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Crossroads (1986)

R  |   |  Drama, Music, Mystery  |  14 March 1986 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 9,579 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 19 critic

Ralph Macchio is Lightning Boy. A kid who can make a slide guitar sing. Blind Dog is an old pro who knows it. Together, they're headed to a place where deals are made. And legends are born.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Eugene Martone
...
Willie Brown
...
Frances
...
Scratch's Assistant
Robert Judd ...
Scratch
...
Jack Butler
...
Lloyd
...
Bartender
John Hancock ...
Sheriff Tilford
...
Dr. Santis
...
Beautiful Girl / Dancer
Al Fann ...
Pawnbroker
Wally Taylor ...
O.Z
...
Tom Donaldson ...
John McGraw (as Tex Donaldson)
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Storyline

Eugene is an extraordinary talent in classic guitar, but he dreams of being a famous Blues guitarist. So he investigates to find a storied lost song. He asks the legendary Blues musician Willie Brown to help him, but Willie demands to free him from the old-people's prison first and to really learn the blues on the way to its origin: Mississippi Delta. Eugene doesn't know yet about Willie's deal with the devil, that he now wants to revoke. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

'The Kid' keeps the legend alive.... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Encruzilhada  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,839,031 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(partial)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Vai played both sides of the guitar duel, while acting as Jack Butler, the devil's guitarist. Ry Cooder recorded the slide parts and produced the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

Willie has money in his hands when he catches Frances sneaking out of their hotel room. Then his hands are empty before he goes to his bag to get money to give to Frances. See more »

Quotes

Scratch's Assistant: [Trying to intimidate Eugene] Well well well... who sent you here? Can't talk little man?
[laughs]
Scratch's Assistant: Bet ya can't play none, either!
Scratch's Assistant: [Eugene plugs in his guitar and stares back at him, saying nothing] Uh huh!
See more »


Soundtracks

IF I LOSE
Performed by Amy Madigan
Written by Ralph Stanley
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User Reviews

 
One of the best Blues movies ever and Walter Hill's finest film
3 November 2000 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

Other than "The Blues Brothers," I can't think of another modern film about the Blues as good as Walter Hill's "Crossroads." In the film, Ralph Macchio plays Eugene, an aspiring classical guitar prodigy at Julliard who is fascinated with the blues. He tracks down Willie Brown, one of the last living blues legends from the 40's, played by Joe Seneca. Eugene thinks Willie has the last song written by (real life) legendary Bluesman Robert Johnson, that was never recorded (the story is loosely tied to the life of Johnson). Eugene believes he can assist Willie is resurrecting the song and giving it to the world. However, Willie has other plans including teaching Eugene the true meaning of Blues music that requires a trip back to Willie's stomping ground on the Delta.

This is Hill's best film. Like "Crossroads", many of his films have interracial lead characters and Hill always gives a unique, honest slant on racism and social differences among these types of relationships (or if its an amicable relationship - the lack thereof). The script may be a little thin for some (Jami Gertz's character is a little weak, and she resorts to overacting too often), but Joe Seneca carries the movie with weathered grace as Eugene's fatigued hero who hopes of correcting his shady past in order to save his future. Ralph Macchio expertly plays a naive, impressionable teenager whose skill and love as a musician ultimately generates his confidence and even bull-headedness: he's a blues guitarist who knows what to play but not how to play it. And who can forget the "cutting heads" showdown at the end of the film? Eugene fights tool-and-nail against master guitarist Steve Vai as Jack Butler. The duel is ABSOLUTELY incredible, and no matter how many times I've seen it, I never get bored.

The tone and pacing of this film is tempered, quiet and casual, with none of its plot twists dipped in melodrama for maximum effect. Willie Brown's description of the South is never fully realized on screen, even it's bleakness is absent of any vivid cinematography, but this is overall a great film. As Willie tells Eugene late in the film, "Blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad." I love this movie!


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