It was 40 years ago today, June 16, 1980, that a new movie featuring Elwood Blues and Joliet Jake and their mission to save a Catholic orphanage premiered before a small group of suburban politicians and film crew members. The Blues Brothers hit box offices four days later and Joliet’s never been the same since.
The Dunkin’ Donuts that used to be at the northwest corner of Belmont and Clark earned its nickname in the 80s and 90s.
In 1987, Ben Hollis and John Davies pitched Chicago PBS station WTTW on a program that would capture the city’s obscure corners, unusual characters, and fringe phenomena. To show the station what they had in mind, they’d shot a “guerilla demo” at a spot Hollis already knew: the Dunkin’ Donuts on the corner of Belmont and Clark in Lakeview. He’d often driven past it late at night and seen groups of young people hanging out in the parking lot, and he figured it’d be worth investigating. What were they doing there? Why that spot, not somewhere else? And what was the appeal?
I haven’t seen this wonderful little film in years. I just watched it again. Every moment was just as good as when I first saw it.
Bagdad Cafe (sometimes Bagdad Café, titled Out of Rosenheim in Germany) is a 1987 English-language German film directed by Percy Adlon. It is a comedy-drama set in a remote truck stop and motel in the Mojave Desert in the US state of California. Loosely based on Carson McCullers’ novella ‘The Ballad of the Sad Café’ (1951), the film centers on two women who have recently separated from their husbands, and the blossoming friendship that ensues. It runs 95 minutes in the U.S. and 108 minutes in the German version.