They say rock 'n' roll never dies, but one early morning in 1964, Eddie Wilson's car took a dive off a New Jersey bridge with the troubled rock idol at the wheel. His body was never found. Twenty years after the lead singer of Eddie and the Cruisers disappeared, the band's songs are hotter than ever. And renewed interest in the band leads television reporter Maggie Foley to pursue a tantalizing mystery: What if Eddie is still alive? The circumstances surrounding his death are just shadowy enough to make it a distinct possibility, and someone (could it be Eddie?) has been ransacking the homes of the surviving band members in a desperate search for tapes of the group's visionary, never-released album. As Maggie interviews the former band members, the pieces of the puzzle start to fit - but only until still deeper mysteries begin to surface.Written by
MGM/UA Home Video
The Fender Stratocaster guitar used by Michael Paré as Eddie Wilson in the concert scenes formerly belonged to John Lyon, a technical consultant for the film. Lyon is better known as Southside Johnny Lyon, leader of the New Jersey shore band the Asbury Jukes, and longtime friend and frequent collaborator of Bruce Springsteen. See more »
Early in the movie, we see Frank in his car driving to the high school where he teaches, listening to one of the old Cruisers songs being played on New York City radio station WNEW-FM. Later, when he's reunited with Doc, he says he's teaching in Vineland (NJ). With the range of FM radio limited by "line of sight" (and not bouncing like AM signals do), there is no way he could listen to WNEW-FM that far down in south Jersey. See more »
[after he and Joann arrived at the Palace of Depression]
You actually believe that you could build a castle out of a bunch of junk. What a crock.
[looks at the mirror briefly]
Holy shit. What a phony.
[smashes the mirror angrily]
Here we are, guys. Right where we belong. You got your Edsels... Norges... Dumonts... and Eddie Wilson. Together at last, creating our own incredible monument to nothing!
[shouts and claps his hands]
Here's to nothing, fellas! Here's to nothing!
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Mystery surrounds the death of a rising rock star in director Martin Davidson's `Eddie and the Cruisers,' starring Tom Berenger and Michael Pare. With one successful album under their belts, lead singer and guitarist Eddie Wilson (Pare) takes his Cruisers into the recording studio to make an album he hopes will stand the world on its collective ear. Drawing the title from a work by Nineteenth Century poet Arthur Rimbaud, they begin to lay down tracks for `A Season In Hell.' But all is not well with Eddie and the band; there is dissent, and at least one among them, bassist Sal Amato (Matthew Laurance) disagrees with the direction in which Eddie has taken their music. Early one morning, toward the end of the recording sessions, Eddie's car goes off a bridge into the river; his body is never found. Now, eighteen years later, a reporter, Maggie Foley (Ellen Barkin) is doing a story on the Cruisers, and attempting to uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of the master tapes from the recording sessions, which inexplicably vanished the day after Eddie's apparent death. Pare is perfectly cast as Eddie, the Bruce Springsteen-like rocker; he lip-synchs convincingly to John Cafferty's vocals and deftly captures the persona of an early sixties rock n' roll idol on the rise. Tom Berenger (who is actually the star of the movie) does an excellent job as lyricist Frank Ridgeway, the keyboard player known as `Word Man' by the band. Davidson tells the story by effectively using flashbacks, through which we get to know Eddie and his band, and which establishes the relationships so pertinent to the present day conflicts which emerge during Foley's investigation of Eddie and the missing tapes. The focus is mainly on Ridgeway, therefore as the story unfolds it is predominately from his perspective that we learn what really happened, especially on that last night in the recording studio. That there is a comparison being drawn between Eddie and Jim Morrison of The Doors is unmistakable; the plot draws heavily on the myth that Morrison (and Eddie) is still alive and may have `Pulled a Rimbaud.' Poet Rimbaud (who is considered a genius, and to whom the creation of the form of modern poetry as we know it is attributed) committed `artistic suicide' at the age of nineteen, at which time he abruptly quit writing and disappeared for the next twenty years, only to reappear at last on his deathbed in France. That the title of Rimbaud's masterpiece is `A Season In Hell' is no coincidence. The parallels are drawn convincingly, which heightens the interest and adds to the credibility of the mystery. The supporting cast includes Joe Pantoliano (Doc), Helen Schneider (Joann), David Wilson (Kenny), Michael Antunes (Wendell) and Kenny Vance (Lew). An excellent soundtrack of original songs, written and performed by John Cafferty, provided Davidson with a solid base from which to launch his story. `Eddie and the Cruisers' is entertaining, if not entirely memorable, but the music and performances are good, and all in all this movie will do for a pleasant evening's viewing, with maybe a little popcorn thrown in for effect. If you haven't seen this one, try it out; I think you'll be glad you didn't let it pass you by. I rate this one 7/10.
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