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Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)

6.8
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Reviews: 60 user | 11 critic

A television newswoman picks up the story of a 1960s rock band whose long-lost leader Eddie Wilson may still be alive, while searching for the missing tapes of the band's never-released album.

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Title: Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Doc Robbins
Matthew Laurance ...
Sal Amato
Helen Schneider ...
Joann Carlino
...
Kenny Hopkins
Michael 'Tunes' Antunes ...
Wendell Newton
...
Kenny Vance ...
Lew Elson
...
Joe Cates ...
Lois
Barry Sand ...
Barry Siegel
...
Gerry Rivers
Howard Johnson ...
Wendell's Replacement
Joey Balin ...
Eddie's Replacement
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Storyline

Maggie Foley is a television reporter who's interviewing the surviving members of a 1960s rock band whose music is being revived. Memories of the band's leader Eddie Wilson are being relived as Frank Ridgeway is reunited with the old members of the band. As the memories are relived on the screen, it becomes clear that someone is looking for the lost unpublished tapes of the band's final recording and that someone might be Eddie! Written by Kurt Pires <kjpires@holonet.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1964, Eddie Wilson had it all. He had genius. He had vision. He had the hottest rock n' roll band in the country. Then, suddenly one night, his car went off a dark New Jersey bridge. His body was never found. But his dream was never lost. And twenty years later, the mystery of Eddie Wilson begins to unravel. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eddie i krazowniki  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The interiors for the radio station at which Doc Robbins (Joe Pantoliano) works were done in the main studio of what was then WMID-AM, Atlantic City (1340 kHz). See more »

Goofs

When Eddie ends the song, "Wild Summer Nights", we see him take his guitar off and place it to the side. But in the next shot, showing Eddie from the rear, the guitar is back on, as he waves to the crowd. See more »

Quotes

Doc Robbins: [about Eddie's album] There's nothing can't be fixed, am I right?
Lew Elson: [to Eddie] This won't fix, this is a disaster! You want to be a poet? Try Greenage Village!
Doc Robbins: Lew, listen, another couple of weeks. We've been working for months.
Lew Elson: Doc, take six weeks. I still wouldn't know what to do with it.
Eddie Wilson: [to Lew, angrily] You want to know what you can do with it? I'll tell you what you can do with it, you son of a bitch!
Lew Elson: Hey, I put up ten grand and I expect something for my money! This is what I've been waiting a...
See more »

Connections

References Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Wild Summer Nights
Performed by John Cafferty (Lead Vocal and Guitar), Michael 'Tunes' Antunes (Saxophone),
Gary Gramolini (Guitar), Kenny Jo Silva (Drums), Robert Nicholas Cotoia (Piano), Pat Lupo (Bass)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Best rock & roll movie ever
15 November 2008 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This film, along with "Amadeus" and "This Is Spinal Tap", has woven its way into the culture and lingo of musicians around the world. Classic lines like, "Do it my way with the cesarean", "We ain't great--we're just a bunch of guys from Jersey", and the all time rocker, "WORDS AND MUSIC" (with the appropriate finger gesture), can be heard in every recording studio and rehearsal room in the English speaking world.

So if you're a musician--or even if you just want to hang out with musicians--you must watch this film, otherwise you'll look like a total n00b.

Even to non-musical audiences, this movie is a work of art. It's a nostalgic and poetic trip back to the early 1960s when America was just emerging from its cocoon of innocence. The entire film is a metaphor for this. Eddie's music, like life itself, dared to venture beyond the bubble gum into a world of complex social and personal issues... literally, the "Dark Side" of American life.

Once you grasp this fundamental theme, you will appreciate the entire film on a deep level. It's not just a rock'n'roll romp. It's a profound commentary on the growing pains our society endured in the 2nd half of the 20th century. Told in flashback, the story takes on a particularly tragic air, as if you were browsing through a dusty old scrapbook of your childhood memories, now gone forever.

The story/mystery is set in the first 5 minutes, and for the remaining 90 mins it unravels concurrently in 2 timelines to a brilliant finale. Acting is absolutely flawless, camera-work is both tense and dreamy, and the clincher is the fantastic music, a retro soundtrack by John Cafferty with songs you'd swear you'd heard from the 50s but were actually written in 1980: "On the Dark Side", "Tender Years" & "Wild Summer Nights" to name some of the best. Check em out on Youtube if you can.

Vivid characters bring this story to life. In "Eddie and the Cruisers", the two lead characters personify the duality of a soul. First there's Eddie (Michael Paré) who is the dark, explosive force yearning to evolve. His counterpart is the naïve kid Ridgeway (played by Tom Berenger showing off his amazing versatility as an actor--just 2 years before his role in "Platoon" as the sadistic Vietnam commander. Can you believe it's the same guy?!). The two characters wrestle with each other, at times best friends, at times worst enemies, but always bound together by the thread of music. I'll leave you to discover the philosophical implications of their conflict and its outcome.

Notable supporting performances are made by young actors Joe Pantoliana ("Risky Business", "The Fugitive", "The Matrix", perhaps best known for "The Sopranos"), Matthew Laurance (tons of 80s-90s TV), Ellen Barkin ("The Big Easy"), and Eddie's girl played by Helen Schneider who surprisingly never did any other feature films.

Some people criticize this film as being "B grade" or "cheezy". Sure, why not. To me, that only added to its charm. The 80s itself was a time of innocence & simplicity relative to today's gritty cinema. Isn't it fitting that we, living in our mega-produced, paranoid, cynical new millennium would enjoy watching an honest 80s flick which itself is taking a look back to the warmth of its prior generation? It's like a window within a window. Don't miss the magic of this experience.

I've seen 20 or 30 rock'n'roll films and this is hands down my favorite. Other faves include, by decade they depict, "Jailhouse Rock" (a surprisingly angsty 50s Elvis flick), of course "Eddie" (early 60s) and "Head" (late 60s trippy Monkees flick), "Spinal Tap" (a 70s metal spoof), "Music & Lyrics" (an 80s pop spoof), "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" (80s thru present day comeback attempt/comedy/documentary) and "Garage Days" (a 90s Aussie rock comedy by the director of "The Crow"). Worthy of note is "Looking for an Echo" (2000) by the same writer/director who did "Eddie", it presents a parallel story of what might've happened to a 50s singer if he slowly faded into obscurity.

Hope this review made sense to you. "I nearly broke my fingers" typing it. Haha. Watch the movie and you'll get it.

P.S. If you see the film, make note that "Wendell" the sax player is actually the one who played sax on the soundtrack. In addition, the writers went to great lengths to ensure that the instruments of the era were used (Wurlitzer 140b piano, old Fender Strat guitar, etc). But notice how the piano isn't plugged in! Doh! Almost perfect. Almost.


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