Blast From The Past: The Blues Brothers

Parker Otto

Illinois, Chicago in particular, has been the subject of many films including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “The Fugitive” and “Wayne’s World.” However, all of these films can’t hold a candle to one of the most endearing symbols of Illinois in popular culture; “The Blues Brothers.”

The film follows a pair of black suit, sunglasses and fedora clad brothers: Elwood and ‘Joliet’ Jake Blues, played by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, who reform their band to save their childhood home. Along the way they make enemies of the police, a country-western band and Illinois Nazis as well as encounter many celebrity cameos such as James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. This all comes to a head in the most over the top, comedically violent car chase of all cinema. It’s practically a modern-day version of the chariot race from “Ben-Hur” but with Illinois Nazis.

Also featured is a rocking soundtrack with classic rock and roll, country and, of course, rhythm and blues music. The musical sequences comedically appear out of nowhere which makes them even more entertaining. There’s passion in this film the likes of which cinema may never see again. But the key part of the film is the script which is cluttered with physical and witty humor, car wrecks and enough obscenities to make Gordon Ramsey red in the face.

The film has since become a cultural icon with the classic catchphrase, “we’re on a mission from God,” becoming a recognizable movie quote and is was voted the Greatest Film Made or Shot in Illinois in a poll conducted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The Blues Brothers” is a comedic masterpiece and can be depended on for the right amount of music and humor.