John Landis David Denby - Essay

David Denby

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The Blues Brothers is a monstrous $30 million expansion of a ramshackle old Hollywood musical revue (like The Big Broadcast of 1938)—the kind of movie that used to be made for a few hundred thousand dollars. Those vaudeville musicals, their unrelated musical numbers stitched together with comedy routines, often featured jazz musicians, or black singers and dancers who would never get the chance to star in a movie of their own. Racism was built into the form. Well, things haven't changed all that much in 45 years…. Hectic, exhausting, often gross and stupid, The Blues Brothers nonetheless makes a tiny purchase on immortality when Aretha Franklin opens her mouth to sing.

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(The entire section is 569 words.)