The tall one wants white bread, toasted, dry with nothing on it. And the other wants four whole fried chickens and a Coke – recognise them? They’re on a mission from God. The Blues Brothers is not only a cult classic, but a Hollywood institution. This rockin’ blues-inspired road trip film is high on the comedy, high on the musical numbers and high on my list of all-time favourites.
When Jake Blues is released from prison after a stint for armed robbery, his brother Elwood picks him up in the new Bluesmobile (an old police wagon he bought at auction) and they decide to visit their childhood home. Little do we know, the Blues Brothers grew up in a Roman Catholic Orphanage, now in a little financial trouble and owing $5000 in property taxes. The brothers set off on a mission from God, to save the orphanage the only way they know how – they are getting the band back together.
As they visit their old band members, they come across a number of recognisable faces on a musical journey to salvation. They have a habit of pissing people off and along the way they gather a following of gun-totting, fist-shaking angry mobs from the Good Ol’ Boys to the Nazi party. Their mission is clear and they will beg, borrow and steal from just about anybody to play their music.
Filled with a myriad of uber-cameos, the likes of which include James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, John Candy, Twiggy, Chaka Khan, Steven Spielberg, Big Walter Horton, John Lee Hooker, Carrie Fisher, Kathleen Freeman, Paul Reubens (pre Pee-wee Herman era) and the director John Landis himself amongst a very long list of others.
Written by John Landis and Dan Aykroyd, this cult classic sporned from a sketch by the same name on Saturday Night Live. Fellow SNL cast member John Belushi jumped on board and musical history was made.
This all-singing all-rhythm-and-blues-ing whacky musical road trip will have you dancing round your lounge room and you will have no shame.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch The Blues Brothers, do yourself a damn favour and give the band a go; they are on a mission from God after all. It’s 106 miles to Chicago, they got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and they’re wearing sunglasses – sound like fun?
Orange Whip anyone?
Blues Brothers Trivia
There are many car chases in The Blues Brothers, a total of 103 cars were wrecked during the making of the film.
Carrie Fisher and Dan Aykroyd got engaged during filming after Aykroyd gave Fisher the Heimlich maneuver saving her from choking.
The car chase through the mall was filmed in an acutual mall in Harvey, Illinois, luckily it had been closed for several years.
The Bluesmobile was clocked at 190km during the chase under the train line. Universal had to obtain special permits for the speed and add in stunt pedestrians because of the danger involved.
After the unfortunate death of John Belushi, his brother Jim Belushi and Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd decided to open up The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood across from John’s favourite comedy lounge, The Comedy Store. The House of Blues has played host to many big names in the music industry for 21 years but has recently been closed.