Crossroads (1986)

Director: Walter Hill


Crossroads is a perfect example of what I consider a guilty pleasure movie. What I mean is that this movie isn’t full of great acting or special effects, it’s just a really cool movie. The music is the star of this film. Ralph Macciho did a really good job of faking the guitar, I say this as someone who actually plays. Ry Cooder was responsible for the outstanding guitar throughout the film, classical as well as blues. The only part that Cooder didn’t play was the part played by Steve Vai. Now the one actor who could have spared us their presence in the movie was Jami Gertz. She got so much work in the 80s and 90s, unfortunately most of her work seemed awkward to me, and she’s kind of a square peg. Still, this is an awesome movie to watch just for the fun and the music. The cuttin’ heads scene is one of the best scenes ever!


Eugene is in school at Julliard, playing his classical guitar when the movie opens. This beautiful, classic guitar piece in front of his classmates and professor. Eugene finishes his assignment by transitioning into a blues riff to finish the piece, much to the dismay of his professor. Eugene’s professor tells him that he needn’t waste his time on that kind of common music, it’s nothing but a distraction. Of course, Eugene fancies himself a bluesman, and he’s going on a quest to find the long lost, unrecorded song of Robert Johnson. He tracks down an old man in a nursing home, convinced that he’s Willie (Blind Boy) Brown, one of Robert Johnson’s harmonica players and friends. The old man thinks the kid is crazy, or that’s what he says. Until one day the old man finally told Eugene that he is actually Willie Brown, not only that but he also says he will teach the kid Robert Johnson’s lost song so that Eugene can record it. The two break Willie Brown out of the home and start their journey from New York City to the Mississippi Delta, Willie’s home, hobo style with no money and no ride. Their adventure will help Willie to resolve some of his inner demons, and will help Eugene find some soul to go along with all of those great guitar chops.


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