Pop Culture | Movies | 80s

15 Totally Cool Facts About 'The Blues Brothers'

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When the Blues Brothers made their debut on SNL nobody had any idea what to make of them, but by the time Jake and Elwood made the jump to the big screen they had no shortage of fans.

Their classic comedy adventure still makes us laugh almost 40 years later, but we bet you never realized these 15 facts about the movie.

1. Dan Aykroyd saved Carrie Fisher's life, then popped the question

Universal Pictures

Aykroyd and the late Star Wars actress hit it off on set and became an item. But after Aykroyd saved Fisher's life, he decided to take their relationship to the next level.

"I almost choked on some kind of vegetable that I shouldn't have been eating: Brussels sprouts," Fisher told CNN. "He saved my life, and then he asked me to marry him. And I thought ... wow, what if that happens again? I should probably marry him."

Sadly, the couple split up before they made it to the altar.

2. The movie wasn't an instant hit

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In their review, Newsweek panned the movie was "desperately unfunny," while the LA Times called the project "a $30 million wreck." (They were kind of right, but more on that later.)

There were even boycotts by movie theaters in the South, where exhibitors said the comedy was too long and "a black movie" that whites wouldn't watch.

Jokes on them, because the movie grossed $115 million.

3. Paul Shaffer was kicked out of the Blues Brother Band for treason

WGN Radio

David Letterman's band leader was an original member of the band, until John Belushi found out he was working on another project by an SNL star. Shaffer was also performing in Gilda Radner's Gilda Live, and Belushi couldn't stand the disloyalty.

"Shaffer is out," Belushi wrote in a memo, "he will never be a Blues Brother."

4. The prison scene turned violent

Universal Pictures

When Jake is released from prison at the start of the movie, a helicopter crew was used to film overhead shots. The prison's guards actually opened fire on the chopper, thinking it was some kind of escape attempt.

5. There's a few famous faces hiding in the movie

Keep your eyes peeled for these cameos and young stars the nest time you watch the movie.

The officer who hands back Jake's belongings is Frank Oz, the Dark Crystal director who also played Ms. Piggy and Yoda.

Director Steven Spielberg is the tax assessor.

The young woman in the Triple Rock Church choir is singer Chaka Khan.

Universal Pictures

Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman) has a small role as a waiter.

Universal Pictures

And the movie's director, John Landis, is the police officer in the upside-down car (the one with the mustache).

Universal Pictures

6. People thought the car chases were real

The movie was shot on the streets of downtown Chicago, and aside from shooting on Sunday mornings when traffic was quiet, the rest of the city kept up business as usual. That means the police were swamped with calls about the crazy stunts people were seeing.

7. All the car stunts sent the film $10 million over budget

The crew wrecked 103 cars during shooting, which was a world record at the time. It took a team of 40 stunt drivers and a fleet of 60 retired cop cars to pull off all the stunts. Those included dropping a car off a 150-foot ramp and speeding up to 118 miles per hour on city streets.

When producers told Landis he had a $17 million budget before filming began, he joked, "I think we've spent that much already."

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