Crossroads

Crossroads 1986 Movie Poster

"Ralph Macchio is Lighting Boy.  A kid who can make a steel guitar sing.  Blind Dog is an old pro who knows it.  Together, they're headed for a place where deals are made.  And Legends are born."

No, not the Britney Spears movie, but the 1986 Crossroads film starring Ralph Macchio (aka Karate Kid) as Eugene Martone, Jami Gertz as Frances, Joe Seneca as Willie Brown, and freaky fingered Steve Vai as Jack Butler (aka the devil’s guitarist).  The film received mostly positive reviews in 1986, with even Roger Ebert giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars.

In this movie, Eugene Martone (Macchio) is a classic guitar player drawn into the mysterious world of the delta blues.  He becomes curious about the blues legend of Robert Johnson, who supposedly sold his soul to the devil in order to play guitar so well.  In the process, one of Johnson’s songs was lost, and Eugene took it upon himself to enlist the help of Johnson’s old friend, Willie Brown (Seneca), to help him find it.

As the two travel south on their quest to the “crossroads”, they have adventures along the way in various juke joints that give Eugene the opportunity to demonstrate his ability.  At one point, Eugene even has a traveling companion girlfriend (Frances, played by Jami Gertz), who eventually is run off by Willie.  When they finally arrive at the crossroads, the devil himself tells Willie the offer for his soul is still good, and Eugene jumps in to help Willie.  The devil strikes a deal with Eugene, essentially offering Eugene a challenge to play a duel against Jack Butler (Steve Vai).  If Eugene loses, his soul becomes the devil’s.  If he wins, Willie will get his soul back.  Harking back to his classical roots, Eugene wins the duel, and he and Willie are transported back to Mississippi to live happily ever after.

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