“The Blues Brothers” remains a classic



Photo courtesy of rodneyolson.net



“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

Easily one of the most memorable lines in all of moviedom, I still wish I had a pair of classic Wayfarer shades every time I hear it.  If I could be nearly as cool as John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, my life would be complete.  But alas, I must settle for simply praising them.

Originating from a “Saturday Night Live” sketch where the two satirized the blues music scene, “The Blues Brothers,” released in 1980, was a surprise hit with a star-studded cast and an eventual cult following.

The movie starts off with Jake (Belushi) being released from prison. As the movie progresses, there are cameos and appearances from James Brown, John Candy, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Carrie Fisher, and John Lee Hooker, just to name a few.  Even with that incredible cast, the movie would have been nothing without Belushi’s and Aykroyd’s outstanding performances.

The two brothers careen throughout Illinois, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.  From angry rednecks to perturbed state troopers, there is no lack of colorful characters in this movie.  Jake and Elwood (Aykroyd) manage to reunite their band so they can attempt to save their old orphanage from tax foreclosure, but along the way they meet blues legends that help out the band, including Ray Charles and Cab Calloway.

Not only was this movie a commercial hit, it helped bring to light the struggling blues industry and helped reignite America’s passion in rhythm and blues.

Belushi and Aykroyd spawned an enormous following from this movie and both went on to lead ridiculously successful careers in acting.

Of course, John Belushi died March 5, 1982.  Rest in peace, noble sir.  Belushi lived fast and laughed often.  Some might say he was “on a mission from God.”

Anyway, it is your duty as somebody that has a pulse and claims to be an American to watch this masterpiece.  If I could rate this movie higher than an A+, I most certainly would.  May the spirit of John Belushi be with you.


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