Eddie and the Cruisers
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They say rock 'n' roll never dies, but one dark night in 1963, Eddie Wilson's car took a dive off aJersey bridge with the troubled rock idol at the wheel. His body was never found. Tom Berenger (Platoon), Michael ParÃ(c) (Streets of Fire) and Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love) star in this cool, compelling classic that really rocks! Twenty years after the lead singer (ParÃ(c)) of"Eddie and the Cruisers" disappeared, the band's songs are hotter than ever. And renewed interest in the band leads TV reporter Maggie Foley (Barkin) to pursue a tantalizing mystery: What if Eddie isstill alive? The circumstances surrounding his death are just shadowy enough to make it a distinct possibility, and someone (could it be Eddie?) has been ransacking the homes of surviving band members in a desperate search for tapes of the group's visionary, never-released album. As Maggie interviews the former "Cruisers," the pieces of the puzzle start to fit...but only until still deeper mysteries begin to surface.
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Top customer reviews
Yes, there's a touch of fantasy & wish fulfillment here -- but we're not dealing with a gritty, utterly realistic film. This is really parable & myth, after all. The references to Rimbaud, the quote from Wordsworth early in the film, the stylized look of some of the settings, the rock and roll legends evoked throughout -- it's all quite clear.
In which case, complaints about the music are beside the point. How can any soundtrack writer be told, "OK, we need something as good as Beethoven's 'Ninth Symphony,' or Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue,' or Dylan's 'Blood on the Tracks'?" Obviously that's just not possible. The faux-Springsteen songs are strong in their own right, but we should take them as stand-ins for the music that Eddie & Frank actually created, just as in Patricia Rozema's film "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing," glowing panes of framed light represent the magnificent paintings created by one of the characters.
The acting itself is quite good, with Tom Berenger negotiating a rather difficult role as Frank/Word Man: he's the main character, but he often has to stand at the side & simply observe events. He effectively conveys naive uncertainty in flashbacks to his younger days, and a wistful world-weariness as an older man. In fact, he's said that this was one of his favorite roles. Michael Paré makes a fine, brooding, fiery Eddie; singer Helen Schneider is sultry, vulnerable, seeing more than she lets on; and Joe Pantoliano is a slick, raspy-voiced delight. A young Ellen Barkin does what she can with a somewhat underwritten role.
Again, it's not a great film. But it is a very good, honorable & thoroughly entertaining film, with a final scene that still has the power to evoke chills after repeated viewings. You'll have to be open to the sort of story it's telling -- if so, you'll find that it's quite rewarding. Recommended!
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