by Erika Bromley
It was considered a “flop” at the box office before eventually being considered a cult classic. To me, it was a classic from the time I was old enough to watch it on the Saturday evening movie time slot or HBO any time it was on. I was still single-digits, but somehow this movie had a hold on me. No doubt that “The Dark Side” was a big reason.
I am a sucker for a “journalists trying to find the real story!” story (the Citizen Kane of 1983!), so Eddie and the Cruisers hooks me from the start (Ellen Barkin’s amazing hair helps, too.). Throw in a little romance, a little mystery, a Joey Pants performance, some amazing music, a black muscle tee, and Berenger’s tousled hair and corduroy blazer, and I am all in.
As Patrick said on our recent podcast about favorite movies from 1983, Eddie and the Cruisers is way better than anyone thought it would be.
1. Those first few piano notes… nostalgia hits. I’m in from the start.
2. I love how all the music (by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band) really just sounds like Springsteen and not at all like the music that was most popular in 1963, when Eddie was at his height of fame. But maybe that’s what adds to the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Mystery” of it all.
3. As previously mentioned, I’m a sucker for journalism in movies. Go get that story, brilliant, investigative writers! Eddie’s reflection = the sled?
4. Isn’t it cute when Berenger’s Frank Ridgeway (why that last name?) reunites with Helen Schneider’s Joann Carlino? You know she’s always going to believe in and hope for Eddie, but Ridgeway’s quiet longing for her hits me right in the heart!
5. Berenger’s corduroy blazer.
6. Eddie’s black t-shirt.
7. Eddie’s hair.
What were we talking about?
9. Oh my goodness I LOVE all the mystery surrounding the inexplicable “prank” phone calls (especially as an '80s kid who experienced the era of prank phone calls first hand!). Era. And the break-ins… it all adds so much melodrama and suspense. As a kid, this was EXCITING.
10. The blinking lights in the driveway! (See number 8)
11. Tragic romance, human flaws, over-the-top reactions to things not requiring over-the-top reactions…
12. Let’s not forget Matthew Laurance as Sal Amato. A Sal from New Jersey? Love it. I think as a kid, I truly believed he was backup for Springsteen. As an adult, he was Mr. Silver on Beverly Hills, 90210 but to me, he was Sal Amato grown up on the opposite coast!
13. The mystery of “Eddie Lives” and the hyperbole of “ahead of their time artists” always leaves me wanting more. Too bad the sequel wasn’t better!