How the Blues Brothers got made

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24 Responses to “How the Blues Brothers got made”

  1. lava says:

    Oh crap! Where can we read the 324pg first draft?

    • mccrum says:

      Judith Jacklin Belushi pretty much took all of Aykroyd’s script material and collated it into book form, published like a dossier Burton Mercer (Orange whip?  Orange whip?  Three orange whips.) had compiled.  It’s some hundred pages of pretty dense information. 

      As a guy who prides himself on knowing the Bluesmobile’s license plate or what kind of gas station Armond Cerami and Steven Williams are hiding behind when they pull over Elwood for proceeding through a yellow light, even I thought it was difficult to slog through at times.
      http://www.amazon.com/Blues-Brothers-Private-Judith-Jacklin/dp/0399504761

      Nevertheless, I do anticipate enjoying this VF article.

  2. Just_Ok says:

    “Embedding disabled by request”.
    Must be from one of those new scenes.

  3. ChickieD says:

    I enjoyed the article because it’s always nice to read about Aykroyd and Belushi in their heyday, but it didn’t say much that I couldn’t have already guessed – John Belushi was coked out? The script was a hot mess? 

    Then, the article concludes with a few sentences about how the movie got limited distribution because the theaters thought it was a black movie – and the next thing it says is that it then went on to make a killing. Ok, how did it go from being this joke of a movie with poor reviews and limited screenings to a megasuccess? What turned the tide? And when it says that the production was such a well-oiled machine, well, I’m curious who was making that happen since it obviously wasn’t the leads.

  4. xzzy says:

    I just wanna know what percentage of the $27.5 million the movie cost was spent on police cars.

  5. Steve Olsen says:

    I tried to like this film. There is something about it though… It makes me think of Bruce Willis playing Harmonica on SNL, which is a terrible thing for some reason. I think “Vanity Piece,” as mentioned in the article, is how my brain processes it. I think under different circumstances I could like it. I just haven’t found the right light to view it in. It’s actually a thing. People I trust like it and it bothers me to not be able to see it in the same light.

    • mccrum says:

      Some movies you just see too late in life to really get.  The time in your life where it would have been great has passed.  I tried to get a younger relative into Hitchhiker’s Guide recently, but once you get past college it’s tough to find the time to read about Arthur Dent’s madcap adventures.

      As a side note, your comment reminded me that I saw Bruce Willis play harmonica live with the Allman Brothers once.  Totally surreal.  Like watching a circus act of a dog walk a cat.

    • ChickieD says:

      I think one of the keys to understanding it is knowing just how serious Aykroyd is about the blues; he owned a blues bar and he is hard core about music. At the time it was made, people like Ray Charles and Cab Calloway were way off the radar screen for the youth culture. It is a silly movie, but what genius to make a movie that appealed to 20 year olds that included all this “old guy” music in it. I think if you have benefited from the blues revival that this movie started – all the alt-stuff that is so hip now, it’s hard to remember that these musicians were moldering away at the time it was filmed.

    • Sekino says:

      I understand the feeling. I have the exact same issue with The Princess Bride.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      The Willis comparison is going below the belt. When you consider the actual beginnings of “The Blues Brothers”, we’re talking about Willis doing his cynical vanity project almost a decade after the fact. In 79/80 traditional R/B and blues couldn’t have been any less popular with people at the time. Blondie, yacht rock, and disco songs were topping the charts, and Led Zeppelin were playing around with synthesizers* to put things in perspective…

      Music aside, I have a hard time thinking of any film that better serves as an elaborate, nuanced, and right on the money *cultural* love letter to a city, than this film does to Chicago.

      *God bless em’.

      • xzzy says:

        As a resident of the Chicago region, watching the blues brothers makes me almost appreciate the area for 133 minutes. 

        Then the credits roll and reality comes crashing back in.

    • Halloween_Jack says:

      For me, the movie has always been a number of great musical performances, by both the band and others, interspersed with some incredibly heavy-handed car-chase slapstick. John Landis, even more so than Ivan Reitman, had the benefit of working with some of the funniest people in America at the height of their game, and falls back on unfunny overkill when his stars can’t bring their own material.

  6. Edward says:

    Fantastic movie.

  7. 10xor01 says:

    Landis was surely on a mission from God.

  8. Jake0748 says:

    It’s a hundred and six miles to Chicago. We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.  

  9. Great movie and the soundtrack is also stellar, though it always bugged me that they left John Lee Hooker out of the soundtrack. He has a great cameo in the movie though.

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