Blues Brothers, The: Starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and John Candy

This crowd-pleaser, which was a smash box-office hit, catapulted John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and John Candy to cult status

The movie benefited immensely from the cameo appearances by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and other music-pop culture icons.

The premise of the adventure is rather simple: Soul brothers Jake and Elwood (Belushi and Aykroyd) need to raise some $5,000 for their child orphanage.

Structurally, the picture, which was written and directed by John Landis is a mess, a series of excuses for the brothers to raise hell and also destroy the city of Chicago.

At the time, critics complained about the self-indulgent nature of the film, its big budget, excessive running time for a comedy (134 minutes). But the public loved it, and it played for a long time in the pre-VCR era.

As a musical adventure, it’s a movie of moments, and there is plenty of joy to be had watching and listening to Aretha Franklin, as the Soul Food caf owner, Ray Charles as himself, Cab Calloway as Curtis, and the other black and white performers, which also include Carrie Fisher (right after the “Star Wars” success), Henry Gibson as a George Rockwell-kind of Nazi, and Frank Oz as a correction officer.

Context is crucial: The movie was made in 1980, when the Muppet Show was extremely popular and so was SNL. And there was something else about it, a speedy rhythm, courtesy of editor George Folsey, Jr., perhaps out of conviction of the shortcomings of the wildly episodic yarn.