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GordonCole

Blues in the Movies

13 posts in this topic

There seems to be a dearth of films with any connection to the blues. Why I ask is that?

One would think with the most interesting lives led by people like Robert Johnson, Skip James, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Ma Rainey, Buddy Guy, Nellie Lutcher and so on that the movies would want to tell their stories. I can't even think of many films with any blues performers featured, though sometimes they are in documentary style films of concert or festivals. If you can add any to this post that are worth seeing, please share.

 

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Cadillac Records (2008) featured Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf as main characters, as well as Etta James and Chuck Berry.

Crossroads (1986) was inspired by the Robert Johnson legend.

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7 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Cadillac Records (2008) featured Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf as main characters, as well as Etta James and Chuck Berry.

Crossroads (1986) was inspired by the Robert Johnson legend.

Thanx. I think I neglected seeing Crossroads due to a friend's less than sterling review, but I would have insisted on seeing it if the title had been Stones in My Passway.

Forgot about the Muddy Waters film, which was fine.

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49 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

 

Cab Calloway, what a great character and performer. Would have loved to have seen him as Sportin' Life in Porgy and Bess on the stage, and I think Dubose Heyward would approve. I imagine him in a Zoot Suit singing Hi De Ho with Dizzy in an afterlife, which is much more entertaining than seeing Red Buttons sing the Ho Ho Song. Thanx.

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My opinion: 'blues' doesn't fit the manic national zeal for positive-thinking, progress, Yankee ingenuity, 'we-can-do-it', 'get it done', self-help, happy endings, and new technology

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49 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

My opinion: 'blues' doesn't fit the manic national zeal for positive-thinking, progress, Yankee ingenuity, 'we-can-do-it', 'get it done', self-help, happy endings, and new technology

Whoa...I get it now. Too realistic for the lower echelons way below the powers that be, to see as they might become anarchists, eh?

Thanks, Sarge for opening up my eyes.

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Well, there's Blues in the Night (d. Anatole Litvak, 1941), and  Paris Blues (d. Martin Ritt, 1961). However, I suppose it could be argued that neither of these feature true blues musicians, or are even really about blues music. (But they're both kind of fun.)

There's also the much more recent Honeydripper (d. John Sayles, 2007) which actually does feature a lot of blues music. And it too, is fun. (at least, I thought it was...)

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There's lots of blues in the movies: just look at how teal (and orange) dominates the color palettes of most movies these days. ;)

 

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My favorite is ALL THE FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS '60 which always reminds me of tortured fave trumpeter Chet Baker. There just aren't enough movies with Susan Kohner, imho.

I was lucky enough to meet Cab Calloway when he made a special trip to his birthplace, Rochester NY. I told him I bought my first horse based on her name, Minnie The Moocher. He laughed and asked, "is she a white horse?" yes, she was!

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Not that it was inspired by Blues or Jazz but there is some good references too it and a couple of scenes in Collateral with Tom Cruise.  

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