7.9/10
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352 user 139 critic

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
1,529 ( 987)

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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:

They're Back 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

The Howard Johnson's in the film was the real-life O'Hare Oasis, located on the Illinois Tollway. The Oases were tollway service plazas. See more »

Goofs

When returning to Chicago from Wisconsin, Jake and Elwood approach the city from the south, entering Lake Shore Drive from McCormick Place, when in reality, they should have approached the city from the north, as the police officer had stated earlier that the brothers were southbound. Jake and Elwood ultimately would have had to drive through the city to reach that location, short of driving west by dozens of miles to bypass it. 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

Woman on the Cutting Room Floor See more »

Alternate Versions

Some network TV prints omit the Universal globe logo at the end, and replace the Universal Studios logos with the "Ask Babs" byline at the end of the closing credits with scenes from their "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" number followed by the Universal Studios Globe Logo. See more »

Connections

Featured in 1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Let the Good Times Roll
Written by Spo-De-Odee and Fleecie Moore
Performed by Louis Jordan
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
They're On A Mission...
14 December 2001 | by jhcluesSee all my reviews

It started out as a bit on Saturday Night Live, and grew into probably THE most successful movie ever to have had it's genesis in that particular medium. And who would've thought that a couple of character actor/comedians would emerge from an innovative four-or-five minute act as `legendary' bluesmen of their era? Which is exactly what John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd did after first taking their show on the road as an opening act for the likes of Steve Martin, and then parlaying it into a feature length motion picture, `The Blues Brothers,' directed by John Landis. When Joliet Jake Blues (Belushi) is released from prison, his brother Elwood (Aykroyd) is there to pick him up, in-- of all things-- a used police car. And it doesn't bode well for this particular pair of out-of-work musicians, who on a visit to the orphanage in which they grew up discover that it is about to be shut down unless some taxes are paid on it, and soon. But what can Jake and Elwood do to help? They're broke. Well, after a bit of pondering and a couple of good production numbers later, Jake sees the light (literally), and it all becomes perfectly clear: They have to put their band back together and stage a concert, the proceeds of which should more than pay for the taxes on the orphanage. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it, and don't tell Jake and Elwood it's not possible, because they're on a mission from God...

It's a fairly simple plot, told in a straightforward manner by Landis, who creates a visually stimulating and aurally satisfying movie that follows the adventures of the Brothers Blues as they travel around the good state of Illinois, seeking out the members of their former band and formulating their plan to save the orphanage. Along the way they run afoul of a country/western band, incite the ire of some Illinois Nazis, ingratiate themselves to the diners in a classy restaurant, wreck an entire mall and generally wreak havoc wherever they go. It's a total rush of excitement, backed with a blur of real blues, served up by some of the truly legendary performers of our time, like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway (doing his trademark `Minnie the Moocher') and John Lee Hooker. Not to mention the `band' itself, comprised of Steve `The Colonel' Cropper, Donald `Duck' Dunn, Murphy Dunne, Willie Hall, Tom `Bones' Malone, Lou `Blue Lou' Marini, Matt `Guitar' Murphy and `Mr. Fabulous' himself, Alan Rubin, all there to back the incomparable vocal stylings of Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues, who are determined to save their old home, now under the auspices of `The Penguin,' Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman). But one question remains to be answered: Who is Camille Ztdetelik (Carrie Fisher), and just what is she trying to do to Jake?

Without question, this was a great gig for Belushi and Aykroyd, who to millions of people ARE, and will forever be, the `Blues Brothers.' And forevermore shall they be linked in the memories of anyone who has seen this movie, heard their records or caught their act on SNL. Dan Aykroyd has gone on to have a successful and varied career in movies, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (for `Driving Miss Daisy' in 1989), while John Belushi, of course, left us quite suddenly and way too soon, just as his career was on the rise. Were they great singers? Of course not; but they were accomplished performers who sagely surrounded themselves with the best of the best, a `band's' band that really made this gig work, because the music worked. Add to that the energy, excitement and passion they themselves brought to it, and you have their formula for success, which can be measured by the strong following they still enjoy to this day. And what a pity that Belushi isn't around to realize it.

Memorable in supporting roles are John Candy as Burton Mercer (who uttered the unforgettable line, `Orange whip? Orange whip?--); Henry Gibson as the steel-eyed head Nazi; Steve Lawrence, as agent Maury Sline; Charles Napier as Tucker McElroy, `Lead singer and driver of the Winnebago'; and Jeff Morris, who will always be remembered as Bob, owner of `Bob's Country Bunker,' the place with `both' kinds of music, Country `and' Western.

The additional supporting cast includes Steven Williams (Trooper Mount), Armand Cerami (Trooper Daniel), Layne Britton (The `Cheese Whiz'), Ralph Foody (Police Dispatcher) and John Landis (Trooper La Fong). Also, watch for cameos by Paul Reubens (Waiter), Frank Oz (Corrections Officer), Twiggy Lawson (Chic Lady) and Steven Spielberg as the County Clerk. A thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable movie, filled with memorable scenes and lines you'll be quoting for years to come (Aykroyd, in that `clipped' Elwood Blues delivery, to Tucker McElroy: `We'll, ah-- we'll talk to Bob--'), `The Blues Brothers' is a great film-- not in the sense of a film that should have walked away with a bagful of Oscars, but great for what it is and for the special place it holds in the history of the cinema. And, yes, it does have a place all it's own. Because a movie doesn't have to be `Citizen Kane,' or `Gone With the Wind' to be `great.' It's the ones that make you feel something for whatever reason, or make you laugh; the ones you remember because they're unique or have left their imprint on our culture in some way. So, check `All of the above,' or add your own reasons. For all that it's worth, this is the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.


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