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Crossroads (1986)

Based on the myth that blues legend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil, this is essentially a musical version of The Karate Kid (1984).

Instead of Pat Morita as the sage imparting wisdom to fresh-faced Ralph Macchio, we have Joe Seneca as Willie Brown, an old compadre of Johnson’s who persuades gifted young guitarist Eugene Martone to take him home to Mississippi.

crossroads0En route, Eugene (Macchio) meets and falls for sexy runaway Frances (Jami Gertz).

Only Seneca’s yarns and Ry Cooder‘s lazy score make the trek tolerable, though it’s infinitely more entertaining than the ludicrous finale, in which Martone trades riffs with Frank Zappa‘s old axeman, Steve Vai.

Director Walter Hill was clearly having an off day.


Eugene Martone
Ralph Macchio
Willie Brown
Joe Seneca
Jami Gertz
Robert Judd
Scratch’s assistant
Joe Morton
Jack Butler
Steve Vai
Dennis Lipscomb
Harry Carey Jr
Sheriff Tilford
John Hancock
Dr Santis
Allan Arbus

Walter Hill