- Apr 20, 2001
I have to go with Animal House.
In addition to recognized soul and rhythm and blues stars James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin, the members of the Blues Brothers band are notable for their musical accomplishments as well. Steve Cropper and Donald Dunn are architects of the Stax Records sound and were half of Booker T. & the M.G.'s - it is Cropper's guitar heard at the start of the Sam and Dave song "Soul Man". Horn players Lou Marini, Tom Malone, and Alan Rubin had all played in Blood, Sweat & Tears and the Saturday Night Live band. Drummer Willie Hall had played in the Bar-Kays and backed Isaac Hayes. Matt Murphy is a veteran blues guitarist. Blues performers were featured in the cast as well, with John Lee @%!+!$ backed by harmonica player Big Walter Horton and pianist Pinetop Perkins, playing "Boom Boom" on Maxwell Street.
As the band developed at Saturday Night Live, pianist Paul Shaffer was part of the act and was cast in the film. However, due to contractual obligations with SNL, he was unable to participate. So actor-musician Murphy Dunne (whose father, George Dunne, was the Cook County Board President) was hired to take his role. Shaffer later did appear in Blues Brothers 2000.
Carrie Fisher, Kathleen Freeman, Henry Gibson, and John Candy were cast in non-musical supporting roles. The movie is also notable for the number of cameo appearances by established celebrities and entertainment industry figures, including Steve Lawrence as a booking agent, Frank Oz as a corrections officer, Twiggy as a "chic lady" in a Jaguar convertible whom Elwood propositions at a gas station, and Steven Spielberg as the Cook County Assessor's clerk. John Landis plays a state trooper in the mall chase. Paul Reubens (pre-Pee-wee Herman) has a small role as a waiter in the Chéz Paul. Joe Walsh has a cameo as the first prisoner to jump up on a table in the final scene, and Chaka Khan is the soloist in James Brown's choir. The character portrayed by Cab Calloway is named Curtis as an homage to Curtis Salgado, a Portland, Oregon, blues musician who inspired Belushi while he was in Oregon filming Animal House.
Over 500 extras were used for the final scene at Daley Center, including 200 National Guardsmen, 100 state and city police officers, and 15 horses were used in filming of the blockade on the building. Additionally, three Sherman tanks, three helicopters, and three fire engines were used.