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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The Blues Brothers: How John Landis choreographed chaos and destruction on a blockbuster scale | Hagerty Media

In the lexicon of "serious" car-flavored films, the 1980 release of The Blues Brothers may barely register on many people's radars, but when its automotive star-a 1974 Dodge Monaco-is introduced as having "...a 440 cubic inch plant" and "...it's a model made before catalytic converters, so it'll run good on regular gas," you just know that the beating heart of the story will click with gearheads.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/entertainment/blues-brothers-choreograph-chaos/
20 REPLIES 20
schnelica
Pit Crew

I don't want to provide any links here, but If you want to see something truly amazing, peruse the internet for side by side videos of the shopping mall chase reenacted in stop action with Legos.
topside
Detailer

Thanks for the article & info. I can't imagine that anyone fond of comedy, R&B, or car chases has not seen this movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Worthy of a re-viewing from time to time to escape - ironically - the absurdity all around us. Even better if you're originally from Chicago and recognize the landmarks & accent.
DaveB
Intermediate Driver

fantastic movie...
TonyT
Instructor

Yep, this movie made "Smokey and the Bandit" look like a high school film project. Even Top Gear tried to recreate the mall thing a couple of times!
margozp
Pit Crew

Fabulous movie for sure, one of my favorites! There was one other featured car that was worth a nod... the 1977 Grand Prix that Carrie Fisher drove.
Reinhold_Weege
Advanced Driver

My favorite action/comedy/musical.
KwikDraw
Pit Crew

As a young teenager, me and a friend saw this movie in the theater when it first came out.  Great movie.  I catch it on TV sometimes when flipping through the channels and still stop and watch it.

Tinkerah
Technician

The first Blues Brothers film is an absolute master class in film making on every level. From unique stunts (all practical, before widespread use of CG), comic writing and timing, music selection, managing ("massaging"?) local authorities to gain permission to stage dangerous stunts in a major city, managing a drug addicted star, etc., etc., etc. The film also exposed the blues legends who appeared in it to new audiences. A key moment that for me demonstrates Elwood's callous attitude toward the police: he doesn't turn Sam & Dave down during the traffic stop.
Tim
Instructor

I can't help but think that films like this will never happen again. From being able to convince the various authorities to allow certain stunts to be performed to the rising costs and stricter needs for safety to the "we can do it cheaper and safer with CGI", it's too easy to say "no" than "yes" to epic real-life stunts like this. CGI is great for sci-fi and fantasy, but when something is supposed to be "real" and it's replaced by CGI, something is lost in the translation. This reminds me of Bullitt, another film that would never be allowed to be made the same way (can you even imagine what it would take to close off so many streets in San Francisco?) 😄
DUB6
Technician

   Where did this all begin?  The French Connection?  No, likely even before that.  The Three Stooges?  Harold Lloyd?  Charlie Chaplin?  The Keystone Cops?  They've been wrecking cars for movies since they started making movies.

   Will they replace it all with CGI?  Yeah, probably.  But remember, CGI has already come a long way in the last 10 years or so.  I think it's likely that a car chase with this sort of mayhem will be made in the future that will feature CGI stunts that will be totally believable.  And possibly some stunt people's lives will be saved, along with some collectable cars.

Tinkerah
Technician

I think CG is already there. When it's done well it takes a trained eye to question it. I still marvel at Jurassic Park which was...THIRTY YEARS ago?!?
DUB6
Technician

Good point @Tinkerah .  It's come a long way.  Our middle son works for a helicopter company that - in addition to many other roles - provides aircraft for movie and TV shoots.  (Think Sicario and Kong, as examples.)  They do quite a bit of "live action" flying, but CG a ton of "multiple choppers" and "extreme flying" in amongst the real stuff.  Unless he tells me which things are real and which are faked in, I often cannot tell the difference.  And even then, I sometimes think he's telling me wrong, just to yank my chain a bit - sons are often like that, y'know!

 

 

DUB6
Technician

The movies, TV and commercials use a combination of real aircraft and CGI.  Sometimes there is one or two helicopters provided, and then the rest are dubbed in via computer simulation.  Not sure that'd work for car scenes, but it does indicate that @Tinkerah is correct - they can do almost anything with CGI today, and it's only going to keep getting better and better.

 

I told him they weren't this shiny in 1969...I told him they weren't this shiny in 1969...Remember the Kevin Hart Super Bowl commercial in 2016?  Just trailered back from Hollywood, ready for another paint job.Remember the Kevin Hart Super Bowl commercial in 2016? Just trailered back from Hollywood, ready for another paint job.Anyone else notice that they misspelled "Voodoo"?  Watch the commercial!Anyone else notice that they misspelled "Voodoo"? Watch the commercial!Some of the inventory in the warehouse.Some of the inventory in the warehouse.

MARK400
Intermediate Driver

What I would like to see would be Jake and Elwood in the 1974 Dodge Bluesmobile crashing through a line of imports (very fitting) in Fast and Furious 9 with Elwood smiling at Vin Diesel as he passes him by.
DUB6
Technician

I would pay full price to see this at an IMAX theatre!

CitationMan
Instructor

I remember walking through Dixie Square Mall as a youngster. Even though the movie was filmed in 1979, they did not demolish the vacant, decrepit mall until 2012.

Gary_Bechtold
Technician

As a (former) Chicagoan for most of my life I have been to or lived near many of the spots in The Blues Brothers. Combined with absolutely great music it is just one of my favorite movies. The recent Blu-Ray or 4K-Blu-ray the audio is just perfect. Stay away from Illinois Nazi's or penguins!
CitationMan
Instructor

The famous Blues Brothers Street mural from the Ray Charles scene made it to last year, but it is no more, unfortunately.

https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/06/16/iconic-rays-music-exchange-mural-from-blues-brothers-dance-s...

Gary_Bechtold
Technician

I give the like for the story provided, but I don't like the story that the mural is gone.  So sad!  But like lots of things I love in Chicago it joins the list of things that couldn't survive the toxic environment of politics, taxes and/or covid. 

CitationMan
Instructor

And that’s why I no longer live there. Leaving that mess behind for NC was the best thing I ever did, and the wonderful driving roads down here are just icing on the cake.