Crossroads (1986) - full transcript

Eugene is an extraordinary talent in classic guitar, but he dreams of being a famous Blues guitarist. So he investigates to find a storied lost song. He asks the legendary Blues musician Willie Brown to help him, but Willie demands to free him from the old-people's prison first and to really learn the blues on the way to its origin: Mississippi Delta. Eugene doesn't know yet about Willie's deal with the devil, that he now wants to revoke. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
You ever record before?

You just set yourself in front of that
microphone and play your heart out.

We'll take care of the rest.
We got all the machines.

You just get yourself ready
to play, okay, Robert?


Okay, let's get to it.

Robert Johnson. Stand by.


Attention, Officer McGuire. Please
report to the east wing security gate.

Attention, Officer McGuire. Please
report to the east wing security gate.

Hi. I'm here to see a patient,
Willie Brown.

- What is your name, please?
- Eugene Martone.

Excuse me. While I'm here,
I'd like to run a routine security check.

Exercise classes with the physical
therapist will begin at 9 a. m...

...Monday through Friday.

Those patients with doctors' blue
cards are asked to participate.

Security Officer Larkin, please pick up
the staff phone at the nurses' station.

Security Officer Larkin, please pick up
the staff phone at the nurses' station.

I'm sorry, Willie says he doesn't
know anyone named Martone.

Well, he doesn't know me,
but if I could talk to him...

Mr. Brown made it very clear
he won't be seeing anyone.

No, look, just a minute.
I have to ask him...

I said, Mr. Brown made it very clear
he doesn't want to see anyone.

I can't b...


Just need a signature right there.

Attention, Officer MacFarland.
Please report to the security office.

Attention, Officer MacFarland...

Martone, right?

When you finish the hall,
take care of the coffee room.

And let's put a clean trash bag
in my office. Thank you.

They said it was me,
but I didn't do it.

What's the story on Hoss?

Twenty-five milligrams of
memprogromade and he's due now.

Okay, fine.

Gary's play all the way and he
made it, just nipping McGee.

Tim McCarver along with Steve
Zabriskie and Ralph Kiner...

...and we've got a dandy
here at Shea.

Well, regardless of whether
you're a Cardinals fan, a Mets fan...'ve gotta love this.
This is a baseball game.

A line drive, deep.

Can't get to it.

Gets by him and Danny...

What you want, Mr. Janitor Man?
I ain't made no mess.

- Hey, you're Willie.
- That's my name.

I heard you playing harp,
so I dropped by to say hello.

- You're new here, ain't you?
- This is my first day.

Well, hello, Mr. Janitor Man.
Now let me be.

I wanted you to know...

...if there's anything I can get for you,
anything you want or anything...

You can get gone.

Sorry to bother you.
I'll just stop back later, okay?

Mr. Fulton.

Mr. who?

You were Blind Dog Fulton
from 1939 to 1968, weren't you?

What you been drinking, Sterno?

Your name's Willie Brown. Blind Dog
Fulton was born Willie Brown.

He used that name up until 1938.

After his friend Robert Johnson
was killed...

...he headed up to Chicago,
changed it to Blind Dog Fulton.

I got six cousins named Willie Brown.

Man working that grocery store down
the street, his name Willie Brown.

If I had a nickel for every
Willie Brown...

...I wouldn't be here now,
listening to your bullshit.

You're not the Willie Brown
Robert calls out to... "Crossroad Blues"?

Shit, no. Robert Johnson.

You play harmonica. That's the real
Willie Brown's main instrument.

It doesn't make sense.

Where I come from,
you don't blow no harp... don't get no pussy.

There's no way. You gotta be. It's...

All right, Miss Narciso, please.

That was very good, Eugene.

Very good up to a point.

Most people approach
Mozart with respect.

Evidently that's an attitude
you're not familiar with.

I'm sorry,
I didn't mean any disrespect.

I was just making a joke.

Which one of these is a cigar lighter?
Have a little...

Blasted new-fangled gadgets.

Never work.

Gramshell's folly.

Pile of junk.

Oh, what a mess.

Magoo. Hello, Magoo.

Magoo, can you hear me?

Well, well, well. Mr. Janitor Man.

Hey, why a white boy like you so hot
on some long-gone harmonica player?

I'm looking for a lost song.

Lost song?
What tune you looking for?

Robert Johnson was supposed to
record 30 songs at his Texas sessions.

Only 29 exist. He never
recorded number 30.

- You read that in a book too?
- That's right.

I figure you might be the last man
alive to know where it is.

That part's not in the book.

Why you wanna know
about all that kind of stuff?

I'm a bluesman.

A bluesman.

You? Where you from?

I was born on Long Island, why?

Long Island. Oh, shit, this is rich.

Long Island, the famous breeding
ground for bluesmen.

Oh, man.

Okay, Willie, time for your weekly with
the doctor. Let's go have a checkup.

Hey. You gonna be a janitor,
act like one.

Mop my room, you hear?
Give her a good straightening.

Come on, Willie.
Stop being such a pain.

Long Island bluesman.

You came to us
as a classical student.

The word "prodigy" was actually
used on occasion.

And you have proven to be one of
the finest guitarists in the school.

Mr. Martone, a word of advice:

Don't serve two masters.

The discipline of the classical
is very exacting.

And if you persist in the other,
you will squander your talent.

What if the other is my talent?

Excellence in primitive music
is cultural.

You have to be born to it.

Now, you were allowed to leave
secondary school early... pursue classical studies.

I suggest you reexamine
your priorities.

Well, looky here.

The famous Long Island bluesman
come back to pay another visit.

How's it going, Willie?

- You ever been to Mississippi?
- Nope.

- You call yourself a bluesman?
- You're not Blind Dog Fulton, right?

Yeah, well, Willie, I got something
here that you may be interested in.

Hey, blind boy, come over here.

- What's your name, four-eyes?
- My name Willie Brown, sir.

What you doing on these crossroads
alone, Willie Brown?

Robert Johnson told me
I could makes a deal here.

A deal. With who?

Robert say a man called Legba.
You him?

No, no.

I'm his assistant.

Now, let me see here. You got to tell
me what's on your mind, Willie Brown.

I got 2 dollar.


...your green don't buy nothing down
where Legba come from, boy.

Now, you wanna play
like Robert Johnson?

You wanna play like
Petie Wheatstraw?

Well, say good night to your soul, son.

Go on, blind boy. Sign.

Be here before 12
every Saturday night...

...and you learn them blues.

Boy, about that 2 dollar...

...I'm running a little low on gas.

See you in hell, blind boy.

Oh, man. Look at this shit.

Here we go. A little soul
from the golden ghetto.

Hey, Long Island, let's hear the one
about the plantation you was born on.

Let's hear how you come
to doing time on the pea farm.

You ain't gonna let me rest
with this music talk, are you?



Meet Blind Dog Fulton.

The original, one and only,
Willie Brown.

- You have found your man.
- Oh, this is great.

This is great. I knew it. You thought...

- Look, I'm not Robert Johnson, but...
- No, you ain't.

You ain't the beginning of a pimple on
the late, great Robert Johnson's ass.

You might have lightning,
but you missing everything else.

- What? Like what?
- Mileage.

You can't get that living at home
with your mama wiping your butt.

- I don't.
- Where you live?

It's like a school dormitory.

Oh, a school dormitory.

Oh, times is hard.

Times is hard.

Willie, wait up. Wait up.

You know what song it was Robert
Johnson didn't record that day?

I was with Robert when he made it up.

Memphis, summer, 1936.

- Could you let me in on it?
- Shit, no.

- Well, why not?
- Why should I?

Well, see, I could record it.
Like Clapton did with "Crossroads."

The Rolling Stones did it
with "Love in Vain."

It could be my whole introduction
to the blues scene.

We could record it together.

You're just one more white boy
ripping off our music.

No, no. Willie, we'd be giving
it to the whole world.

See, there's people who'd give
anything for that.

- I mean, me and you, we could just...
- No, you ain't deserving. No mileage.

Willie, look, when I get out of Juilliard,
I'll put on some mileage...

...but right now, I just...
- When you get out of Julie who?

- Juilliard, it's just a music school...
- Ain't but one school...

...straight on down to the Delta.
That's where it all started.

Willie, here's something from the
Delta. Tell me this isn't Son House.

Sounds like bird shit.

Come on, Willie. We could record
the song right here in the hospital.

Imagine what we could do
with that track. Just imagine what...

Eugene, get me out of here.

- What?
- Get me back down to Fulton's Point... piece of land outside Yazoo City.

- Right, escape from here. I'd wind up...
- Get me out and you got that song.

You serious?

You're serious. What, are you
trying to get me arrested?

Come on, Willie, cut the shit, now.
I'm serious about this song.

The only shit to cut
around here is you.

I've been of a mind that you
was another lightning boy...

...but you just a chicken-ass.

Chicken-ass chickenshit.

You can walk?

I can still do a few other things too.

I may be about ready
for another woman.

You know, I've been married
four times. I just wore them all out.

You're not a cripple.

You're always asking people
to get things for you.

Yeah, well, they find out I can walk,
they take away my Pontiac.

Man ain't no man he ain't got no car.

- You got a car?
- No.

Then you ain't no man yet.

Not even close,
are you, Mr. Chicken-Ass?

Come on, Willie. I'm not chicken.

I'm not crazy either.

You want me to get you to Mississippi
on what they pay me here?

I got some money I been saving.

- You're not gonna teach me the song?
- Sure I will.

In the state of Mississippi.

I got a train to catch, Willie.

Go home to your dormitory. Let them
wipe and polish your ass real good.

And be sure to call your mama
and kiss her...

Why don't you just leave
my mother out of it, Willie.

Look, that song Robert wrote
is a real good one.

You could be the first man to record it.

All right. Look.

Tomorrow morning, 5:00.
You be ready.

We'll go to Mississippi, all right?

- You mean it?
- I told you, just be ready.

All right, I'll be out
in a few minutes, okay?

It's your meter, kid.

Looking for me?

- What are you dressed like that for?
- Because I'm a bluesman.

You be quiet. Come on.

Okay, let's go. Come on.

- Hey!
- Shit.

Come on.

Where the hell you think
you're going?


Come on.

- Willie.
- Hey, get back here!

Come back here.
Open the door, open the door!

Okay, come on.

Get in.

Okay, come on.

Willie, I checked this out last night.

I only have enough cash
to get to Memphis.

That's where we change buses.

I want you to kick in some money to
Mississippi. Got that roll on you?

Been on my hip right next
to my whip for 15 years.

- Of course I got it.
- Let's have it. Come on.

You don't be pulling out a wad
of bacon like that in New York City.

In Memphis, I'll pick up the tickets
and pay for the rest.


All right.
I'm gonna go get the tickets.

- Well, half is mine.
- All right, here. You take this.

I traveled with Robert off and on
between 1932 and 1938.

Last time I saw him was a couple
of months before he died.

I wanted to go on to Chicago, but he
wanted to go on back to Mississippi.

He wanted to learn real good
blues and make a name.

- So he went on down...
- I know. I read all about this, Willie.

He went to the crossroads. That's
where he made his deal with the devil.

- You read about it?
- They have books on blues folklore.

Oh, don't give me that folklore shit.
It happened.

Now, that's where Robert
made his deal...

...and after he told me about it,
that's where I made mine.

They learn you in school
what happened to Robert?

Well, some books say he was shot.
Some say he was poisoned.

One said he was poisoned,
then stabbed.

- I don't think anybody really knows.
- Yeah, well, I know.

And it all means just one thing: dead.

Right, Willie. And you made
your deal at the crossroads.

Yeah, I made a deal.

I had my piece of fame and fortune.

What come of me?

The state pen, prison ward,
old folks' cage.

You really did shoot somebody,
didn't you?

I know that's why they put you in jail
and everything, but you really did it?

Damn right.

Snooks Jordan.

Guitar man.

He was doing the business.

Come to find out he was taking more
than his part of the money...

...telling me that's all
the man was paying.

I smacked him right in his
face while he was driving.

He pulled over...

...took this half-pint, broke it on
the road and come back in on me.

Shot him in the neck.

And you didn't get out
on parole or nothing.

No, I didn't have nobody
to stand for me.

I didn't have no place to go.

All I got was hellhounds on my trail.

Well, it's not over yet, Willie Brown.

Well, this is it. We're down South.

How does it feel to be
in the land of cotton?

Tennessee ain't bad...

...but she ain't a pretty piece
like old home Mississippi.

It won't be long now. This is where
we change buses, remember?

Of course I remember. What do
you think, I done lost all my faculties?

Give me the money.
I'll go get the tickets.

I thought you was paying the freight.

No. You know I paid
from New York to here.

- You're taking care of the rest.
- I'm taking care of the rest?

Give me the money.
We'll get the tickets.

- That's gonna be a problem.
- Why is that?

What do I look like, Rockefeller?
I ain't got that money.

Stop joking. We don't have time.

Just give me the money,
we can get out of here.

The money, Willie. Come on.
Give me the money roll.

Otherwise we're not getting anyplace.

Thank you.

Now, count it up, because I don't
know exactly how much I got.

Willie, what the hell is this newspaper
shit? There's only $40 here.

That's about right.

- What are you trying to pull?
- $40 ain't nothing to sneeze at.

Well, it's certainly not gonna get us
to Mississippi, you know that. You...

Just wait here. I'll find out
what shit you got me in now.

- Excuse me, sir.
- Yes, sir.

Yeah, I need to get to Yazoo City,
Mississippi. How far is that?

Yazoo City, about 200 miles.

Two hundred. I got $40.
I need to get two people there.

- How far will that get me?
- Two people?

That ain't even gonna get
you one-third the way.

That's what I thought.
Thank you.

Nice going, Willie. Yazoo City
is over 200 miles from here.

What are we gonna do now
with $40?

Call your mama.
Put it on one of her credit cards.

I told you to leave her out of it.
I'm not calling my father in Chicago.

- Why's your daddy in Chicago?
- They're divorced.

- It's none of your business.
- That's what they get.

The hell with you.
I'm not calling them.

We got $40.
We're gonna handle this now.

Ain't you got pride.

Ain't but one thing we can do
in that circumstance.

- What? What's that?
- Hobo.

- Hobo?
- Yeah, I done it for 70 years of my life.

Robert Johnson done it all of his.

Ain't no sense in stopping now.

Welcome to Bluesville, son.


What's the matter with you, Lightning?
Why are you looking so down?

No problem. I like sharing the back
of a truck with chickens.

It's my idea of a real good time.

Well, it should be. You in Mississippi,
the home of the blues...

...and standing on Highway 61.
- Wonderful.

Look, you go down this road...

...and you run right smack-dab
into the heart of where it all started.

I can understand why you ain't happy.

This is the real thing.
This ain't no book.

- What are you doing?
- I'm changing my tie.

And I could use a little help.

I ought to choke you.

You do and you get knocked
on your ass.

This is a Mississippi string tie. This
is what a bluesman wear in this state.

Them other ties, they for city folk.

Thanks, Lightning.

Get your thumb on back out
there and get us another ride.

We got a long way
to go to Fulton's Point.

About 40 more miles and
we make it into Greenville.

Great. Greenville, Mississippi,
is where I've always wanted to be.

You don't know nothing.

A lot of good bluesmen
from around Greenville.

A lot of fine, foxy mamas too, yes, sir.

Greenville is famous for pussy.

Hey, look at that train over there.

You ain't gonna never get that lost
song if you can't make the train talk.

Yeah, the way you playing,
it's gonna take you 10 years.

Well, maybe I'll have to do
what you did.

Go to the crossroads and
strike a deal with the devil.

That'll take care of the whole th...

Don't you ever say that again.

What you waiting for?

What you waiting for, four-eyes?

Willie, what's the matter?

Hey, come on, Willie. You okay?

Of course I'm okay.

You ain't drinking your beer.
Come on, we gotta get moving.

Maybe I just wanna hang
for a minute, all right?

There's a pay phone outside.

Go call your mama.
She be checking up on you by now.

She's in Europe, Willie.

Nobody's gonna notice I'm gone,
not that it's any of your business.

Kind of testy, ain't you?

Well, I got no reason to be, right?

I came here to learn
Robert Johnson's lost song...

...not get slapped in the face
by an old man.

Or find out I gotta become a hobo
and go broke...

I'm sorry your life turned out
so hard, Eugene.

But I got my own business
to tend to down here.

And I won't have you
slow me down.

- Business? What business?
- Personal business.

And given your attitude,
you got no reason to know what.

What the hell's the matter with
my attitude? I have a great attitude.

You got your mind made up about how
everything works, don't you?

How you ever gonna learn
anything new...

...when you know everything already?

Look at this old guitar
you been squeaking on.

I bet you saw it in a store
and bought it...

...just because you thought
it was beat-up.

Well, you got it all wrong.

Muddy Waters invented electricity.

Yes, sir. Now, I can tell you're
a real musical-type young fellow.

Good-looking boy too.
Know what you're talking about.

Now, I got something right here...
Something right here for you.

They call this here a Pignose.

Now, you just hook it on your belt,
plug it right in there...

...and you're amplified.

- I can walk around with this amp on?
- Oh, sure thing.

- I mean, you'll be a walking concert.
- Let me check this out.

- You got that on?
- Yeah, go ahead.

- All right.
- This is a great rig. It's great.

I can go electric and portable. So
you're right. I'll be a walking concert.

You ain't lacking in confidence,
I'll give you that.

Now, we'll cut off a couple of inches
off this tubing here...

...and make you a slide.
You wanna play some Delta blues... gotta use a slide.

All right, now, if you can come up with
$400, you can take the whole rig.

Mighty fine watch. Let's move on down
here and let's talk some business.

- Look here.
- Let's see what we got here, now.

Look, this watch is worth over $ 1100.

His mama bought it for him,
you understand what I mean?

- How long...?
- Take a look at this hat.

All I need is a Mississippi
string tie, I'm ready to roll.

Yeah, you need a lot more than that.

Come on, Willie.

Move your ass right back
out that door, sucker.

Come on, get the hell out of here.

So that's the way it's gonna be?
All right.

Come on, missy. You won't be
the first woman to ever cut me.

Let me tell you, you won't be the first
woman I ever whup her ass either.

That's the way you want it? It's your
funeral. Come on, keep coming.

Come on. Come on.

Go ahead. Are you gonna stand there
or are you gonna carve me up?

- Jump!
- Shit.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Pulling a knife on an old man,
half blind...

...then wanna chase him
back out in the rain.

Back in my day,
hobos respected each other.

- What name you go by?
- Frances.

They call me Blind Dog Fulton.

Also known as Willie Brown.

- Also...
- What about him?

Lightning Boy Martone.
Also known as Eugene.

Lightning Boy and Blind Dog.

What the hell are you guys
supposed to be?

- We're both bluesmen.
- Well, I'm the bluesman.

He's from Long Island.

We're hoboing.
What about you?

I'm hitching from Philadelphia,
going out to L.A.

I got a dancing gig out there.

Yeah, well, this road ain't no place
for a sweet-pants like you.

Now, you take that from the greatest
hobo that ever lived.

How old are you, anyway?
You under 16?

Yeah, you're right, Willie.
I'd say she's definitely jailbait.

Oh, yeah? I don't see too many signs
of puberty on you, honey.

Anyway, I'm 17. How old are you?

I'm 17.

- What are you, a runaway?
- Yeah.

Four-time vet.

I think I threw them a curve,
heading south.

Yeah, well, they threw us a few curves
too since Lightning broke me out.

You broke him out of jail?


Well, no, it was like a nursing home.

A nursing home?
Oh, give me a break.

Excuse me while I go
put my pants on.

- Pack up.
- What?

- Pack up.
- Why?

Get your bags packed.

Get your stuff together.

- Which way you guys headed?
- South, towards...

...Yazoo City and Vicksburg.
- Staying on 61?

Damn right, that's the road home.
Come on.

- What are you doing?
- Just wait. I'll tell you about it later.

It's raining.

Well, I got a longer hike. I'm going
down to Jackson. I'll see you around.

Yeah, sure. I hope you
make it to L.A. fast.

- Come on, we can't let that get away.
- What? She's bad news.

That thing's got a leg on it.

Now, it'll get lots more rides
than your thumb. Come on.

Yeah, could you take me
as far south as you can?

- Sure enough.
- Oh, great.


This dude's taking us to the next town.
From there we're going separate ways.

Hey, no problem. We don't want you
slowing us down anyway.

What the hell is going on here?

What, are y'all trying to run off
my business?

Hey, hey, boy, I'm talking to you.

- Hey, relax, we're going.
- You're damn right you're going.

And you can tell that old mud duck
to get his ass off my property.

Lay off. You got no right talking
to people like that.

Where you from, boy?

New York.

Well, Mr. New York, I tell you what.

See now, I'll go in my office
and I'll get my. 357 Magnum...

...and I'll bring it out here...

...and then you and I can discuss
just who's got the right.

Come on, let's go.

Don't come back.

All right, all right, folks. Come on,
it's Lloyd's turn to buy. Darling?

Louise, where the hell have
you been lately?

I've been looking all over
for you all week.

I didn't know that
kind of thing still went on.

Well, now you starting to learn
some deep blues.

She's not doing what I think
she's doing, is she?


She's only 17. What if that bum
does something to her?

- I can't believe she's doing this.
- It's a dangerous road, Lightning.

And 17 ain't no minor in this state.

Why don't we just call this, oh,
an introductory offer?

You know, on the house.
And in return... show you what a nice fellow
I really am...

...why, I'm gonna let you push ass
out of this room all night long.

Didn't look to me like she
was going against her will.

Looked to me like she thought
she knew what she was doing.

Hell, I got girls coming
up from Jackson... out of here on weekends.

Now, I keep a real orderly shop.

Nobody gets in trouble.

Matter of fact, a girl as young...

...and pretty as you are...

...well, I bet she'd be real
popular around here.

We probably got a deal, huh?

I mean, I always liked showering
with a healthy, young girl.

Why don't you go start the shower,
okay. I like it nice and hot.

- You want it hot?
- Yeah.

You're gonna get it.

You're gonna get it steaming, baby.

Now, you get those clothes off,
you hear?

- What are you doing here?
- Are you crazy?

Come on, let's get you out of here.
Come on.

Frances, get your ass in here
or I'm gonna get nasty, now.

Okay, I'll be right in.
I'm coming right in, okay?

Well, hurry up, darling.
Henry's waiting.

- Shit.
- What?

- What?
- Frances.

When he comes out,
you put his lights out.

We'll grab his wallet
and get out of here.

- Are you crazy?
- You wanted to rescue me, didn't you?

So when he comes out,
knock him on his ass.

Dear God, she is more problem
than she is worth.

Here he comes.

Goddamn it.

How come you still
got your clothes on?

What the hell's going on here, bitch?

Get him, Eugene!
Get that son of a bitch, Eugene.

Come on, get him!
Goddamn it! Get off of him!

Back off, mister. Or these walls
will be getting a free paint job.

All right, now. Just hold on.
Don't shoot.

Little underdressed, Lloyd.

She's right. Maybe you better
put your coat on.

Listen, why don't we all
just quit here...


...things are getting just...

Just a bit out of hand.

You just have a seat
on the bed there, mister.

Where'd you get the gun?

Same place you got your guitar,
at the pawn shop.

A bluesman never travels
the road without a pistol. No, sir.

His wallet and his keys are probably
in his pants in the bathroom.

You heard what the lady said,
Lightning Boy.

- Are we gonna steal his car too?
- That's right.

- Go get the wallet and the keys.
- Let's just get out of here.

What'd you expect out here,
a picnic?

Now, you gonna be somebody or you
gonna call your mama on the phone?



Listen, Lloyd...

...we're gonna borrow that car of yours
for about 24 hours, okay?

If we get any heat before then...

...well, then, I'm just gonna have to tell
a statutory story, since I'm only 15.

Yeah, we're gonna blow the whistle
on your family meat market.

It wouldn't be too good for your
business, would it, Mr. Motel Man?

Now, like the lady said, 24 hours.

You'll find your car safe and sound
in the parking lot...

...of the bus station
in Jacksonville, Florida.

Willie teach you how
to play this thing?

- No, I've been on it since I was 6.
- 6?

Late bloomer, huh?

It took my parents a few years to
decide what they wanted me to play.

I think my father wanted me
on accordion.

I was just kidding, Eugene.

I mean, who the hell plays guitar
when they're 6 years old?

- You're supposed to play with crayons.
- Oh, yeah?

Willie, tell Frances how old you
were when you started blowing harp.

Started on harmonica at 3.

Made my first music dollar with
Mr. Son House at the big fish fry in...

Hey, I think that was
a state trooper back there.

Are you kidding?
That's a guy in an old Chrysler.

Oh, yeah?
You ever hear of unmarked cars?

I learned when you running,
you stay running...

...till you get where you're going.

Bullshit, Willie, we're driving a stolen
Cadillac here, man.

We ripped off money from the guy
who owns the Cadillac.

We got an 80-year-old fugitive
in the back...

...a runaway in the front, man. I think
we're pushing our luck. Come on.

- Pull up over there.
- Shit. What?

You heard me, right over there.

It's funny, I thought I'd be missing
New York by now.

But I don't.

I miss my mom. And I miss
my little brother, he's great.

But I don't miss Hank.
He's my stepdad.

He gives you a hard time?
Yells at you and shit?

Hank? He hardly ever talks to me.

I don't want no bullshit about papers
and licenses and that kind of stuff.

You understand what I mean?

Well, sir, that Cadillac you got there
is a mighty fine-looking car.

Now you talking business.

Well, what about your mother?
Why doesn't she throw him out?

She doesn't believe it.

She knows I don't like him,
so she thinks I'm making this up...

...just to get him out of the house.

So Hank keeps hitting on me
and I just keep running away.

- You really got a dancing job?
- Oh, yeah.

It's 100 bucks a night.

- A hundred bucks a night?
- Yeah.

Sounds like some dancing.

Guys like Son House,
Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson...

...they were the best slide players
in the world.

Total influence on rock 'n' roll.

Come on, Willie, we're gonna get you
to this barn and get some rest, okay?

Don't worry, Lightning, I ain't gonna
drop down dead on you tonight.

Willie was one of the last guys to play
with Robert Johnson before he died.

Wait a minute.
You think he'll teach you...

...this lost song you keep talking
about and that will make you famous?

Right. I'm gonna learn
the tune, you know.

Get it down to the note,
add a little of my own stuff.

I'll make it special, but it's my ticket
to the blues scene.

I hate to tell you this, Lightning Boy...

...but it all sounds like
a crock of shit to me.

Me too.

- Hey, you feeling okay, Willie?
- Let me be now. I'm tired.

All right. Look, if you need
anything, just holler.

I said, let me be now. I'm tired.

What's with Willie?

I don't know. He looks really tired.
I mean, he's almost 80 years old.

This trip's gotta be wearing him down.

Jesus, if something happens
to him out here...

Do you think we should get him
to a doctor?

I can't. I can't.
They'll find out who he is.

They'll ship him back
to Harlem to die.

I'm not gonna let that happen.
I promised I'd get him home.

Do you really think
there is a home, Eugene?

Well, what the hell's
that supposed to mean?

How are we supposed to know
he's this famous blues dude?

- You got any proof?
- Well, yeah, he told me.

- I trust him, that's all.
- Look, Eugene...

...I'm in love with the old guy too.
He's a son of a bitch, but he's okay.

But I know a con man when I see one
and I think he made up...

...this whole story to get
at a gullible kid... he can stay out of rest homes
and hospitals.

- You're full of shit.
- Oh, yeah?

What are you gonna do
if he kicks off here?

- It could happen.
- He is Willie Brown.

He's the first acknowledged master
of the country blues harmonica.

The guy is a legend.
You understand?

You're just a runaway
with a quick mouth.

Why don't you get off my case.
Go migrate someplace else.

Do me a favor. Leave us alone.

Don't worry, I'll be out of here
in the morning.

Look, I really didn't mean anything.

I'm just a little rattled about
everything. Okay? I'm sorry.

I'd really like you to hang with us.
I mean, I don't want you to take off.

It's not like I don't like you.
I really like you.

That was nice.

- Really?
- Yeah.

Here's one of the vagrants right here.
Keep the 12 on him.

- Bring him on back.
- What you doing? What's going on?

Willie, you all right? What's...?

Look like we got a couple
of lovebirds up top.

- Oh, shit.
- Hey, we wasn't doing nothing, officer.

I'm a sick man.
These children just tending to me.

Keep him quiet, Chester.

Looky here, looky here.


I hate to inform you good folks...

...but I got to be leaving you in
the hands of Sheriff Tilford.

Mobile weather...

What do you think this sheriff's
gonna do with us, Willie?

I don't know.

Back in my day they'd put us
in a police car like this...

...and drive us way off
in the field and...



How come they didn't find the gun?

You just keep your mouth shut
about that gun, you hear?

- They can't hear me.
- Keep your mouth shut anyway.

Well, well...

...sleeping up in Nate Edward's
barn, huh?

Fooling about indecent up in the loft.

Now, no identification.

Electric guitar.

Well, vagrants aren't real popular
in this county.

Come on. Get out.

O.Z., uncuff them.

You don't come into my county and
break and enter an honest man's barn.

But you three caught me on a morning
when I'm in a good mood.

Now, once you cross that bridge,
you in Sheriff Larry Fowler's county...

...and you his problem, not mine.

Now, you pick up your personal
belongings and start walking.

I don't like vagrants
and I don't like trespassers.

- What about our money?
- What money?

Your deputy took all my money
out of my bag.

O.Z. didn't say nothing
about it to me.

- Now, get going.
- That's not right, not fair.

- Come on.
- No! You stole our money.

That's not fucking fair.

- Oh, really?
- Yeah.

Well, I tell you what I can do.

I can put you in the county farm
for criminal women...

...and you can stay there
while you pressing your charges.

Oh, they treat you real nice out
at the county farm.

- Yes, ma'am.
- Come on, let's go.

Things seem to have changed
in this county.

Then again, they kind of seem
the same, don't they?

We just be on our way, captain.

Ain't no point in making a fuss.

Two rooms, $25 for the night.

Just about what we got here
in the emergency fund.

- You're all traveling together?
- That's right.

We'll be on our way come morning.

You recognize this place?

- This old crossroads around here?
- Nope. Never seen it.

Now, you look hard.
It's gotta be around here someplace.

Ain't nothing around here
but the town of Weevil.

And that's two miles down the road.

Weevil. I know that old town.

And I don't know nothing
about no crossroads either.

- Do you know where Fulton's Point is?
- I know where that is. Come on.

Let's be getting up to our rooms.

I'm telling you, man, it's easy.

Yes, sir. Sonny Crupp's place.

Looks almost the same
as it did 40 years ago.

They used to charge a good
50 cents for a glass of whiskey.

That was robbery.

- You know that place?
- Like yesterday.

Looks like a good place
to pick up some bucks.

How we gonna do that?

That's my boy, green as always.

I hope you wasn't too green
in that hay loft.

If you wanna be a bluesman,
you gotta be able to use your whip.

He was an animal, Willie.
You don't have to worry about him.

- All his parts are in working order.
- Well, well, big man, ain't you?

Now, you take this piece and go in
there and bring home the big eagle.

You go in there and have a drink
and play a few songs.

Now, they probably some rough
boys, so you keep that iron handy.

What you got to say for yourself,
Long Island?

I should be committed,
that's what I have to say.

I should be committed
for ever listening to you.

- My, my.
- What happened to Willie Brown?

Greatest hobo that ever lived,
all-time great harp player.

Wouldn't he walk in there
and clean up?

- Sure thing. I done it lots of times.
- Problem is, I'm starting to think...

...Robert Johnson's friend
Willie Brown isn't within 1000 miles.

And if he is, he's probably buried
in some unmarked grave.

You saying you ain't believing
what I been speaking?

That's right, Willie. You're full of shit.
You know something?

Every time you mention Fulton's Point,
nobody's heard of the goddamn place.

I'm starting to think you're just
a con man who used me...

...just to get your ass
out of a nursing home.

Where are you going?

Look, you smart-ass kids,
you don't need me.

I do my business on this side
of the road...

...and you white folks
do your business on that side.

That's the way they get things done
in Mississippi.

Well, well, well.
What can we do you tonight?

I don't... I don't know.
Whiskey, I guess.

You look kind of young. Got any ID?

No, sir. Not with me, I don't.

Well, I reckon one snort
ain't gonna hurt you.

Hey, cutie, where you going?

Oh, you are one pretty lady.
You're not from around here, are you?

No, I just got into town.

Not that we got anything
against late arrivals.

- Wanna dance?
- Yeah, I do.

- Well, let's do it.
- All right.

That'll be a dollar, friend.

How about I play some
songs on my guitar for the drink?

I'll stand you that drink,
then you haul ass out of here.

Thank you.

He jumped up and started going out
the window, shouting:

"Oh, shit! Here come Blind Dog!"

I say, "Hey," I call out my
.38 special, see.

I say, "Ain't so blind I can't see
your naked ass going out my window."

Shot him in the left side.

That's how I come
to making up that song.

I'm supposed to believe you
Willie Brown and Blind Dog Fulton?

You ain't supposed
to believe nothing.

Now, if you wanna do something,
here I am.

Maybe later, honey.

Let me through.

Give me another beer and a vodka
on the rocks for a pretty lady.

Yeah, I think I might have
to dance here.

Okay, where is it?

- What?
- My wallet.

What are you trying to say?

Come on, you little thief,
cough it up.

- What, you think I took your wallet?
- That's right.

- Go ahead and search me.
- Well, I just believe I will.

Come on, why don't you get
your hands off her.

- This your lady?
- Yeah, she's with me.

Well, she snagged my wallet
and she don't wanna give it back.

- She said she didn't take it. Did you?
- No, I didn't take his wallet.

And he'd better shut his mouth
before my friend takes out his gun.

- A gun?
- Yeah.

- You got a gun?
- Yeah.

- Let me see it.
- Go ahead, show it to him.

Go on. Come on.

Fella comes in here, packing a gun.

I don't want any trouble.

- It's not my gun.
- Hey!

- Holy shit. I don't want any trouble.
- Hand that piece over.

- Don't you dare.
- Will you just come on?

- Great, fine.
- I don't want the gun.

I just wanna get out of here.
Let's get out.

Now, now, hold it, hold it.

Now, you can get out of here.

- I just wanna give you something.
- Duck!

You son of a bitch.
You son of a bitch, Harley!

Now, hold it just a goddamn minute.

There ain't gonna be no more fighting.
Harley, Alvin, you settle down.

Did you take his wallet, miss?
Because if you did, give it back to him.

Harley's dumb, but that don't mean
he deserves to have his wallet stolen.

He's got a family
and they need the money.

You both got a lot of growing up to do.
Now, get on out of here.

All right, now, let's everybody
get back to drinking!

What you doing in here, honey?

You on the wrong side
of the tracks, ain't you?

You looking for Crupp's.
Crupp's across the road.

No, we were there already.
We're just...

We're just looking for a friend,
that's all.

You see this boy, Ledell?

You come in the juke with your guitar,
dressed to play?

In a black man's juke?

I'm surprised you can walk, boy.
You got balls this big.

Let's take his guitar from him.

Yes, sir, people!
The Lightning Boy has arrived...

...and if you'd be so kind to let him
and his girl toward the stage...

...we gonna blow
the roof off this joint.

Let him to the stage, I say!

I said, let him toward the stage.

Now, this boy's come a long way... show you how good
he can play that thing.

You wanna hear some music, people?

Come on up here.

How's the Lightning Boy? Yeah.

What's wrong with you?
I told you not to come in here.

I got some heat from the other side.
I lost the gun too.

You dumb shit, we gonna
get heat from this side...

...if we don't take them back home.

That's Willie Brown!

- That's Willie Brown up there singing.
- It is?

Sure, I used to see him all the time
when I was tiny.

Used to play for all the big ones.
Yeah, that's him.

- He's a friend of mine.
- A friend of yours?


Willie Brown,
prince of the Delta blues...

...blows into a juke house
that's been dead for 40 years...

...and turns it inside out, man.

And who was up there filling
Robert Johnson's shoes, huh?

A dipshit from Long Island.

Come on. I was great and you know it.

The owner walked up to Willie,
gave him $300 and says:

"Your boy can play."

They know what they're
talking about down here.

- You guys were terrific.
- You guys? Us guys.

Don't count yourself out.

Looks like Weevil's
right outside Vicksburg...

...which is 30 miles shy of
Yazoo County. You're almost there.

Willie says that's the most beautiful
land in the state.

I think we should hang with Willie.

We should settle into Fulton's Point
until he teaches me the lost song.

Then we'll get a van
and tour the country.

Blind Dog, Lightning Boy,
peddling lost blues.

- This stuff is happening...
- Yeah, it sounds great.

- What do I get to do, drive the van?
- We could get a Blazer. We could go...

Ladies and gentlemen.

Here he is, prince of the Delta blues,
Willie Brown!

Bright lights fry your brain? I guess
that's why you forgot your hat.

I just played my first barrelhouse.
I'm a bluesman now.

Bluesman, shit. Only one bluesman
in town tonight, that was me.

Where you learn to play them
pussy chords, in music school?

Only one school. I played the chords
I learned on the road and I kicked ass.

People felt it,
so don't give me that garbage.

People felt whiskey.
Same as I'm feeling right now.

And just about to feel some more.

Hey, Willie, lay off him, okay?
He was great.

- Got a problem with that?
- He's on the road to learn something.

Now, he can't be learning
if he's thinking he's the boss...

You won't give an inch, will you?

You can't even come in here
and say, "Nice job, kid."

You can't even give me
a "congratulations."

You know what you want,

You want me to stand here
and say:

"Boy, you as good as Robert
Johnson." But you ain't.

Now, if you'd spend as much time
with your hands on them strings... you do on this girl's ass,
you might get somewhere.

Excuse me, I think I'll go to my room
and leave you two lovebirds be.

He's a mean, shitty old man.

Shame on you, Willie Brown...

...traveling all the way back down
home as if you had a chance.

Ain't got no chance, Blind Dog.
You sold your soul.

You going down.
All the way down.

Hellhounds on your trail, boy.
Hellhounds on your trail.

All right.

Why you sneaking around?

- I'm going.
- Going where?

Gotta get to L.A. I'm just like
you and Eugene, you know.

I got places to go.

What about the boy?
You know...

There's no goodbyes on the road.
It doesn't work that way.

You give Lightning Boy
a hug for me, okay?

Tell him I'll miss him.

You're right.
Ain't no goodbyes on the road.

See you around, huh?

- What's this?
- $ 100 take care of you for a while.

Keep you out of trouble.
Get you to L.A. safe.

I don't want you having to deal...

...with no more of them
motel men, you understand?

Jesus, I can't believe you.

Go ahead.
Take care of yourself.

I'll miss you, Willie.

Willie, where's Frances?

What, is she getting breakfast?

Willie, where's Frances?

Where'd she go?

Look, Willie, I know I'm not supposed
to feel sorry for myself.

And I know that you've
been through things...

...that are a million times
tougher than my life's been...

...but I'm gonna miss her.

I'm really gonna miss her.

A man with a whole
lot of sense said:

"Blues ain't nothing
but a good man feeling bad...

...thinking about the woman
he once was with."

You're gonna teach me the song.

Ain't no song.

I'm sorry, Eugene. I lied to you.

I just wanted to get
out of that place so bad.

Robert give us 29 songs.

It was enough.

Never was a number 30,
not that I know of.

You gotta do it for yourself.

That's what Robert
would have told you.

Lots of towns...

...lots of songs...

...lots of women.

Good times. Bad times.

The only thing
I want anybody to say is:

"He could really play.

He was good."

What are we stopping here for?

Why don't we head on
to Fulton's Point? It can't be far.

I gotta deal with something,

- Or there ain't no going home.
- What are you talking about?

What do you have to deal with?

Yeah, this is the one.

The hottest cathouse in
the great state of Mississippi.

Is this another lesson, Willie?

You listen and you'll find out.

These are some old friends of mine.

A woman named
Lily La Fontaine still live here?

Lily dead, long time.

You related?

She was my grandma.

You a friend of her?

Yes, ma'am.

I used to make music here
when Lily run the place.

Where are all the girls?

Boarding house now.

Got a room open.

That one over there keep wet
his mattress, so he going.

Lily always say you play
all the time and flirt with the girls...

...and always in some mess
with the law.

Glad to be remembered.

It was such a long time ago.

My grandma talk about you a lot.

She was a real good woman,
your grandma.

I remember me and Slim Waterman
got into a fight over her one time.

A real knockdown,
gouge-your-eyes-out kind of fight.

Oh, yeah? Who won?

I don't know,
I guess we both took our lumps.

But she was a real good woman.

Somewhere around here...

...there's a real special place.

A crossroads.

You know the language I'm talking?

I need to get back to the crossroads.

You tell me how to get there?



You drive these fellas out on
Grange Road, past Dockery's.

This is it.

This is the place
where it all happened.

I tell you what you gotta do.

See, you go on over there
and start playing a piece.


Because there's a fella
I've got to see.

And if you're playing it right,
he's gonna come around.

Yeah, right, Willie.
Who is this guy?

Don't ask me who.
You know damn well who.

Keep it going. You standing
at the crossroad now.

This is where it count.

Thought I wasn't supposed
to go to the crossroads.

We ain't here for you,
we here for me.

Y'all need a ride?

What you waiting for, huh?

Come on, Willie.
Let's get to Fulton's Point.

What time he coming around?

What time who coming around?

You don't be fooling with me.

I'm talking about Legba.

Where you been at, slick?

He done changed
his name to Scratch.

I don't want none of your sass.
I got business with the man.

Mean old bastard, ain't you?

Forget it, honey. He's crazy.

Now, y'all sure you don't need a ride?

Ain't riding with
the likes of you, smart-ass.

Or your bitch neither.

Suit yourself, old man.

You looking for me, Willie Brown?

Been a long time, hasn't it, Willie?

Yes, yes, it has.

- Willie, what's going on here?
- Yes, sir, been a long time.

You about 17 last time
we saw each other.

One night on this old crossroads,
wasn't it?

What can I do for you,
Willie Brown?

I come to see you,
tell you the deal's off.

Oh, no.

According to this here piece of paper,
the deal's still on.

You can tear that up
and give me some peace.

Why on Earth would I wanna do that?

Now, you sloughed up
on your end of things.

I didn't end up where I wanted.
I didn't end up with nothing. Nothing!

You got what you were
supposed to get, bluesman.

Ain't nothing ever as good
as we want it to be.

But that ain't no reason
to break a deal.

Of course...

...if you had something to offer me.

I got a couple of hundred dollars.

I ain't interested in your money,
you know that.

How about cutting heads?

Oh, I get it.
You want some kind of contest.

You're a real smart boy, ain't you?

Well, smart boy...

...I got a big white fella
from Memphis...

...made a deal with me
a few years back.

Real good guitar player,
name of Jack Butler.

Cuts heads every Saturday night.
Yes, sir.

He discourages a lot
of up-and-coming boys.

- But Willie doesn't even play guitar.
- Oh, yeah.

I forgot that.

Ain't that too bad.

Guess there ain't much hope
at all for Willie Brown.

Unless you might wanna
sit in for him.

- Don't do it.
- Sure, he's my friend.

- I don't believe in any of this shit.
- I said, don't do it, Lightning.

You win...

...I tear up Willie's contract.

But what happens
if my man Jack Butler win?

You get me.

I already got you.

- Well, then, you got me too.
- Shut up, you hear?

- I don't want you making no deals.
- Take it easy.

I'm just calling his bluff for you.
We'll get to Fulton's Point after this.

Where and when for this thing?

Oh, I can get us there real quick.

Jack Butler's gonna like you.

You know what I got here?

This is the mojo man.

The Louisiana voodoo charm.

The winning boy's magic.

You see, there's only one
last true mojo left in the world.

Take it, Lightning.

Take it and go up there
and do your stuff.

I'm giving you all the magic I got.

Who's next up there?

Who's coming on up?
Who's gonna get their head cut?

How about you, chicken boy?

Well, well, well.

Who sent you here?

Can't talk, little man?

Bet can't play none either.

Now, don't be standing there with
that dumb look on your face. Let's go.

I'm sick of this
down-home Mississippi.

Living up north made
a city boy out of me.

I hear Chicago calling.

B.B. King and Johnny Shines saying:

"Where's the new kid in town?"

You ready for the Windy City?

Sure, I was born ready.
Let's go get them.

All right. Now, after I show you
Chicago, you're on your own.

- You understand?
- Wait. Why can't I hang with you?

I mean, after Chicago,
we can move on to L.A.

That ain't the way the song go.

You gotta move on without me.

Take the music someplace else.

Take it past where you found it.

Because that's what we did.

We got a deal?

All right.

- You know something, Lightning?
- What?

I'm tired of all this walking
and hitchhiking.

I wanna go to Chicago in style.

I wanna fly in an airplane.