Watch: Aretha Franklin's only film role in 'The Blues Brothers' is a treat
Aretha Franklin played the role of Mrs. Murphy in 'The Blues Brothers' which was the first movie ever to come out of sketch performances on 'Saturday Night Live'
The world was greeted with the sad news of the Queen of Soul — Aretha Franklin — passing away on Thursday, August 16, at her home in Detroit, Michigan. And now is as good a time as any to celebrate her legacy and, of course, her contribution to soul music with her countless songs, live performances, and that iconic Grammy performance where she stepped in for Luciano Pavarotti.
There is also another little-known feat of hers that few of us know. You see, Franklin, who was the voice of America and was even heard the Obama Inauguration, had also starred in two Blues Brothers movies. 'The Blues Brothers' came out in 1980 and the sequel 'Blues Brothers 2000' released in 1998. 'The Blues Brothers' was the first movie ever to come out of sketch performances on 'Saturday Night Live'.
Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi starred in the film, playing the roles of Ellwood and Jake Blues — a pair of ex-con, soul singing white guys. The plot revolves around the same brothers and shows their journey towards trying to organize a benefit concert to save the Catholic orphanage where both of them had been raised.
As the Blues Brothers try to reconnect with all the singers, musicians and, of course, cronies they have crossed paths in their lives so far, an all-star cast of blues, soul, and R&B performers assembles including the likes of Ray Charles and Cab Calloway to James Brown.
It is on this journey of trying to bring their old band together that the Blues Brothers go to retrieve their lead guitarist, Matt Murphy, who they find now working in a diner with his wife played by the legendary Franklin.
Franklin's Mrs. Murphy has no time for ex-con artists and definitely doesn't want her husband going back to them or to his old ways. So she does what she knows best, she breaks out into a song that sums up all of her emotions about the situation she has been presented with.
This song isn't the only striking thing about her performance as it is hilarious how she takes down the two white guys and their orders for dry white toast and exactly four fried chicken. Pair it up with her screen presence and it's a classic!
Sadly, this was the only role she ever graced. While there was another reprising cameo in the Blues Brothers sequel in 1998, Franklin was never seen in another movie role in her entire life. It's unknown whether this was from a lack of interest in doing so, but one thing is for sure — Franklin would have aced any role at all.