After Jake Blues's (John Belushi) release from
prison, he and his brother Elwood (Dan Akroyd) learn that the
church/orphanage they were raised in is to be sold to the Department
of Education unless the $5,000 tax on the property is paid within 11
days. Now on a "mission from God", they decide to put their band, the
Blues Brothers, back together and raise the the money by staging a
The movie takes place in Chicago and the
metropolitan area, so there's lots of shots of the "L". Below are a
QuickTime movie clip and pictures from the film. Below that, there's
a list of facts about the movie.
(All clips and pictures are © 1980
(2.1MB): A green/white straight-door 6000
passes by Elwood's apartment.
(52k): A 2400
passes by Elwood's apartment.
(60k): A look down the street under the "L" structure next of
(61k): A 6000
passes by the window behind Elwood.
(54k): A 2400
in its original paint scheme passes by Elwood's.
(55k): The 2400
is joined by a 6000
in the same shot as above.
(71k): A train of straight-door 6000
passes in front of Elwood's apartment.
(82k): A shot of the dance routine outside Ray's Music Exchange,
in front of an "L" station on the South Side main.
(76k): Close-up of dancing "L" passengers on the station platform
from the above scene.
(76k): A Loop "L" station, probably on Wells Street, seen while
the CPD are chasing Jake and Elwood.
(40k): The Bluesmobile turns south down Wells and goes under the
"L" at the Merchandise
Mart station, with the Chicago Police
Department in close pursuit.
(44k): A view out in front of the speeding Bluesmobile, looking
south down Wells Street under the elevated. The Chicago River is
just ahead, the Merchandise Mart is on the right, and the
Mart station is up above.
(30k): The Bluesmobile continues speeding underneath the "L", but
the CPD is moving in to intercept...
(40k): As the Chicago Police attempt to intercept the Blues
Brothers from multiple directions, a pileup ensues when the
brothers evade their road block.
(50k): The famous pileup of Chicago Police Department squad cars
at LaSalle and Lake, under the Loop "L" structure.
Facts about the movie
- Every time we see the window in Elwood's
apartment an "L" train goes past.
- The whole plot revolves around the church's
back-taxes, but there is no property tax on church-owned
orphanages in Chicago.
- The trains used in the film are straight-door
in the Alpine White and Mint Green scheme and 2400s
in their original scheme.
- Elwood's apartment is in a building on the
south side of Van Buren Street in the Loop just east of the
Buren station. The building may still
be there. That block escaped a lot of the tear-downs that went on
around it (when they built the jail on Van Buren & Dearborn,
expanded the federal buildings north of Van Buren, et
- Thus, based on the above information, those
were Ravenswood-assigned 2400s
pounding past on the elevated.
- Ray's Music Exchange is somewhere along the
South Side main line between 43rd
again judging by the "L"'s design and architecture.
- The cars that go by Elwood's apartment window
but in 1980, neither of of these series were assigned to the
Lake-Dan Ryan; this routed was operated by 2000s
- The big pileup of surplus Chicago Police
Department squad cars (mostly Dodge Monacos) was staged at LaSalle
and Lake, under the Loop "L" structure. In the time leading up to
the shoot, the CTA management was very nervous about the
whole thing (possible damage to the structure, etc.). This was one
of the first times they had worked so extensively with a movie
company. The issue of cooperating with the movie company was
pushed on them by City Hall, who wanted some good advertising,
exposure of, and PR for Chicago.
Thanks for Art Peterson for some assistance in location
identification and some addition facts about the movie