Those Beautiful Blues

This is glue, strong stuff - Elwood

Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in The Blues Brothers (1980)

Is "The Blues Brothers" one of the greatest movies ever made? In truth no but it is certainly one of the most entertaining movies ever made. From the mighty duo of John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd as Jake & Elwood through to the countless cameo appearances and of course the incredible music every second of this 80s movie is a joy. In fact "The Blues Brothers" is so good that pretty much every other movie which has been born from an SNL skit has failed to match up to it.

Now "The Blues Brothers" is a simple enough movie as after Elwood picks up his brother Jake from prison in a former police car having sold the Cadillac for a microphone they pay the Penguin a visit at the Catholic orphanage where they grew up. It is there that they learn that unless $5,000 is paid within 11 days the orphanage will be closed down so after some divine intervention Jake & Elwood go on a mission from God to put the band back together to raise the money. It is a mission which sees them have numerous run ins with Neo-Nazis and a country and western band whilst also having the police on their tail. But nothing will stop them including a mysterious women hell bent on blowing them up.

Cab Calloway in The Blues Brothers (1980)

So what that really means is that pretty much as soon as "The Blues Brothers" start it becomes a chase movie as Jake & Elwood have their first run in with the law. After that the movie occasionally takes a break from the chases which grow as other people join in the chase to tell the story. But in truth most of the stops are for the musical numbers and there are lots of musical numbers. From the brilliant "Theme from Rawhide" to Ray Charles singing "Shake a Tail Feather" and there are many more. It is the musical numbers which make the movie as they are not only great songs but they are all performed with a sense of fun and spectacle.

But that also leads me to the supporting cast because it goes without saying that John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are great from start to finish. But to put it simply again "The Blues Brothers" has one of the most impressive casts going with actors such as John Candy and Carrie Fisher in the mix with musicians such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway and James Brown. It is this mix of actors and musicians who make every scene entertaining with a sense of not knowing what is going to happen next.

Now to be honest I could go on and tell you about the humour, from a giant speaker on top of a car to Elwood stealing food from a service station or about a spectacular chase scene but in truth there is far too much to say as we are talking 133 minutes of unforgettable fun. So what this all boils down to is that "The Blues Brothers" is a great piece of entertainment which is as good now some 30 plus years after it was release as it was back in 1980.

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