Crossroads. 1986. dir. Walter Hill
First off, this is NOT the Britney Spears film... this is more like Karate Kid except with guitars. That's right, Ralph Macchio plays Eugene, the classical guitar prodigy from Juilliard who is obsessed with the blues. At a nursing home, he meets Willie Brown (Joe Seneca), a hard-swinging harp player who had worked with Eugene's hero Robert Johnson. Eugene is willing to take Willie down to Mississippi if the elder blues veteran is willing to teach the young Daniel Laruso-look-alike a lost Robert Johnson song.
The film is only about 100 minutes, but it goes by rather slowly. The two guys face many obstacles on their way down, including lack of funds, lack of sympathy, and corrupt officers. However, they do make it to Mississippi, and specifically, to the Crossroads, where Willie faces the devil once again in order to break his contract. Honestly, you can really skip the first 85 minutes of the film. You'll miss the backstory of Eugene and his love interest Frances (Jami Gertz), who teaches him what the blues really mean. But the last ten minutes or so is prime-time comedy...
Eugene engages in a guitar dual with Jack Butler (Steve Vai), a flashy guitarist who wears leather pants and uses heavy metal guitars. The interplay between them is hilarious, as Butler keeps making intimidating faces as if he were a member of Cobra Kai. At first, Eugene's electric slide-blues keeps up with Butler, but later Butler's winding whammy bar solos leaves the young boy in the dust. However, Eugene has a crane kick in the works... his classical training from Juilliard. Cinema classic.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend this film. However, I do recommend Netflixing it and using the AoA DVD Ripper to rip that guitar battle. High marks for hilarity.
Trailer for the film:
Trailer for Britney's Crossroads (in case you wanted to compare):
And finally, some stuff on Ralph Macchio: