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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.

Director:

John Landis
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Popularity
852 ( 97)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Belushi ... 'Joliet' Jake Blues (as Jake)
Dan Aykroyd ... Elwood Blues (as Elwood)
James Brown ... Reverend Cleophus James
Cab Calloway ... Curtis
Ray Charles ... Ray
Aretha Franklin ... Mrs. Murphy
Steve Cropper ... Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper
Donald Dunn ... Donald 'Duck' Dunn (as Donald 'Duck' Dunn)
Murphy Dunne Murphy Dunne ... Murphy 'Murph' Dunne
Willie Hall Willie Hall ... Willie 'Too Big' Hall
Tom Malone Tom Malone ... Tom 'Bones' Malone
Lou Marini Lou Marini ... 'Blue Lou' Marini
Matt Murphy ... Matt 'Guitar' Murphy
Alan Rubin Alan Rubin ... Alan 'Mr. Fabulous' Rubin
Carrie Fisher ... Mystery Woman
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Storyline

After the release of Jake Blues from prison, he and brother Elwood go to visit "The Penguin", the last of the nuns who raised them in a boarding school. They learn the Archdiocese will stop supporting the school and will sell the place to the Education Authority. The only way to keep the place open is if the $5000 tax on the property is paid within 11 days. The Blues Brothers want to help, and decide to put their blues band back together and raise the money by staging a big gig. As they set off on their "mission from God" they seem to make more enemies along the way. Will they manage to come up with the money in time? Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Dangerous Combination Since Nitro and Glycerine. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of the Blues Brothers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,858,152, 22 June 1980, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$57,229,890

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$115,229,890, 31 December 1983
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints)| Mono (optical prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the public restroom where the Good Ole Boys' front man discovers the graffiti, and 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 and Elwood. Baker was the Special Make-up Effects Artist for John Landis' first feature film, Schlock (1973). Following the Blues Brothers, Landis called on Baker's talents once again for An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Michael Jackson's long-form music video Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983). See more »

Goofs

During the big concert at the end, when Jake and Elwood are being introduced, it's obvious that Willie is not hitting the cymbal and is, instead, playing air drums. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prison Guard #1: Yeah, the Assistant Warden wants this one out of the block early. Wants to get it over with fast.
Prison Guard #2: Okay, let's do it.
[rattling the bars with his baton]
Prison Guard #1: Hey come on, it's time to wake up.
Prison Guard #2: Wake up. Let's go, it's time.
[striking the sleeping Jake with his baton]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Many of the film's crew members are shown singing "Jailhouse Rock" (as the credit "Crew" appears on-screen) during the final number. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Collectors' Edition on DVD runs 18 minutes longer than the original release and includes the following expanded or newly added scenes:
  • The two Joilet guards come to get Jake in his cell and have trouble waking him up.
  • One additional line from Frank Oz as he rattles off Jake's material possessions.
  • An additional line for the Penguin regarding missions: "I'll be sent to the missions... Africa, Latin America... Korea."
  • Jake and Elwood discuss getting the money for the mission honestly outside of the Triple Rock Baptist Church.
  • The "The Old Landmark" number is considerably longer, incorporating more dance sequences and extra verses.
  • After the demolition derby in the shopping mall Elwood parks the Bluesmobile in a hiding place beside an electrical power box. (John Landis explains that Aykroyd thought this would show how the car gets its incredible endurance, but also goes on to explain that it never did make any sense, so the scene was cut.)
  • A few extra lines of dialog when Elwood and Jake rest in his apartment.
  • When the cops come to arrest Jake and Elwood in the motel, they first stop at the registration desk and intimidate the manager. They also greet Sam, who seems to be known by everyone.
  • An entire sequence with Elwood boosting chemicals from his day job, then quitting the job to become a priest, is restored.
  • After the above sequence, Jake and Elwood study a cigarette box with "the last known address of Bones Malone and Blue Lou Marini".
  • After getting the new address of Bones Malone, Elwoods thanks Ms Tarantino before leaving.
  • Jake has an extra line of dialog while pep-talking Murph and the Magictones at the Holiday Inn ("Now, who here at this table can honestly say that they played any finer or felt any better than they did when they played with the Blues Brothers?")
  • One line of dialog for Henry Gibson is restored for the Illinois Nazis scene at the bridge, with regards to the swastika ("The sacred and ancient symbol of your race since the beginning of time!")
  • The "Boom Boom" number is much longer, with extra shots of John Lee Hooker laughing and arguing with his band. Jake and Elwood watch for a moment then enter the Soul Food Cafe.
  • "Think" has extra verses and shots of dancing.
  • When the band arrives at Bob's Country Bunker, Bob hands the request list to Bones Malone, who looks at it blankly.
  • The "Theme from Rawhide" and "Stand By Your Man" numbers are slightly longer.
  • The original Picwood preview included another musical number, "Sink the Bismark", but that footage has been lost.
  • More lines of dialog for Maury Sline in the steam room scene, mostly regarding to the old gigs having been turned into (gay) discos.
  • When Jake fills up the tank for the Bluesmobile, he overfills it and gas spills over. When they peel out from the station, Elwood flicks a cigarette out of the window and causes the station to explode. (Landis now says he doesn't remember why this particular scene was cut.)
  • Before the sound-check Curtis (Cab Calloway) explains to the band that they need to do it for the kids, since the Blues Brothers will use the money raised from that concert to pay the taxes for a church. The look on the faces of the band after they hear it is priceless!
  • The "Minnie the Moocher" number is considerably extended.
  • As Jake and Elwood sneak into the show, Elwood takes the chemicals that he stole from the show and sneaks them into the tires of the cop cars.
  • Both the "Everybody Needs Someone to Love" and "Sweet Home Chicago" numbers are extended.
  • When Jake and Elwood sneak out, the gas in the cop cars tires reacts and causes the tires to explode on some to delay the police.
  • An alternate line of dialog for Carrie Fisher in the sewer when she confronts Jake, about how her father "used up her last favors" with the Mafia for her wedding. In the original release it was changed due to complaints of the Italian-American community.
  • The lengthy climactic chase to (and through) Chicago features many extra lines and shots of racing autos.
  • The "assault on Daley plaza" and the Assessor's Office scenes also feature extra lines and shots.
  • The "Jailhouse Rock" number is slightly longer.
  • As the prisoners riot at the end of the film, there is a brief shot of riot-geared police guards racing into the mess hall that has been added. It changes the end of the film subtly.
  • The "cast of characters" and end credits are extended to accommodate the new footage.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in City of Heroes (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Boogie Chillun
Written and performed by John Lee Hooker
Courtesy of Fantasy Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Nitro and Glycerin
15 August 2000 | by mcstackSee all my reviews

A musical comedy action fantasy should not work, especially when one considers that it is the first SNL skit-to-screen adventure (which, history has shown us, is a decidedly mixed bag). But this one does. Two of the best car chases in cinematic history bookend the film, and in between there are show-stopping musical numbers, raw humor, Illinois Nazis, and a seriously disgruntled ex-fiancee. And it all makes perfect sense in the context of the universe created by Aykroyd (who co-wrote), Landis (who directed), and Belushi (his barely contained zeal provides the battery pack for this film).

Jake (Belushi) and Elwood (Aykroyd) are the former front men of a broken down blues band (actually a stunning collection of blues talent) which disbanded after Jake was arrested several years before. Upon his release, he discovers that his boyhood orphanage home is about to be foreclosed upon for non-payment of property taxes. Beaten up by a nun, sung to by James Brown, and touched by God, Jake sees the light and seeks to put the band together for one last show -- a charity benefit to save the orphanage.

Their journey takes them from James Brown to Aretha Franklin to Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker to Cab Calloway. The movie showcases the overwhelming talent of singers, musicians, and genres long out of vogue with popular musical tastes. Indeed, this movie is a vehicle for giving these performers a chance to shine -- to bring their music back to the masses and ultimately into pop-culture immortality (to go along with their more prestigious musical immortality).

This film is guaranteed to make you tap your feet, laugh out loud, gasp as both a mall and and entire fleet of Chicago police cars are destroyed, and believe in the magical powers of an old cop car. Like I said, it's a musical comedy action fantasy.

And it works.


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