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The Blues Brothers - Film Review

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by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler...Former teacher... Scientist... Published author... Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published August 19th 2018
Everybody needs somebody to love
What do you get when you put together some of the funniest men in America in 1980, great musicians and singers and a director who knows how to let a film do what it needs to do? You get one of the best movie musicals ever made and one of the funniest comedies at that.

blues brothers, movie, poster
The movie poster

The Blues Brothers (1980) is a film that does not stop from the word go. The opening scenes of Joliet Jake Blues (John Belushi) being led through the prison on his way to release, then being confronted by Frank Oz with his possessions ("One prophylactic… one soiled…") before finally being released into the waiting police car being driven by his brother Ellwood (Dan Ackroyd)…

The film does not stop.

It has something for everyone. Car chase scenes abound. The classic chase scene through the mall to the climactic scene where dozens and dozens of police cars are written off are so over the top as to be amazing and incredible.
blues brothers, movie, car, mall
Still from the scene in the shopping mall

Quotable quotes fill the film.

"What kind of music do you usually have here?... Oh, we got both kinds. We got Country AND Western."

"There are a hundred and six miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses."

"They're not gonna catch us – we're on a mission from God."
It's the sort of film that nerds (like me) will quote endlessly and talk along with. Very Monty Pythonesque in that regard.

And, of course, the music! The classic songs abound. 'Shake Your Tailfeather', 'Think', 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love', 'Theme From Rawhide'… Every song in this film is a good one. Not a dud there. This is a soundtrack album that you listen to for the music, not for the film it came from. But when you've got a band this tight, taken from Booker T & The MGs and the Saturday Night Live house band, you know what you've got is going to be good. And don't underestimate John Belushi's singing ability. The band was together on Saturday Night Live before the film, and it shows.

Yes, it is not without its sadness. At last count, over 20 of those appearing in the film are now dead. But this film should be seen as a celebration of those people and their work.

This is not just one of the best films of the 80s, nor one of the best movie musicals, nor one of the funniest comedies – it is one of the best films of all time. Sit back and enjoy it. It's worth it.

Cast includes (deep breath): John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn, Murphy Dunne, Willie Hall, Tom Malone, Lou Marini, Matt Murphy, Alan Rubin, Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson, John Candy, John Lee Hooker, Kathleen Freeman, Steve Lawrence, Twiggy, Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg… and so on and so on…

Directed by John Landis

Available nearly everywhere.
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Why? Because classic films need to be remembered
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