The Blues Brothers: An Epic Friendship, the Rise of Improv, and the Making of an American Film Classic (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
The Blues Brothers: An Epic Friendship, the Rise of Improv, and the Making of an American Film Classic By Daniel de Visé Cover Image

The Blues Brothers: An Epic Friendship, the Rise of Improv, and the Making of an American Film Classic (Hardcover)


On Our Shelves Now
Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe (55 Haywood St, Asheville)
1 on hand, as of May 30 12:51pm

Staff Reviews

Daniel de Visé brings '70s cultural landmarks back vividly: the early years of SNL, Animal House, the Blues Brothers, and especially the chemistry between John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.  What was new to me was the deep respect they had for the earlier blues performers, and their dedication to getting them recognized. They may have used 'white privilege' to get the movie made, but Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and others saw a well-deserved resurgence in fame because of them. Time to get my signed Blues Brothers tour t-shirt out of the drawer and wear it proudly.  If you live long enough, you really do see all the good bands.

— Rosemary

The story of the epic friendship between John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, the golden era of improv, and the making of a comedic film classic that helped shape our popular culture

"They're not going to catch us," Dan Aykroyd, as Elwood Blues, tells his brother Jake, played by John Belushi. "We're on a mission from God." So opens the musical action comedy The Blues Brothers, which hit theaters on June 20, 1980. Their scripted mission was to save a local Chicago orphanage. But Aykroyd, who conceived and wrote much of the film, had a greater mission: to honor the then-seemingly forgotten tradition of rhythm and blues, some of whose greatest artists--Aretha Franklin, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles--made the film as unforgettable as its wild car chases. Much delayed and vastly over budget, beset by mercurial and oft drugged-out stars, The Blues Brothers opened to outraged reviews. However, in the 44 years since, it has been acknowledged a classic: it has been inducted into the National Film Registry for its cultural significance, even declared a "Catholic classic" by the Church itself, and re-aired thousands of times on television to huge worldwide audiences. It is, undeniably, one of the most significant films of the twentieth century.

The story behind any classic is rich; the saga behind The Blues Brothers, as Daniel de Vis reveals, is epic, encompassing the colorful childhoods of Belushi and Aykroyd; the comedic revolution sparked by Harvard's Lampoon and Chicago's Second City; the birth and anecdote-rich, drug-filled early years of Saturday Night Live, where the Blues Brothers were born as an act amidst turmoil and rivalry; and, of course, the indelible behind-the-scenes narrative of how the film was made, scene by memorable scene. Based on original research and dozens of interviews probing the memories of principals from director John Landis and producer Bob Weiss to Aykroyd himself, The Blues Brothers illuminates an American masterpiece while vividly portraying the creative geniuses behind modern comedy.

Product Details ISBN: 9780802160980
ISBN-10: 0802160980
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 400
Language: English