Dir: John Landis, 1980
Based on Dan Aykroyd’s hugely popular Saturday Night Live sketches, The Blues Brothers is a superb romp of music and mayhem.
Just released from prison, Jake ‘Joliet’ Blues (John Belushi) is picked up by his brother Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd).
Growing up in an Catholic orphanage, the brothers visit Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman), who informs them that the orphanage will be closed unless it can come up with $5,ooo.
Advised by their old friend Curtis (Cab Calloway) to see the Reverend Cleophus James (James Brown), Jake “sees the light” and comes up with the idea to reform the band.
Unfortunately, getting them won’t be easy as they’ve all moved on to different things, an unidentified woman (Carrie Fisher) is intent on killing them, and they’re being chased by the police, an angry country and western group and several Nazi’s.
This is one of the best musicals of all time.
It’s fun. Witty. Cheerful. If you’re feeling down, this will raise your spirits. A feelgood film.
Aykroyd and Belushi do brilliantly as the two blues singers, belting out hit after hit of real classics.
The scene in the redneck bar is hilarious.
What is immediately obvious is the amount of fun that everyone had. It makes you wish you had been there.
With a whole roster of stars appearing, a good time is guaranteed.
From Aretha Franklin to Ray Charles and Charles Napier to John Candy, The Blues Brothers has a plethora of famous faces and soon to be famous faces. Eagle eyed viewers may spot a young Paul Reubens aka Pee-Wee Herman.
Originally, the film ran for nearly two and a half hours but was edited down to its current length.
What is very unfortunate, however, is that Universal Studios threw the edited footage out meaning John Landis was unable to restore the film to full length.
Luckily, some footage has turned up and has been incorporated back into the film
The new footage is certainly a curiosity piece. It’s fascinating and fills in a few gaps. The most interesting scene is Elwood at work and the only time you see him without his sunglasses.
Incorporating the new footage into the film does make it a tad too long. The original ran for over two hours and was a little long, then, but this makes it a bit of a bum-numbing experience.
The music is phenomenal.
Crammed with classic blues songs like Minnie The Moocher and Think!, plus a fantastic performance from John Lee Hooker.
Full of life, the choreography is energetic and the cast get stuck inand have a ball.
And so are we!
Watch it! Tap your foot to the music and sing along! It’s an absolute blast!