IMDb > Crossroads (1986)
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Crossroads (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Fusco (written by)
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Release Date:
14 March 1986 (USA) See more »
'The Kid' keeps the legend alive.... See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
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User Reviews:
Cult Classic with Incredible Music! See more (78 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ralph Macchio ... Eugene Martone

Joe Seneca ... Willie Brown

Jami Gertz ... Frances

Joe Morton ... Scratch's Assistant
Robert Judd ... Scratch

Steve Vai ... Jack Butler

Dennis Lipscomb ... Lloyd

Harry Carey Jr. ... Bartender

John Hancock ... Sheriff Tilford

Allan Arbus ... Dr. Santis

Gretchen Palmer ... Beautiful Girl / Dancer
Al Fann ... Pawnbroker
Wally Taylor ... O.Z

Tim Russ ... Robert Johnson
Tom Donaldson ... John McGraw (as Tex Donaldson)

Guy Killum ... Willie at 17

Akosua Busia ... Woman at Boardinghouse
Edward Walsh ... Harley Tethune

Allan Graf ... Alvin
Royce Wallace ... Hotel Proprietress
J.W. Smith ... Man at Auto Wrecking Yard

Diana Bellamy ... Hospital Supervisor
Johnny M. Reyes ... Orderly

Karen Huie ... Nurse #1
Robin Townsend ... Nurse #2
Jeanne Kiely ... Nurse #3
Winifred Freedman ... Nurse #4
Dolores Aguanno ... Nurse #5
Debra Laws ... Nurse #6

Diane Robin ... Nurse #7
Leslie Morris ... Bus Station Clerk
Gloria Delaney ... Jookhouse Woman #1

Jo Marie Payton ... Jookhouse Woman #2 (as Jo Marie Payton-France)

Angela Robinson Witherspoon ... Jookhouse Woman #3 (as Angela Robinson)
Deborra Hampton ... Jookhouse Woman #4
Le Van Hawkins ... Jookhouse Man #1
Jason Ross ... Jookhouse Man #2
Natasha Peacock ... Young Girl at Crossroads
Agnes Narciso ... Miss Narciso
Frank Frost ... Jookhouse Musician (Harmonica / Vocalist)
John Price ... Jookhouse Musician (Drums)
Otis Taylor ... Jookhouse Musician (Lead Guitar)
Richard 'Shubby' Holmes ... Jookhouse Musician (Bass Guitar)
Terry L. Evans ... Jookhouse Musician (Keyboard)
Bobby A. King ... Guitar Duel Sequence Singer #1
Sam King ... Guitar Duel Sequence Singer #2
Arnold McCuller ... Guitar Duel Sequence Singer #3
Willie J. Greene Jr. ... Guitar Duel Sequence Singer #4
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Marina Anderson ... Barfly (uncredited)

John Otrin ... Paramedic (uncredited)
Cal Wilson ... Jookhouse Man #3 (uncredited)

Directed by
Walter Hill 
Writing credits
John Fusco (written by)

Produced by
Mark Carliner .... producer
Mae Woods .... associate producer
Tim Zinnemann .... executive producer
Original Music by
Ry Cooder 
Cinematography by
John Bailey 
Film Editing by
Freeman A. Davies  (as Freeman Davies)
Casting by
Judith Holstra 
Marcia Ross 
Production Design by
Jack T. Collis 
Art Direction by
Albert Heschong 
Set Decoration by
Marvin March 
Makeup Department
Michael Germain .... makeup artist
Dagmar Loesch .... hair stylist
Production Management
Raymond Hartwick .... unit production manager (as Ray Hartwick)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chris Soldo .... first assistant director
Barry K. Thomas .... dga trainee
Robert Yannetti .... second assistant director (as Bob Yannetti)
Art Department
Sam Brinson .... labor foreman
Robert L. Clark .... paint foreman (as Robert Clark)
Dennis DeWaay .... construction coordinator (as Dennis DeWay)
Steve Fegley .... construction foreman (as Steven E. Fegley)
Paul Myerberg .... lead man
Terry Nagel .... construction foreman
Nancy Patton .... set designer
Lawrence Ross Shepard .... construction gang boss (as Larry Shephard)
James E. Tocci .... set designer
Rick Young .... property master
Edward Zingelewicz .... stand-by painter (as Edward Louis Zingelewicz)
Sound Department
Andy Aaron .... sound effects recordist
Randle Akerson .... sound editor
James Cavarretta .... sound recordist
Anna R. Delanzo .... cable person
John P. Fasal .... special sound effects
Carl Fischer .... boom operator
Richard Bryce Goodman .... production sound mixer
Maggie Greenwood .... assistant sound editor
Mike Haney .... sound recordist
Rick Kline .... re-recording mixer
Bonnie Koehler .... supervising sound editor
Janet Fiona Mason .... assistant sound editor (as Janet Mason)
Donald O. Mitchell .... re-recording mixer
Kevin O'Connell .... re-recording mixer
Beth Sterner .... sound editor
David E. Stone .... sound editor
Gary Wright .... foley editor
Avram D. Gold .... adr editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Lawrence J. Cavanaugh .... special effects coordinator (as Larry Cavanaugh)
Camera and Electrical Department
Lou Barlia .... camera operator (as Louis Barlia)
Frederick Hamm .... second assistant camera
Dustin A. Huber .... best boy electric
Al LaVerde .... key grip
Ronald W. McLeish .... chief lighting technician
Richard A. Mention III .... first assistant camera
Ron Phillips .... still photographer
John Powers .... grip
George R. Schrader .... dolly grip
Ty Suehiro .... best boy grip
Gary A. Theard .... playback operator
Stephen Vaughan .... still photographer
Edmond Wright .... grip
Michael Hofstein .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Ann Lukacs .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Richard Walden .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dan Moore .... costumer: men
Barbara Siebert .... costumer: women (as Barbara Siebert-Bolticoff)
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Carmel Davies .... assistant film editor
Robert Hernandez .... assistant film editor
Robert Raring .... color timer
Yôko Seto .... assistant film editor
Location Management
Eric Schwab .... location manager
Music Department
Martin J. Bram .... music editor
Scott Grusin .... music editor
Mark Ettel .... score engineer (uncredited)
Bill Kanengiser .... musician: guitar double (uncredited)
Jim Keltner .... musician: drums (uncredited)
Arlen Roth .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Dan Anglin .... transportation coordinator
Ron Riner .... transportation captain
Billy G. Arter .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Sheila Barnes .... production associate
Hilary Clark .... unit publicist
Jan Kemper .... script supervisor
Shari Leibowitz .... production office coordinator
Mary Meacham .... title designer
Marie Pastor .... production associate
Ken Ryan .... production auditor
Stan Rodarte .... stand-in: Ralph Macchio (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
99 min
Black and White (partial) | Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Lightning Boy claims that he came from Long Island, where Steve Vai was born.See more »
Continuity: When Willie and Eugene buy the Telecaster at the pawn shop, they saw off a piece of metal tubing to make Eugene a "bottleneck" to play guitar with. Later, in a close-up, he uses an actual glass bottleneck.See more »
Frances:Blind Dog and Lightning Boy? Who the hell are you guys supposed to be?
Eugene Martone:We're bluesmen...
Willie Brown:*I'm* the bluesman, he's from Long Island!
See more »
Movie Connections:


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44 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
Cult Classic with Incredible Music!, 9 December 2003
Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada

CROSSROADS (Walter Hill's Blues film, NOT Britney Spears' self-indulgent 2002 fluff) is a terrific introduction to a uniquely American 'sound', with a remarkable cast and southern 'atmosphere'. It has always astonished me that the film was not a hit when released, in 1986, but it's status as a cult classic is certainly well-deserved, with subsequent films like the Coens' O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? 'borrowing' the Robert Johnson subplot and many of the visual elements. Perhaps the film, with it's magnificent Ry Cooder score, was just too far ahead of it's time, a strange criticism to apply to a Blues movie!

The tale involves young Long Island guitar prodigy Eugene 'Lightning Boy' Martone (Ralph Macchio), a rebel at the Julliard School with his passion for the Blues ("Primitive music," one professor sneers), who is on a quest to recover legendary guitarist Robert Johnson's fabled "30th Song" of 1938. His research leads him to a New York nursing home, where fabled harmonica player Willie Brown (the late actor/singer/songwriter Joe Seneca) is confined. Promising to 'give' the song to the youngster if he can be "busted out" and returned to his Mississippi home, the pair are soon on a cross-country trip, with Martone learning about discrimination, the 'darker' side of Man, and love's loss (through a brief encounter with Jami Gertz, who was never lovelier), providing him with the core of sadness Brown says is essential to truly play the Blues.

The climax of the film is legendary; arriving home, Brown, who had 'sold his soul' to the Devil at the 'Crossroads' as a young man (just as his friend, Johnson, had), attempts to get 'Scratch' (skeletal Robert Judd) to tear up the contract. The Devil informs him that he will, only if Martone can defeat his Champion in a 'Guitar Duel'. If the youngster loses, his soul, as well as Brown's, will be lost, forever. Martone rashly agrees ("I don't believe any of this crap anyway!"), and he and Brown find themselves in a church converted into a dance hall, with demons and lost souls cavorting to the rock strains of insanely talented Jack Butler (Frank Zappa guitarist/composer Steve Vai). With only his love of the Blues, Julliard training, and Brown's 'ju-ju' to aid him, the humbled Martone must play for far more than his life, in a guitar 'Duel' with the rocker (both parts were actually performed by the astonishingly gifted Vai) that is so fabulous that it is amazing that it was NOT included in the soundtrack album!

Walter Hill was no stranger to music-themed fantasies (he also directed another 'ahead of it's time' cult film, STREETS OF FIRE), and with CROSSROADS he took a simple storyline, and turned it into an unforgettable musical experience.

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