The Movie Review Guy Best Movies for 2013
Dec 31, 2013
The Top 80 movies from the 1980's in 80 Days (DAY 66):
15. “The Blues Brothers” (1980)
Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised.
John Belushi—‘Joliet’ Jack Bluse
Dan Aykroyd—Elywood Blues
And I mean a lot of other people.
Facts about the this movie:
*Budget: $27,000,000 (estimated)
*Opening Weekend:$4,858,152 (USA) (594 Screens)
*Gross: $115,229,890 (Worldwide) (1983)
*Paul Shaffer was an original member of the Blues Brothers Band and was supposed to be in the film. But because he was also working on Gilda Live, according to Shaffer's memoir, Belushi fired him for being disloyal to the band.
*Elwood removes his hat three times in the film: when going to sleep in his room, to break the window to get into the Palace Hotel, and towards the end of the movie when the Bluesmobile falls apart. His sunglasses are removed once in the scene where he quits his job at the Cheez Whiz factory "to become a priest." Jake removes his sunglasses once, when he is talking to Carrie Fisher, but never removes his hat. In the DVD and cable versions, Elwood doesn't wear sunglasses when he quits his job.
*The scene in which the band appears in a sauna, clad only in towels, is an allusion to the cover photo on the 1973 Blood Sweat & Tears music album "No Sweat", in which the BST band appears in a sauna in identical pose. Lou Marini and Tom Malone, two of the Blues Brothers Band members, were also in BST and appear in both sauna scenes.
*Singer/guitarist Joe Walsh can be seen during the "Jailhouse Rock" sequence at the end. He still had long hair and a long mustache at the time and is the first prisoner to jump up on a table and start dancing.
*Graffiti on the bridge the Blues Brothers hide their car under during the show reads, "John *heart* Deborah." This is a reference to director John Landis and his wife, costume designer Deborah Nadoolman.
*At the end, after the Universal Studios logo is shown, there is an ad for Universal Studios in Hollywood. Below "When in Hollywood, visit Universal Studios", it says "Ask For Babs". The same appeared in Animal House (Babs is the Animal House character Babs Jensen), and it reappeared in Blues Brothers 2000 underneath a new Universal Studios Hollywood logo at the end of that movie.
*Before the falling-Pinto scene could be filmed, the filmmakers had to get an "Air UN-worthyness certificate" from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Pinto. This was done by conducting preliminary drop tests to ensure that it would not behave as an airfoil and drift from its target line, but would drop "like a brick" when dropped from a great height.
*The exteriors and many interiors at Daley Center were shot on location, including the shot of the Bluesmobile plowing through the courthouse lobby. In a 1998 interview for Universal, John Landis credited mob help for getting permission from the Cook County Board of Commissioners for this (alluding to the Board being mob-controlled at that time).
*Every time we see the window in Elwood's apartment a train goes past.
*103 cars were wrecked during filming. At time of release, this was a world record, not beaten until 104 cars were wrecked in filming 'Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)'.
*The infamous "Bluesmobile" is a 1974 Dodge Monaco. The vehicles used in the film were used police cars purchased from the California Highway Patrol (mocked up to look like Mt. Prospect, Illinois patrol cars), and featured the "cop tires, cop suspension and cop motor - a 440 cubic-inch plant" mentioned by Elwood in the film. A total of 12 Bluesmobiles were used in the movie, including one that was built just so it could fall apart. Several replicas have been built by collectors, but one original is known to exist, and is owned by the brother-in-law of Dan Aykroyd.
*Elwood's fake address at Wrigley Field (1060 West Addison) is used on the receipt they get for paying the $5000.
*The receipt that is stamped by the tax assessor clerk (played by 'Stephen Spielberg'), is #6829, dated August 9, 1979, and correctly reflects that $5000 cash for St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage was received from "Jake & Elwood Blues" with an address of 1060 West Addison, Chicago. The receipt is signed "R. J. Daley" - a reference to Mayor Richard J. Daley for which the plaza they drove through (with the Picasso sculpture) was named.
*Carrie Fisher guest-hosted the SNL episode the Blues Brothers debuted in.
*During the making of the movie, one of the actors Stephen Brown (XLI), got separated from the vehicle caravan and drove the "Blues Mobile" 100 miles West on Interstate 80, to the city of Spring Valley, Illinois. When stopping at a gas station for directions he was arrested by the local police for no registration (the plate was a prop), and no valid drivers license. With a telephone call, the set director was more concerned with the return of the vehicle than with the return of his actor.
*The scene where the bluesmobile is driving at 115 MPH on Wells and Wacker Drive is real. The film crew received permission to clear the street for two 100 MPH+ passes. Stunt pedestrians were added after the first pass to add realism.
*The bridge that the Illinois Nazis drive off of during the car chase was in downtown Milwaukee. It was a ramp as part of an interchange that had not been fully developed. Later that ramp was torn down and replaced.
*Lobbying from the Italian-American community ensured that the line "The Mafia's out there" was re-dubbed to "The Mob's out there" when the Blues Brothers was shown on television.
*When recording the soundtrack for the movie, Cab Calloway was needed to record his hit "Minnie the Moocher" in better quality than his original album. When he came into the studios he was prepared to do his new disco version that was just released. Of course, the film makers wanted nothing to do with this and asked for the original version, which Calloway reluctantly gave them. When Cab Calloway asks the band if they knew the song Minnie The Moocher, Murphy Dunne answers, "I knew a hooker once named Minnie Mazola" to which Calloway replies, "no the SONG Minnie The Moocher"
*After the concert, the state troopers chase the Blues Brothers back to Chicago. The scene where several state trooper cars crash off the highway embankment was filmed at the Rt. 12 overpass in Wauconda, IL. They had trouble getting the cars to flip over when they went down the embankment, so they dug a hole into the embankment to help the cars flip over as they hit it.
*In the public restroom where The Good Old Boys' front man discovers the graffiti/advertisement for the Blues Brothers show at the Palace Hotel, the name "Rick Baker" can be seen written in red to the right of the illustration of Jake & Elwood. Rick Baker was the makeup and effects artist for director John Landis's first feature film, Schlock. Following the Blues Brothers, Landis called on Baker's talents once again for the film An American Werewolf in London, and finally as the effects artist for Michael Jackson's long-form music video Thriller
*Big screen debut of Ray Charles.
*In the original film Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) never removes his sunglasses (the DVD extended version features a scene where he is wearing safety glasses instead). Jake (John Belushi) only removes them once in either version.
*When Jake and Elwood are stuck in traffic backed up by Nazi marchers, they ask a cop what is going on, and he tells them, "Those bums won their court case, so they're marching today." Elwood scoffs, "Illinois Nazis," and Jake agrees, "I hate Illinois Nazis." This is a reference to a mid-1970s incident in which the National Socialist (abbreviated in German as "Nazi") Party of America planned a public demonstration in Skokie, Illinois (the population of Skokie was not only heavily Jewish but also contained an unusually large number of Holocaust survivors). After the local governments provided various impediments to the Nazis' march, they eventually took the matter to the Supreme Court, which led to a 1977 decision (National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie) in favor of the Nazis' First Amendment right to Freedom of Assembly. The group subsequently did hold several Nazi rallies, but in Chicago instead of Skokie.
*A young Paul Reubens plays the waiter serving Jake and Elwood when they go to find Mr. Fabulous.
*When the Blues Brothers are being chased by the Good Ol' Boys, there is a shot of a Billboard with an advertisement for a horror movie called "See You Next Wednesday". A trademark line of director John Landis, it features in most of his projects.
Why I Picked this movie #15:
1. Second best Musical every made.
2. Best musical made in the 1980’s.
3. Brought blues to main stream.
4. A very funny movie.
5. One of the best car chase scene ever.
6. Great action.
7. Has some of the most memorable quotes / dialog in film history.
8. Great comedy
9. Awesome chemistry between John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd
10. Has some of the most memorable scenes in film history.
11. One of most Iconic movie Made in the 80’s.
12. Great script.
13. Great casting.
14. One of the best soundtracks ever put together for a movie.
15. Great music.
16. It is John Belushi best film from the 80’s.
17. Second best movie John Belushi ever did.
First time seeing it:
On DVD in college.