Eddie and the Cruisers

1983 film by Martin Davidson

Eddie and the Cruisers is a 1983 musical film about a television reporter investigating the mysterious death of a legendary rock star and the search for his band's second album, which disappeared from the vaults of Satin Records the day after his alleged death.

Directed by Martin Davidson. Screenplay by Martin Davidson and Arlene Davidson; based on the novel by P. F. Kluge.
Rebel. Rocker. Lover. Idol. Vanished.

Eddie Wilson

  • [singing] The dark side is calling now, nothing is real / She'll never know just how I feel / From out of a shadow, she walks like a dream / Makes me feel crazy, makes me feel so mean / Ain't nothing gonna save you from a love that is blind / Slip to the dark side across that line / On the dark side, oh yeah / On the dark side, oh yeah
  • [to Frank] Joann was telling me you write music, thinks that might be good. I can give you a try. What I want is songs that echo. The stuff we're doing now is like somebody's bedsheets. Spread 'em out, soil 'em, ship 'em out to laundry, you know? [Frank nods] But our songs... I want to be able to fold ourselves up in them forever. You understand? That's the most you'll ever get out of me, Wordman, ever.
  • You actually believe that you could build a castle out of a bunch of junk. What a crock. [looks at the mirror] Holy shit. What a phony. [smashes the mirror] Here we are, guys. Right where we belong. You got your Edsels,... Norges,... Dumonts... and Eddie Wilson. Together at last, creating our own incredible monument to nothing! [shouts and claps his hands] Here's to nothing, fellas! Here's to nothing!
  • [to the audience, a few days after Wendell Newton's death] The other day, I buried one of my best friends. He was the best sax player I ever heard. And they tell me I gotta come up here and entertain you people now. I don't think I'll be able to do that. [walks off the stage]


  • Maggie Foley: "A Season in Hell", a spiritual and confessional autobiography. Arthur Rimbaud was a genius, his writings were a quest. A search for perfection, an attempt to find total freedom. At the age of nineteen, Arthur Rimbaud commited suicide, not of the flesh, but of the mind and the soul. It means he never wrote another word, and disappeared off the face of the earth. He was not seen nor heard from again for nearly twenty years, until he reappeared in a hospital within Marseille on his deathbed.
  • Maggie Foley: [On the bridge Eddie wrecked on] The innocence of the 50s was over and so was rock and roll as we knew it. We were entering a new age, an age of confusion, an age of passion, of commitment. Eddie Wilson saw it coming. "Season in Hell" is the total innovation for its time. It was a signal a greatness yet to come. Eddie Wilson was a step ahead of us and I don't think we've caught up with him yet. Eddie's been dead for almost 18 years, but his music is as alive today as the day he recorded it. For me and for everyone who listens to music, Eddie Wilson lives and always will.
  • Joann Carlino: There were so many things I wanted to say to him, so many questions I wanted to ask. But Eddie and I, we had a deal, we never talked about the future. We thought the present was so fine, why ruin it by planning ahead? But as Eddie drove off, I knew, I knew it then, it wasn't gonna be any future. In the morning, they told me that Eddie was gone, and they hadn't found his body.


Frank Ridgeway: Can I help you guys?
Sal Amato: Yeah, tell Tony Eddie and the Cruisers are here.

Eddie Wilson: [getting ready to practice "Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes"] Let's get on with the music. 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4. [starts the song] Hold it, hold it! Wait a minute, wait a minute!
Sal Amato: What the matter?
Eddie Wilson: What's the matter, where you racing to, where's the fire?
Sal Amato: No fire. That's the way the song was written, it goes that way: upbeat. What's the problem?
Eddie Wilson: The problem is I'm just saying words. You know, you got to give me a little room so people will know what I'm singing about.
Sal Amato: Hey, you lose the beat, people miss a step, we want them to dance.
Eddie Wilson: Lose a beat, miss a step. What a you a moron, Sal?
Sam Amato: Do you believe this guy?
Eddie Wilson: Look, Sal, I like your stuff. But it just ain't what I was looking for. You understand?
Sal Amato: Forget it, you had your mind made up before you ever started. So what am I knocking myself out for?
Eddie Wilson: Look, I don't want to argue with you, Sal. Do you want to get another opinion on the subject?
Sal Amato: No! Forget it.
Eddie Wilson: Joann, what do you think?
Sal Amato: What are you asking her for?
Eddie Wilson: Why not ask her, she's got brain?
Sal Amato: I don't know anything? She knows, huh? Everybody you bring into this band is an expert, except Sally. Sally's just a dumb guinea, right?
Eddie Wilson: You dumb guinea. [looking at Frank] Hey, kid, come here.
Frank Ridgeway: Who, me?
Eddie Wilson: Yeah, you, come here.
[Franks slowly walks over]
Eddie Wilson: Now, you heard what we're talking about. What do you think?
Frank Ridgeway: [agreeing with Eddie] I think he's right, I think it needs a caesura.
Eddie Wilson: [pointing to himself] See, my way with a caesurian.

Sal Amato: [about Maggie] You know what she really wanted to talk about? Those old tapes: "Season in Hell". She said something about them being missing, and wanted to know if I knew where they were.
Frank Ridgeway: What did you tell her?
Sal Amato: I told her I don't have a clue. For all I care, they could a gone down with Eddie. You understand?
Frank Ridgeway: Sally, you were on those tapes too.
Sal Amato: If they find those tapes, what's in it for me, huh? I just about broke my fingers trying to play that stuff.
Frank Ridgeway: Well, if it must be worth money, somebody's wanting to pay for them.
Sal Amato: But we ain't gonna see a dime from that. They'll find a way to screw us, they always do. Guys like you and me, they strike oil under your garden and all you get is dead tomatoes.

[The band is at Benton College where Frank graduated from]
Sal Amato: Hey, Wordman, this shindig tonight. How are we suppose to dress?
Frank Ridgeway: Hey, wait a minute. What is the big deal? We've played at colleges before.
Eddie Wilson: Yeah, sure, we played at "St. Something" down in Delaware and "Fairly Ridiculous" up in Madison, but we ain't never played at no finishing school like this. This is a mistake, we don't belong here. These people are different.
Frank Ridgeway: I'm telling you they're gonna eat us up. They're just a bunch of college kids, no better than you...
Eddie Wilson: [interrupting] Hey! I didn't say better, I said different. You oughta remember that.

Maggie Foley: Frank, how much influence did Rimbaud have on Eddie?
Frank Ridgeway: Looking for a ghost?
Maggie Foley: [smiles knowingly] Maybe.
Frank Ridgeway: You don't really think Eddie's still alive, do you?
Maggie Foley: I guess not. But what about the coincindence of "Season in Hell"? Frank what happened to those tapes?
Frank Ridgeway: Hey, look, it didn't work. The record company hated it, they never released the album.
Maggie Foley: Frank, I want to get a hold of those tapes and play them on my show. Let's let them be heard, and let the people decide whether their any good.
Frank Ridgeway: I don't know where they are. Honest, we'd like to find them as much as you would.

[The band has just finished recording their second album Season in Hell and are listening to the playback. The sound engineer suddenly stops the record and Eddie angrily charges into the soundbooth]
Doc Robbins: Damn it. What the hell are you doing?
Lew Eisen: I've heard enough. Tell him to just relax.
Doc Robbins: [about Eddie's album] There's nothing can't be fixed, am I right?
Lew Eisen: This won't fix, this is a disaster. [to Eddie] You want to be a poet? Try Greenwich Village.
Doc Robbins: Listen, Lew, another couple of weeks. We've been working for months.
Lew Eisen: Doc, take six weeks. I still wouldn't know what to do with it.
Eddie Wilson: [angrily to Lew, with Sal and Kenny holding him back] You want to know what you can do with it? I'll tell you what you can do with it, you son of a bitch!
Lew Eisen: Hey! I put up ten grand, and I expect something for my money. This is what I've waiting a year for? A bunch of jerk-offs making weird sounds? You're not gonna see a red penny!

Doc Robbins: [to Eddie] Are you crazy? We had the money in our hands and you blew it. You blew it! [Eddie pushes him far back]
Sal Amato: Eddie, you're wrong! You're wrong! Now listen to me, I love you. I've known you longer than anyone else. But you're wrong. They want "On the Dark Side"! Why are we giving them some damn opera? I don't even know what you're after!
Eddie Wilson: I want something great. I want something that nobody's ever done before!
Sal Amato: Why? We ain't great. We're just some guys from Jersey.
Eddie Wilson: If you can't be great, than there's no sense in ever playing music again, Sal.
[Joann follows Eddie as he leaves the studio]
Sal Amato: [to Frank] Blame this on you. It was you! We were doing good till you came along. And you got us all screwed up!

Joann Carlino: Frank, I know you're gonna think I'm crazy. But I have to tell you something. Last night, there was a car sitting in my driveway: a '57 Chevy, just like Eddie's.
Frank Ridgeway: Joann, that car was destroyed in the accident, remember?
Joann Carlino: I know, but whoever it was, must have seen me looking out the window. He blinked his headlights high, then low, then high again, just like Eddie.
Frank Ridgeway: It can't be. It can't be him.
Joann Carlino: Well, who then? Who?
Frank Ridgeway: It's not Eddie. Now, whoever it is that's watching you is looking to cash in on those tapes. But it is not Eddie.
Joann Carlino: Frank, I know where those tapes are. After the accident, I had to say goodbye in my own way. I went to Satin Records, got the tapes, and drove back to Palace Depression.
Frank Ridgeway: Take me there.

Frank Ridgeway: Why did you do this?
Doc Robbins: Shortcuts, kid. I never could do things the easy way.
Frank Ridgeway: Doc, why this little game and the car business?
Doc Robbins: I figured Joann had the tapes, I knew she wasn't gonna give them to me. Maybe you, Wordman, maybe if she'd give them to you.
Joann Carlino: What would you do if you had the tapes, Doc?
Doc Robbins: Try me, just try me. I have it made. For once in my life, I'd bring home a winner... I'd like that.
Joann Carlino: I once asked Eddie why he kept you around. You know what he said? He said, "Doc's a dreamer, and the world needs dreamers."
Doc Robbins: He was the only real friend I ever had.

Main cast


See also

  • Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Livesǃ
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