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>
The script was an original by John Fusco, who had long been interested in blues music. He worked as a blues singer and musician but been warned to rest his vocals by a doctor. In 1981 his girlfriend, who was working at a rest home, told him that an old black man with a harmonica had been admitted. Fusco went to visit him and on the way dreamt up a story about what would happen if the player was a legendary blues player. This gave him the idea for the story. See more »
When Eugene and Willie are drinking whiskey after Frances leaves, Eugene starts playing his Telecaster. You can clearly hear a "tremolo effect", even though the guitar is plugged straight into the amp; the "Pignose 7-100" amplifier does not have any effects. See more »
One of the best Blues movies ever and Walter Hill's finest film
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!
30 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this