When the Illinois State police and Cook County sheriff's department are chasing the Blues Brothers into chicago, where did the first big chase scene begin? It actually began in Milwauke Wisconsin! All the cars drove through the night and into the morning down Illinois route 12 down to I-294/94 into Chicago. The 1st illinois state police cars to crash were there in route 12. Car 55 was driven by my cousin Rick who was a state trooper at the time and when they wrecked car 55 they did it just across the Illinois border in Kenosha County Wisconsin.
Update: Steve J said: The scene were Car 55 soars into the truck was filmed in Illinois on the Northbound on-ramp to IL-53 at Dundee Rd in Buffalo Grove, IL
The Bluesmobile: a 1974 Dodge Monaco police package. The color scheme of black and white and the locations of all the worn out graphis are the actual placements of a real Mount Prospect, Il police car. The reason a Dodge was selected over a ford or chevy was because in the 60's and 70's dodge had the reputation for bulding the best and fastest police cars around, and Mount Prospect was chosen because that department was know for a real bad a$$ attitude in the police community. You knew not to break the law in mount Prospect. Not surprisingly, none of the Dodges used in the movie have seemed to survive the rigors of film use!
"The Blues Brothers" was notorious during production for being one of a bunch of films with ever-increasing budgets ('Heaven's Gate', 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' and 'Honky Tonk Freeway' (another film with lots of car crashes) were the other famous examples, with 'Dune' following a few years later). The sum total of the smashed cars, combined with a belief at the studio that the film would be a huge success, meant that 'The Blues Brothers', a musical comedy, ended up costing over $30 million at a time when that was a lot of money.
Most of the chase scenes were filmed twice. The first times, pedestrians had been cleared from the area for safety reasons. In looking at the film, the lack of reference made the chases look fake, like they had been sped up after filming. They were then filmed again, with extras milling around, to give a frame of reference. Each time her scene was shot and re-shot, Aretha Franklin performed live. She couldn't lip sync. Every time she sings a song, she sings it differently. So they shot it live and picked the best out of all the takes.
They used five or six Pinto's for the Nazi car that flew off the bridge. There was a lot of trouble getting a permit to do this; they had to prove that they could accurately predict where the car was going to land. They dropped one as a test run (it landed in a cornfield). They sawed two in half, to get the camera inside them. They used one for the low-drop (into ditch in the road), and two for the high-drop (off the bridge).
The scene where Elwood and Jake are sneaking out of the concert through a tunnel was actually filmed underneath Chicago in a defunct electric narrow-gauge railroad system. The railroad was used to carry coal and freight in, and ashes out of downtown. Later, one of the tunnels under a river was breached and the tunnels flooded, filling most of the basements in downtown Chicago with river water.
The scene where the State Trooper cars were wrecked was filmed on location in Wauconda Illinois at Rte 176 and Rte 12 in the southeast corner of the intersection, the film crew was set up on the feeder that takes you from 176 to southbound 12. Trooper cars were moving south on 12 and turned off right at the top of the hill and all piled up at the bottom. The beach used in the filming was also in Wauconda but has since been closed to the public. The large slide in the movie has been diassembled but still sits next to the beach on shore directly off Main street.
All of the 1974 Dodge Monaco police cars used to play the Bluesmobile were actually retired California Highway Patrol cars, which wore the same paint scheme as Mount Prospect, Ill. just with different graphics. Each car was labelled and aged to look like a Mount Prospect car. Dan Aykroyd also personally decorated the dash of the main Bluesmobile that he and John Belushi are in for all of the interior shots.
The scene where the Car 55 crashes into the truck was on IL 53 at IL 68/Dundee Road. I know this area like the back of my hand. It occurs on Southbound IL 53 just after the exit for IL 68/Dundee Road, in Lake County, IL.
Cab Calloway played Curtis and had the band play "Minnie the Moocher", his own hit from 1930. The reason all the band's outfits changed and the stage set changed was to reflect Calloway's act from that time at the Cotton Club in New York. I guess you could say it's the nearest the Blues Brothers movie got to a dream sequence!
*Elwood is in glasses instead of shades in a deleted scene (after Elwood's apartment gets destroyed) where he goes to his job at a glue factory and takes a couple of unlabelled bottles of glue and places them in his briefcase causing the assembly line to get screwed up. Later on in the film, we see that Elwood uses the bottles of glue to spray the accelerator in the Good Ole Boys' Winnebago where he tells Jake, "This is glue. Strong stuff;" and to spray in the air nozzles of the police cars' tires so that once the tires start moving, they explode. Elwood talks like he has a Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering when he explains this to Jake. Hilarious. In the VHS/TV version, we only see the part where Elwood sprays glue on the accelerator, but in the DVD version, we see the scene as described above.