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always with a hat or sunscreen
Picture of bald1
posted
https://www.breitbart.com/ente...-is-one-great-movie/

Nolte: ‘Eddie and the Cruisers’ (1983) Is One Great Movie

Gotta say I agree with Nolte. I can't think of how many times I've watched this since it was released in 1983. And yes I have the DVD. Big Grin

For those who don't have the DVD, or one of the pay streaming services that has it, it's available free here:

https://www.actvid.com/watch-m...s-full-53613.2529999

And FWIW the sequel (Eddie Lives):

https://www.actvid.com/watch-m...s-full-53625.2530005


Nolte's article:

Like most who’ve entered middle age, I’m discovering that some things I enjoyed as a young man don’t hold up so well. As we get older, we hopefully become wiser, more circumspect, and a little less tolerant of empty flash. For example, I can’t imagine sitting around with my buddies watching music videos for hours, which is how I spent a whole lot of the summer of ’84.

Which brings me to Eddie and the Cruisers (1983).

It’s literally been decades since I’ve seen this movie, at least 25 years, and on a whim I bought the Blu-ray last month, mostly out of a sense of nostalgia. In my mind, the movie had crystallized into a series of music videos held together by a wafer-thin plot. Would I be disappointed? Would this be 95 minutes of empty flash?

Along with the rest of the country, I discovered Eddie and the Cruisers 37 years ago on HBO. A botched theatrical release ensured its box office failure, so off to Pay TV it went, and in the summer of 1984, the movie exploded. And why wouldn’t it? The MTV craze was at its zenith that summer, and if nothing else, Eddie and the Cruisers delivers one great music video after another. Not actual music videos. The fictional Eddie and his Cruisers perform at least a half dozen songs, and all of those songs are great.

The music is so good, in fact, and the movie became so popular, the studio re-released the soundtrack, and by the following summer it had gone quadruple platinum, including the number-one hit “On the Dark Side.”

The dark side’s callin’ now, nothin’ is real
She’ll never know just how I feel
From out of the shadows she walks like a dream
Make me feel crazy, make me feel so mean

The plot is basically a rock ‘n’ roll Citizen Kane, and it goes like this…

Some 18 years after the 1964 death of their leader Eddie Wilson (Michael Paré), Eddie and the Cruisers are suddenly all over the radio again. An ambitious TV reporter, Maggie Foley (Ellen Barkin) wants to know why and sees a story in Eddie’s mysterious death: his car went off a bridge after his record company refused to release his experimental album, A Season in Hell.

Along with Eddie’s body, also missing are the Season in Hell master recordings.

Hoping to unearth the tapes, Maggie sets off to interview the surviving Cruisers, who’ve all scattered and lost touch. Through a series of flashbacks, Eddie’s story — the story of an uncompromising and visionary artist — is told as he seeks to rise above his bar band roots. Unfortunately, he does so about five years before the world is ready for what he has to offer.

Watching it again at my ripe old age I discovered a great movie, one I enjoyed more than ever.

So what makes it work…?

The music provided by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band is no small thing. There’s a whole lot of movies that offer concert performances, but unless they use tried and true hits, the songs are frequently hit and miss. That is not the case here. Every song, even the one that’s laughed at (“Betty Lou’s Got a New Pair of Shoes”) ranges from toe-tapper to rouser to wowser. Nearly 40 years later, the soundtrack still shines… “On the Dark Side,” “Tender Years,” “Wild Summer Nights,” “Down on My Knees,” and a refrain from “Season in Hell,” that plays over the end credits.

Can you see the light
Can you hear the sound
Can you feel this whole world turning around

Based on P.F. Kluge’s novel, director Martin Davidson (who co-wrote the screenplay with his sister Arlene Davidson), Eddie and the Cruisers is the rare movie where flashbacks don’t kill the momentum. In fact, you welcome them for a couple reasons: 1) you care about what happened in 1964 and 2) Eddie Wilson is a great character.

At first glance, Eddie appears bred in a laboratory to forever play rock ‘n’ roll in New Jersey bars. As the movie rolls on, though, you discover he’s a whole lot more than a rocker with the blue collar appeal and sound of a young Springsteen. Like Jim Morrison, he’s a soulful poet. Like a doomed Buddy Holly, his music’s ahead of its time. Like Brian Wilson, his quest for perfection, to recreate the sound in his head, threatens to drive him mad.

If you want to talk about a perfect piece of casting, I give you Michael Paré as Eddie. From what I’ve read, Davidson was originally offered Rick Springfield (a major pop star at the time), but turned him down knowing only an unknown would work. According to legend, (although Paré already had a small TV role on The Greatest American Hero) Davidson spotted Paré working as a chef, gave him a shot, and mercilessly rode him throughout the shoot (Get this one right, or I’m replacing you.) The results are phenomenal, and not since Larry Parks in The Jolson Story (1946) has anyone lip-synched so convincingly.

Tom Berenger is equally great as Frank “Wordman” Ridgeway, and it’s through this modest and melancholy man that the story is told and the movie’s most resonant themes hit.

The 1964 scenes certainly work their own themes about striving, refusing to compromise, taking chances while you’re still young, and not allowing anyone to tell you who you are. As a teen and young man, I loved what is essentially a “fuck you” attitude, and I still do, but…

Now that I’m 55, the movie’s present-day (1983) scenes, where we watch Frank (an unmarried schoolteacher living in a trailer) wander through a past filled with the short and intense relationships that defined his emotional life and then turned into the ash of what could’ve been… This really hits home.

My favorite scene works this theme as brilliantly as anything I’ve ever seen in any movie. The band’s bass player, Sal Amato (Matthew Laurance), just can’t let go, so he’s working hotel lounges with his retro Eddie and the Cruisers act. Everything about how this life is portrayed — the age of his audience, the syrupy banter, the tuxes and sweaty desperation to hold on to something long gone… It’s so real, so depressing, so perfectly poignant. The dressing room scene between Frank and Sal afterward is just as good. As far as the other Cruisers…

The drummer’s dealing cards in Atlantic City, their ambitious manager (the great Joe Pantoliano in an early role) is spinning records in a crummy radio station, the sax player (Beaver Brown Band member Michael “Tunes” Antunes) is dead, and the band’s backup singer (Helen Schneider) — the street angel who can make you believe everything will be okay — well, she moved away a long time ago.

As far as my favorite moment… It’s a small thing. A short piece of dialogue…

Assuming he’d love to talk to her, that he’s like everyone else: eager to grab every opportunity to feed on the fleeting fame that almost was, Maggie approaches Frank looking for her story. He refuses…

Frank: There’s no way I’d go into that with you.

Maggie: Frank, why not?

Frank: Maybe… Maybe because Eddie’s dead and I’m alive and he was my friend, and you and I just met.

The brilliance of simplicity.

Or the scene where Frank squeaks out his new song as everyone laughs…

Or the “Toby Tyler” scene…

Or, or, or…

So of all the great unheralded movies out there, why did I choose this one..?

Maybe it’s because I lied earlier.

The truth is, I’d give just about anything to go back and watch hours of music videos with my buddies.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bald1,



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Posts: 12339 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Legalize the Constitution
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It’s probably time to watch this movie again. Thinking about it, it’s odd that Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band were unable to make lightning strike a second time.


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I picked the double feature with both movies up in the Walmart $5 bin a few weeks ago. I actually enjoyed the second movie more than the first, but I love them both.




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Posts: 3434 | Location: Morganton, NC | Registered: December 31, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
teacher of history
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One of my favorites also. I am a bit older than you and this is from my time frame.
 
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always with a hat or sunscreen
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quote:
Originally posted by maxwayne:
One of my favorites also. I am a bit older than you and this is from my time frame.


Older? I'm a 1947 vintage... what say you? Big Grin






Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
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Posts: 12339 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So I admit, I had not seen this movie, until this article, and tonight.

What a great show. I've heard the music over the years, glad I took the time to watch it.

Hopefully the sequel is equally entertaining.
 
Posts: 333 | Registered: March 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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quote:
Originally posted by creedbratton2:
...glad I took the time to watch it.


I'm happy that this thread proved a catalyst for you to watch and enjoy! Big Grin



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
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Posts: 12339 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I haven't seen or thought of this movie in a long time. Definitely about time to watch it again. I remember there was a sequel, too. I don't remember thinking it was as good, but that's about it.


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Posts: 12541 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
teacher of history
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We are of the same vintage.

quote:
Originally posted by bald1:
quote:
Originally posted by maxwayne:
One of my favorites also. I am a bit older than you and this is from my time frame.


Older? I'm a 1947 vintage... what say you? Big Grin



[FLASH_VIDEO]<iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nYDAF6NbgKc" width="560"></iframe>[/FLASH_VIDEO]
 
Posts: 5009 | Registered: March 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the tip. We watched it tonight again - after 30+ years.

I played in a rock band in high school and never got beyond the bar scene. It was an absolute blast. I played guitar, keyboards, sax and trombone in a group of 6. All of us were musicians and played only covers. In late 1968 I could see the live music scene drying up and bookings were farther apart and for less money. I joined the Navy.

Today most live music is a one man band with backing tracks. It works and he doesn't have to split the gate.



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Posts: 3062 | Location: Kalispell Montana & Florida’s Emerald Coast for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
teacher of history
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I am watching and listening now.
 
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I was born in 1983 and I have never actually seen the movie but know and love the soundtrack.
I remember as a kid it was the only cassette in my mom’s car that was not Steve Green or Barbara Streisand.

Guess, I need to watch it.
 
Posts: 22298 | Registered: September 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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