The blues brothers - Notatki - Język angielski, Notatki'z Język Angielski. University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
Maksymilian22 marca 2013

The blues brothers - Notatki - Język angielski, Notatki'z Język Angielski. University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn

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Notatki przedstawiające zagadnienia z zakresu języka angielskiego: the blues brothers.
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The Blues Brothers


Dawid Grzegorz

The Blues Brothers in my opinion can be classified as a subculture movie. “A group within a

society that has its own shared set of customs, attitudes, and values, often accompanied by jargon or

slang. A subculture can be organized around a common activity, occupation, age, status, ethnic

background, race, religion, or any other unifying social condition, but the term is often used to

describe deviant groups, such as thieves and drug users.” This is a definition from the site A sub-culture is certainly, according to some dictionaries, treated as a group that

participates within the dominant culture, while engaging in original and different behavior. Talking

about the scenes, there is one particular scene in the movie, where Jake and Elwood try to mess with

Matt "Guitar" Murphy. The brothers go into a food restaurant. One ambiguous viewer could notice

rather original clothes of the brothers. Something like a suit of a gangster, everything in black even the

sunglasses and just a white shirt, with tattoos on their fingers, which says their names. These clothes

are just a thing that not only separates them from the normal, regular society but also shows that they

are rebellious. During the course of years there have been movies that have influenced the popular

culture, or that were influenced by the ongoing events of their times. Films released throughout the

ages of America have greatly related to the culture of their time. In this case it was The Blues Brothers

– where director John Landis put some good actors, such as John Belushi who sadly passed away in

1982 because of the overdose of speedball and Dan Aykroyd who still plays in movies(Ghost Busters,

Driving Miss Daisy), sitcoms with Jim Belushi(According to Jim) the younger brother of his friend

John and still loves blues, to create the story of Jake and Elwood Blues.


The story of the brothers struggling to get the band back together and have five thousand dollars to pay

the tax for the St. Helen Orphanage, where they were raised, since the orphanage was not funded by

the church anymore.

Critics saw it as a movie about two funny brothers with the mission from God and in fact, it

participated in the vast majority of contemporary American culture a lot. It creates many different

relations and expressions of the working class of the great country in the beginning of the eighties that

many viewers would be familiar.

Not surprisingly the 1980 movie related to a great deal to many Americans of the working class of the

time what was rather obvious. Even in the comic book’s there was nothing worse for the working

class, then a businessman. So even in the 80’s the writer’s in DC Comics changed Lex Luthor who

was presented in the Superman series from a mad scientist to a multibillionaire. Those two brothers,

Jake and Elwood along with the members of the band are always fighting for their hard money, for

their life, the decent life just like the Americans in the 80’s. These brothers have constantly been

against the law but at the same time they were searching for redemption. Jake Blues is just released

from jail, where he was put away in for robbery on a gas station because he wanted to get money for

their band. Elwood Blues lives in a tiny, stinky motel with very small space dedicated for him. The

members of the band that used to play together, now are working in many different places and low

paid jobs since the band was separated. Among them being such jobs as, a diner cook, and performing

small music gigs, the maitre de of restaurant. Jake Blues is the aggressive one, Elwood is more calm

one. Throughout the movie Jake misguides everyone including himself that there is in fact nothing to

worry about and that he has everything in control. Religion plays a big part in his life.


There is a scene where Curtis says “You boys get down to the Triple Rock Baptist Church. You listen

to Cleophus James, the preacher there. You boys listen to what he's got to say.” The brothers go there

and they stand by the door. James Brown plays the preacher at the church. The preacher gives an

inspiring speech which appealed to Jake and then he was enlightened by God.

So the misguided Blues brothers finally felt they achieved a "God-given mission" and that

they will pass all of the trouble to complete the task, which is to save the orphanage, the place of their

youth. Later on when the Blues brothers went through all of that trouble they feel that they are worthy

of existence and know that they can’t fail anymore, because God is with them.

The movie showed us the struggle of many Americans faced in the seventies and eighties.

There are many different methods and not all of them are fairly legal, but the brothers use them to try

to get big gigs and earn the necessary money they actually need to save the orphanage. One scene in

the movie, involved creating a con in order to get their band a real great gig, in a local country bar, and

they pretended they actually were the Good Ole Boys. What was so special about that scene was the

fact that at the end of the night, when the band wanted their money, the owner informed them that they

had a bigger bill to pay then they have earned for me it is a American behavior and typically

Americanized attitude. In Poland the artist almost always have the food and drinks free from the

owners or from the people who are making the party. So yet again the brothers and the band had to

escape from their troubles with no money. This situation was actually familiar for many Americans,

since in many times it was difficult to earn a living. Many Americans of the working class could easily

relate to these familiar problems that were there presented.


The Economy – treated more like a person than an abstract object - in fact, was rough and

lives for many working class Americans were fighting every day. In the late 1970’s and in the 80s,

during the making of the film and later on, during its release, President Jimmy Carter was in office.

His presidency was met with the biggest economy troubles ever created.

There was still a recession present and many other problems along with it, the biggest were such as

inflation and high unemployment.

Almost everyone had problems with work and money, many people could not even get a job

which was devastating in many aspects. The time of the release of The Blues Brothers was a time

when almost anyone who was at the time visiting the cinema, could in fact easily relate to the main

problems in it.

In the movie there are many different issues. At the church there is a lot of positive energy.

Chaos and destruction is shown in the shopping mall when Elwood drives into it. The guys are arguing

because Elwood lied to Jake because he wanted to cheer his brother when he was in jail. The Nazis are

a symbol of discrimination in the 80’s. It is Jake's religious redemption which makes him a better man,

not a good man but a better man. I’m saying this because Jake and Elwood are on a mission from God

but they still break the law and are almost all the time chased by the police. At the end they are

surrounded by the police when they have their gig in the hotel. But after the concert they escaped

chased by the police and they managed to pay the tax. They did it but at the end, the brothers were

taken by the police. They caused this anarchy and chaos to achieve a great goal which was to save the



I think this could have been a metaphor for the Americans in the 80’s that if you try hard you

can achieve something or you can help the ones you. After the film was released, the economy was

eventually bouncing back into stable productivity and unemployment decreased. In fact, Americans

did not need to face as many of the problems seen in the film as they might have before the movie was

released. Almost any person in the working class who has ever had to deal with money problems or

troubles finding work would be eventually able to relate to this film, as those aspects of American

culture are expressed in the movie.




The Blues Brothers movie

Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman

Documentary’s about comics and American culture.


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