillinois.com/movies/region-chicago.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
The filming in downtown Chicago was conducted on Sundays during the summer of 1979, and much of the downtown was cordoned off from the public. Although the Bluesmobile was allowed to be driven through the Daley Center lobby, special breakaway panes were temporarily substituted for the normal glass in the building.
The film used 13 different cars bought at auction from the
California Highway Patrolto depict the Bluesmobile, ostensibly a retired 1974 Mount Prospect, Illinois Dodge Monacopatrol car. The vehicles were outfitted by the studio to do particular driving chores; some formatted for speed and others for jumps, depending on the scene. For the large car chases, filmmakers purchased 60 police cars at $400 each, and most were destroyed at the completion of the filming.cite web | title=Chicago Sun-Times | work=Incredible stunt driving: "That was all real" | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050728125722/http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-bbcarchase23.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] More than 40 stunt drivers were hired and the crew kept a 24-hour body shop to repair cars.cite web | title=Chicago Sun-Times | work=Incredible stunt driving: "That was all real" | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050728125722/http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-bbcarchase23.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
For the scene when the Blues Brothers finally arrive at the Richard J. Daley Center, a mechanic took several months to rig the car to literally fall apart.cite web | title=Chicago Sun-Times | work=Incredible stunt driving: "That was all real" | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050728125722/http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-bbcarchase23.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] The statues, seeming to be looking on with concern when the car disassembles, actually exist at the Cook County Building. At the time of the film's release, it held the world record for the most cars destroyed in one film until it was surpassed by its own sequel.cite web | title=Chicago Sun-Times | work=Incredible stunt driving: "That was all real" | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050728125722/http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-bbcarchase23.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
In addition to recognized soul and rhythm and blues stars
James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin, the members of the Blues Brothersband are notable for their musical accomplishments as well. Steve Cropperand Donald Dunnare architects of the Stax Recordssound and were half of Booker T. & the M.G.'s. Horn players Lou Marini, Tom Malone, and Alan Rubinhad all played in Blood, Sweat & Tearsand the " Saturday Night Live" band. Drummer Willie Hall had played in the Bar-Kaysand backed Isaac Hayes. Matt Murphy is a veteran blues guitarist. Blues performers were featured in the cast as well, with John Lee Hookerbacked by harmonica player Big Walter Hortonand pianist Pinetop Perkins, playing "Boom Boom" on Maxwell Street.
As the band developed at "Saturday Night Live", pianist
Paul Shafferwas part of the act and was cast in the film. However, due to contractual obligations with "SNL", he was unable to participate. So actor-musician Murphy Dunne(whose father, George Dunne, was the Cook County Board President) was hired to take his role."Stories Behind the Making of The Blues Brothers", documentary feature on 1998 DVD and 25th Anniversary DVD (2005).] Carrie Fisher, Kathleen Freeman, Henry Gibson, and John Candywere cast in non-musical supporting roles. The movie is also notable for the number of cameo appearances by established celebrities and entertainment industry figures, including Steve Lawrenceas a booking agent, Frank Ozas a corrections officer, Twiggyas a "chic lady" in a Jaguar convertible whom Elwood propositions at a gas station, and Steven Spielbergas the Cook County Assessor's clerk. John Landisplays a state trooper in the mall chase. Paul Reubens(pre- Pee-wee Herman) has a small role as a waiter in the Chéz Paul. Joe Walshhas a cameo as a prisoner in the final scene.
The character portrayed by Cab Calloway is named Curtis as an homage to
Curtis Salgado, a Portland, Oregon, blues musician who inspired Belushi while he was in Oregon filming " Animal House".cite web | title=Curtis Salgado | work=Biography | url=http://www.curtissalgado.com/biography.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
Over 200 National Guardsmen, 100 state and city police officers, and 15
horses were used in filming of the blockade on the building.cite web | title=Chicago Sun-Times | work=Blues Brothers 25th Anniversary | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050721084943/http://www.suntimes.com/special_sections/bluebros/ | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] Additionally, three Sherman tanks, three helicopters, and three fire engines were used.
"The Blues Brothers" opened on June 20, 1980 with a release in 594 theaters. It took in $4,858,152, ranking second for that week (after "
The Empire Strikes Back") and 10th for the entire year. Over the years, it has retained a following through television and home video. The film in total grossed $57,229,890 domestically and $58,000,000 in foreign box offices for a total of $115,229,890.cite web | title=Box Office Mojo | work=The Blues Brothers | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=bluesbrothers.htm | accessdate=2008-08-02] By genre, it is the ninth-highest grossing musical and the tenth-highest earner among comedy road movies. It ranks second, between "Wayne's World" and " Wayne's World 2" (which, coincidentally, also take place in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, in nearby Aurora, Illinois), among films adapted from "Saturday Night Live" sketches. Director Landis claimed that "The Blues Brothers" was also the first American film to gross more money overseas than it did in the United States.
The movie has a 78% rating on
Rotten Tomatoes.cite web | title=Rotten Tomatoes | work=The Blues Brothers (1980) | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/blues_brothers/ | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] It won the Golden Reel Awardfor Best Sound Editing and Sound Effects,cite web | title=The Envelope | work=Every show, every winner, every nominee-Blues Brothers | url=http://theenvelope.latimes.com/search/env-past-winners-search,0,1243372,results.formprofile?Lib=turbine_cdb_lib%3Aresult_doc_id+result_doc_rank+document_id+cdb_num+cdb_01_num+cdb_01_txt+cdb_02_txt+cdb_03_txt+cdb_04_txt&SortBy=COMPOSITE_RANK+desc&PageSize=10&Page=1&MinCoarseRank=500&QueryType=CONCEPT&Query=Blues+Brothers&turbine_cdb_lib__cdb_04_txt=&turbine_cdb_lib__cdb_01_txt=&turbine_cdb_lib__cdb_02_txt=&turbine_cdb_lib__cdb_03_txt= | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] is No. 14 on " Total Film" magazine's "List of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films of All Time"cite web | title=Comedy Zone | work=Film & Movie Comedy Classics | url=http://www.comedy-zone.net/tv/films/index.htm | accessdate=August 22 | accessyear=2007] and is No. 69 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".cite web | title=Manroom Magazine | work=Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies List is Laughable | url=http://www.livemanly.com/?p=132 | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] Leonard Maltingave the film 3 stars out of a possible 4, and described it as "Off the wall from start to finish, with some fine music woven in."
"The Blues Brothers" has been criticized for its simplistic plot and being overly reliant on
car chases. Among the reviewers at the time of the movie's release who held that opinion was Roger Ebertof the " Chicago Sun-Times". But, he also praised it for its energetic musical numbers and said the car chases were "incredible".cite web | title=Roger Ebert-Chicago Sun-Times | work=The Blues Brothers | url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19800101/REVIEWS/1010306/1023 | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] Janet Maslinof the " New York Times" criticized the film for shortchanging viewers on more details about Jake and Elwood's affinity for African-American culture. She also took director Landis to task for "distracting editing", mentioning the Soul Food diner scene in which saxophonist Lou Marini's head is cut off as he dances on the counter. In the documentary, "Stories Behind the Making of The Blues Brothers", Landis acknowledges the criticism, and Marini recalls the dismay he felt at seeing the completed film.cite web | title=Janet Maslin-New York Times | work=Blues Brothers - Belushi and Aykroyd | url=http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html?title1=Blues%20Brothers%2c%20The%20%28Movie%29&title2=&reviewer=Janet%20Maslin&pdate=19800620&v_id=60974 | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
:"See also: The Blues Brothers in popular culture""The Blues Brothers" has become a staple of late-night cinema, even slowly morphing into an audience participation show in its regular screenings at the Valhalla Cinema, in
Melbourne, Australia.cite web | title=The Age | work=A mission from God nears its end | url=http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/02/10/1044725733610.html | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] John Landis acknowledged the support of the cinema and the fans by a phone call he made to the cinema at the 10th anniversary screening, and later invited regular attendees to make cameo appearances in " Blues Brothers 2000". The fans act as the members of the crowd during the performance of "".cite web | title=The Return of the Blues Brothers | work=The Melbourne Blues Brothers go global! | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20020720111421/blues.squidly.org/ | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
In August 2005, there was a 25th anniversary celebration for "The Blues Brothers" at
Grauman's Chinese Theatrein Los Angeles.cite web | title=Film Stew | work=Blues Brothers Makes History | url=http://www.hollywoodsmasterstorytellers.com/ShowArticle.aspx?ContentID=12106 | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] Attendees included Landis, former Universal Studiosexecutive Thom Mount, movie editor George Folsey Jr., and cast members James Brown, Henry Gibson, Charles Napier, Steve Cropper, and Stephen Bishop. It featured a press conference, a panel discussion where Dan Aykroydjoined via satellite, and a screening of the original theatrical version of the film. The panel discussion was broadcast directly to many other cinemas around the country.
When the film was first screened for a preview audience, a producer demanded that director John Landis cut twenty-five minutes from the film.cite web | title=Home Theater | work=John Landis, Uncensored | url=http://www.hometheatermag.com/news/101305landis/ | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] After trimming fifteen minutes, it was released in theaters at 133 minutes. The film's original length was restored to 148 minutes for the "Collector's Edition" DVD release in 1998. The 25th anniversary DVD release in 2005 includes both the theatrical cut and the extended version. The full-length version includes:
*A longer opening scene, showing the prison guards having to use their nightsticks to wake Jake up.
*A scene with Sister Mary Stigmata ("The Penguin") where as she lists what missions she might be sent to if the orphanage is closed.
*A scene in which Jake and Elwood discuss whether or not to enter the Triple Rock Church.
*Elwood is shown parking the
Bluesmobileinside an electrical substation that powers the Chicago Transit Authority's "L" trains. In the documentary, "Stories Behind the Making of The Blues Brothers", Dan Aykroyd explained that the Bluesmobile would get charged from the substation, enabling it to do impressive stunts. But, in the same documentary, director John Landissaid he originally cut the scene because he considered it unnecessary: the Bluesmobile is simply a "magic car."
*A scene showing Elwood (without his trademark sunglasses) on his last day at his job in an
aerosol-spray can manufacturing company. He is shown removing a can from the assembly line and putting it in his briefcase. He then goes to his boss and explains that he has to quit because he's joining the priesthood. This scene explains where Elwood obtained the spray epoxy("This is glue ... strong stuff.") that he used to sabotage the Good Ol' Boys' Winnebago and to improvise a blowtorch in the elevator of the Cook County building. This scene also explains what Elwood means when he says, "It's almost 9 o'clock. We've gotta go to work." after having his apartment blown up by the "Mystery Woman" (played by Carrie Fisher).
*An extension to the scene in which Elwood discusses why Jake committed the gas station robbery.
*Longer versions of some of the musical numbers, most notably the
Maxwell Streetblues band scene with John Lee Hooker, showing Hooker and Pinetop Perkinsgetting into an argument over who wrote "Boom Boom."
*Bob gives the list of songs to the band prior to their performance at Bob's Country Bunker.
*Curtis tells the band that Jake and Elwood will use the gate receipts from the Palace Hotel gig to pay the taxes on the orphanage.
*Jake accidentally blows up the gas station by tossing a cigarette into a puddle of spilled gasoline.
*Another aerosol can is used to spray isopropanol butane monosulfate into the
tires of police cars outside the Palace Hotel Ballroom, which makes the tires explode and causes a jam-up of the police, thus enabling the Blues Brothers to get a head start on their pursuers.
*Additional footage of Jake and Elwood waiting for the Cook County Assessor's Office clerk (played by
Steven Spielberg) to return from his break.
*An extended ending just before the closing credit scroll: as the Blues Brothers continue to perform "Jailhouse Rock," it appears that the prison guards are about to use force to control the audience.
US television airings of the film usually cut out most of the
profanityfrom the dialogue. This is awkward in some scenes because John Belushi did not participate in the redubbing (due to his death two years after the film's release). His younger brother, actor James Belushi, recorded the overdubbed dialogue, and his voice is of a lower pitch. Some broadcasters avoid this by simply muting the offending words.
The American Movie Classics network noticeably edits a scene in which Elwood disables an
elevatorby using an aerosol can and a Zippolighter as an improvised blowtorch, which would be a very dangerous stunt to try in reality.
"The Blues Brothers: Music from the Soundtrack" was released in June 1980 as the second album by the Blues Brothers Band, which also toured that year to promote the movie. "
Gimme Some Lovin'" was a Top 40 hit. The album was a followup to their debut, the live album, " Briefcase Full of Blues". Later that year they released a second live album, "Made in America", which featured the Top 40 track, "Who's Making Love".
The songs on the movie soundtrack album are a noticeably different audio mix than in the film, with a prominent
baritone saxophonein the horn line (also heard in the film during "Shake a Tailfeather," though no bari sax is present), and female backing vocals on "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love", though the band had no backup singers in the film. A number of regular Blues Brothers' members, including saxophonist Tom Scott and drummer Steve Jordan, perform on the soundtrack album but are not in the film.
According to director Landis in the 1998 documentary "The Stories Behind the Making of 'The Blues Brothers"', filmed musical performances by Franklin and Brown took more effort, as neither artist was accustomed to lip-syncing their performances on film. Franklin required several takes, and Brown simply re-recorded his performance live to a practical, working microphone on the set. Cab Calloway initially wanted to do a variation on his signature tune, "Minnie The Moocher", having had done the song in several styles in the past, but Landis insisted that the song be done faithful to the original big band version.
oundtrack album listing
Name = The Blues Brothers: Music from the Soundtrack
Type = Soundtrack
The Blues Brothers
Background = soundtrack
Released = June 20, 1980
Blues, blues-rock, blue-eyed soul
Length = 40:27
Label = Atlantic
Producer = Bob Tischler
AllmusicRating|3|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:hz8n1vf8zzxa link]
Last album = "
Briefcase Full of Blues"
This album = "The Blues Brothers: Music from the Soundtrack"
Next album = "Made in America"
She Caught The Katy" (Taj Mahal, Rachell) – 4:10
#*The Blues Brothers with lead vocals by Jake Blues
#"Peter Gunn Theme" (Mancini) – 3:46
#*The Blues Brothers Band
Gimme Some Lovin'" (S. Winwood, M. Winwood, Davis) – 3:06
#*The Blues Brothers with Jake Blues, lead vocals
Shake a Tail Feather" (Hayes, Williams, Rice) – 2:48
Ray Charleswith the Blues Brothers (Jake and Elwood, backing vocals)
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" (Wexler, Berns, Burke) – 3:21
#*The Blues Brothers (Jake Blues, lead vocals; Elwood Blues, harmonica and vocals)
#"The Old Landmark" (Brunner) – 2:56
James Brownand the Rev. James ClevelandChoir (additional choir vocals by Chaka Khancredited in the film)
#"Think" (White, Franklin) – 3:13
Aretha Franklinand the Blues Brothers with backing vocals by Brenda Corbett, Margaret Branch and Carolyn Franklin(real-life sister of Aretha) and Jake and Elwood
#"Theme From Rawhide" (Tiomkin) – 2:37
#*Elwood and Jake and the Blues Brothers Band
Minnie the Moocher" (Calloway, Mills) – 3:23
Cab Callowaywith the Blues Brothers Band
Sweet Home Chicago" (Johnson) – 7:48
#*Dedicated to the musician
#"Jailhouse Rock" (Leiber, Stoller) – 3:19
#*Jake Blues and the Blues Brothers (Over the closing credits in the film, verses are sung by James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and "crew".)
Other songs in the film
The film's score includes "God Music" (instrumental with choir vocalese) composed by
Elmer Bernstein, who previously had worked with John Landison " National Lampoon's Animal House". Other songs in the film include:
Shake Your Moneymaker" – composed and performed by Elmore James
* "Soothe Me"/"Hold On! I'm Comin'" – composed by
Sam Cooke/ Isaac Hayesand David Porter; performed by Sam and Dave
I Can't Turn You Loose" – composed by Otis Redding; instrumental performed by the Blues Brothers band (their theme song)
Let the Good Times Roll" – composed and performed by Louis Jordan
* "Anema e Core" – performed by
Quando, Quando, Quando" – performed by Murph and the MagicTones
Just the Way You Are" – composed by Billy Joel; performed by uncredited group
* "Boom Boom" – composed by
John Lee Hooker; performed by John Lee Hooker(as "Street Slim"), vocals and guitar' Big Walter Horton(as "Tampa Pete"), harmonica. Pinetop Perkins(as "Luther Jackson") electric piano; Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, drums; Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson, guitar; Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, bass
* "Mama Lawdy"/"
Boogie Chillen'" – composed and performed by John Lee Hooker
Your Cheatin' Heart" – composed by Hank Williams; performed by Kitty Wells
Stand By Your Man" – composed by Tammy Wynetteand Billy Sherrill; performed by the Blues Brothers
I'm Walkin'" – performed by Fats Domino
Ride of the Valkyries" – composed by Richard Wagner; performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The Girl from Ipanema" – composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim; performed by an uncredited group (background music while the brothers are in the elevator to the assessor's office.)
The 1998 sequel, "Blues Brothers 2000", had similar traits to the original, including large car chase scenes and musical numbers. John Landis returned to direct the film and
Dan Aykroydreprised his role, joining John Goodman, Joe Morton, and 10-year-old J. Evan Bonifant as the new Blues Brothers. Aretha Franklinand James Brownwere among the celebrities returning from the first film. There were also musical performances by Sam Moore, Wilson Pickett, Paul Shaffer, B. B. Kingand Eric Clapton, among others. Dozens of artists were packed into an all-star band called The Louisiana Gator Boys. The film was considered a box office failure, only generating a little over $14 million in box office salescite web | title=Box Office Mojo | work=Blues Brothers 2000 | url=http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=bluesbrothers2000.htm | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006] on an approximate $28 million budget.cite web | title=Internet Movie Database | work=Business Data forBlues Brothers 2000 | url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118747/business | accessdate=December 16 | accessyear=2006]
The Blues Brothers (video game)
See You Next Wednesday"
* [http://bluesbrothers.com/25th_Anniversary_DVD.html "The Blues Brothers" Official 25th Anniversary DVD site]
** imdb title|id=0423272|title=The Stories Behind the Making of 'The Blues Brothers'
* [http://www.mrqe.com/lookup?^Blues+Brothers,+The+(1980) "The Blues Brothers"] , over 50 reviews of the film and DVD at the
Movie Review Query Engine
* [http://kevinforsyth.net/film/blues.htm Chicago Filming Locations] based on
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