blues brothersThe characters Jake and Elwood Blues were created by Belushi and Aykroyd in performances on Saturday Night Live. The brothers grew up in an orphanage, learned the blues from a janitor named Curtis, and sealed their brotherhood by cutting their middle fingers with a steel string said to have come from the guitar of Elmore James.

Belushi had become a star in 1978 as a result of both the Blues Brothers’ musical success and his role in National Lampoon’s Animal House. At one point, he managed the triple feat of being the star of the week’s top-grossing film, top-rated television show, and singing on the number-one album within a year. When Aykroyd and Belushi decided they could make a Blues Brothers film, the bidding war was intense. Universal Studios narrowly beat Paramount Pictures for the project. John Landis, who had directed Belushi in Animal House, was on board as director.

When it came time to shoot the final sequence at the Hollywood Palladium, just beforehand, Belushi fell off a borrowed skateboard and seriously injured his knee. That made it unlikely he could go through with the scene, which required him to sing, dance, and do cartwheels. Universal head Lew Wasserman persuaded the city’s top orthopedic surgeon to postpone his weekend plans long enough to stop by and sufficiently anesthetize Belushi’s knee, and the scene was filmed as intended.

The film used 13 different cars bought at auction from the California Highway Patrol to depict the Bluesmobile, a retired 1974 Mount Prospect, Illinois Dodge Monaco patrol car. The vehicles were outfitted by the studio to do particular driving chores; some were customized for speed and others for jumps, depending on the scene. For the large car chases, filmmakers purchased 60 police cars at $400 each, and most were destroyed at the completion of the filming. More than 40 stunt drivers were hired, and the crew kept a 24-hour body shop to repair cars.  – Wikipedia

Check out other Blue Brothers clips on MovieSongs:

‘Shake A Tail Feather’  – Ray Charles makes the boys an offer they can’t refuse!

“Lots of space in this mall”, Ackroyd deadpans as the Bluesmobile destroys a shopping mall during one of the movie’s many car chases. The boys give “shop till you drop” a whole new meaning in this classic scene from The Blues Brothers.

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