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And This Is Free: The Life and Times of Chicago's Legendary Maxwell St.
And This Is Free The Life and Times of Chicago's Legendary Maxwell St
Actor: Various Artists
Director: Various
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 40min

This DVD and CD set includes the classic 1964 documentary AND THIS IS FREE an intimate slice of life portrait capturing all the characters and flavor of Maxwell Street. It also includes the film MAXWELL STREET - A LIVING M...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Various Artists
Director: Various
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Pop, Blues, Documentary
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/10/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

BILLYBOBUK | PLANO,TX | 06/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an outstanding release--the subject is Maxwell St. Chicago,a legendary marketplace and breeding ground for some of the finest blues music ever made--and as could be expected some fairly eccentric characters emerged.
The DVD consists of two b/w films,And This Is Free and Maxwell Street;A Living Memory--both are excellent and include some fine music from the street, including Robert Nighthawk. An excellent 36page booklet include many great photos and information, plus a 17track CD of blues that you could have heard back in the day.Plus some excellent extras which all add up to a great record of a place in time that sadly is now gone but not forgotten thanks to this release.
A lot of work has gone into this and we should all appreciate everybody concerned for there fine work--anyone interested in blues history, Chicago, the history of America, life-----anybody left!!!---you will enjoy. Support this release, the only way we can get more."
Almost Perfect, Long Overdue.
Charles K. Cowdery | Chicago, IL United States | 08/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Of all the documentary films made about Maxwell Street (and there have been quite a few), "And This Is Free" is the best known. Shot on multiple Sundays during 1964 by director Mike Shea, you experience both the market atmosphere and the blues and gospel music. Mike Bloomfield had a behind-the-scenes role in getting this made.

The cinema verite style is similar to D.A. Pennebaker's Bob Dylan - Don't Look Back (1965 Tour Deluxe Edition), which was made the next year.

Although it was released on VHS many years ago, "And This Is Free" has long been unavailable in any format. Shanachie Entertainment did the original VHS release, then lost the rights to Studio IT, which was never able to put together a deal to bring it out. Shanachie got it back and immediately started to plan this DVD release, in a package that is loaded with great extras. In addition to Shea's documentary, you get Shuli Eshel's 2002 documentary, "Maxwell Street: A Living Memory." There's also a slide show about Maxwell Street produced and narrated by Shuli's partner, Roger Schatz.

The package also includes a CD of excellent Maxwell Street-related music, but if you want the real "And This Is Free" soundtrack recordings, you have to get And This Is Maxwell Street, Studio IT's 2001 release of all the music recorded for the film, plus Mike Bloomfield interviewing Robert Nighthawk.

That is this package's only flaw, the fact that they didn't or couldn't merge in the complete soundtrack recording. Although it seems to be readily available from resellers, it technically is out-of-print.

The package also includes a substantial booklet, part of which was developed in conjunction with the Maxwell Street Foundation. The Maxwell Street Foundation is a non-profit group dedicated to preserving Maxwell Street's heritage.
"Chicago's Legendary Maxwell Street ... And This Is Free ...
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 08/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Shanachie Entertainment presents "AND THIS IS FREE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CHICAGO'S LEGENDARY MAXWELL ST." (2008) (100 mins/Color) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- During its heyday in the early to mid-1900s, the Maxwell Street Market area represented one of the most fascinating chapters in American urban history --- People congregated there by the thousands to shop for bargains in stores and on pushcarts --- They went, too, for the endless entertainment of street musicians, including many of Chicago's blues greats, hucksters, rousing preachers, street entertainers and much more.

Maxwell Street blues personnel including greats like Robert Nighthawk, Baby Face, Leroy Floyd Jones, J.B. Hutto, Johnny Young, Big John Wrencher, Snooky Pryor, Jimmy Rogers and many more --- This set also includes a 36 page companion booklet featuring stories from various people who spent years on Maxwell Street, as well as many beautiful pictures.

1. Maxwell Street is where the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage sandwich originated.
2. The famous entrepreneur, Ron Popeil, began his career as a street vendor at the Maxwell Street Market.
3. The Maxwell Street Police Station, at Maxwell and Morgan Streets, was "Hill Street Station" in the 1980s television series, Hill Street Blues.
4. The musician and band leader Benny Goodman was born in the Maxwell Street neighborhood and spent most of his youth there. One of his first musical experiences was playing in the Boys Band at Hull House.
5. Maxwell Street was featured in the 1980 film, The Blues Brothers, in which it was portrayed as a thriving ethnically African-American community. The scene features the two stars, "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues - played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, looking for Matt 'Guitar' Murphy and Lou 'Blue Lou' Marini, to get their band back together. They enter the "Soul Food Cafe," the exterior of which is actually Nate's Deli, formerly Lyon's Deli (the interior is a set). As they are entering, John Lee Hooker is playing "Boom Boom" on the street, and we see some typical street scenes, including the famous "Cheat You Fair" sign. Once the song ends, Jake and Elwood encounter Matt's wife, played by Aretha Franklin. When Matt becomes excited about the band getting back together, Aretha launches into "Think." In the end, much to Aretha's dismay, Matt turns his apron in, and hits the road with the Blues Brothers.

Maxwell Street is an east-west street in Chicago, Illinois that intersects with Halsted Street just south of Roosevelt Road. It runs at 1330 South in the numbering system running from 500 West to 1126 West --- The Maxwell Street neighborhood is considered part of the Near West Side and is one of the city's oldest residential districts --- It is notable as the location of the celebrated Maxwell Street Market and the birthplace of Chicago Blues and the "Maxwell Street Polish (sausage sandwich)." --- A large portion of the area is now the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), as well as a new private housing development sponsored by the university. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Under fhe production staff of:
Mike Shea - Director
Sherwin Dunner - Producer
Richard Nevins - Producer

Scene Index Listing:
DISC ONE (1) -- And This is Free: The Life and Times of Chicago's Legendary Maxwell St
1. Opening / Arvella Gray [3:53]
2. If You've Got a Corn On Your Foot... [2:17]
3. Hey Sol, Ya Got Size 50? [2:13]
4. Johnny Young [4:53]
5. Wise Man Incense Huckster [2:53]
6. World's Smallest Saxophones [2:27]
7. Carrie Robinson "Power To Live Right" [5:32]
8. Fannie Brewer "I Shall Overcome" [2:47]
9. Back Yard Boogie [5:12]
10. Robert Nighthawk "Cheating & Lying Blues" [3:22]
11. Chicken Man [5:24]
12. Jim Brewer Group "I'll Fly Away" [6:47]
13. Opening [6:03]
14. World's Largest Sporting Goods Store [2:55]
15. Lyon's Delicatessen [6:15]
16. Anything and Everything For Sale [5:01]
17. Bargaining Made Maxwell Street Vibrant [3:21]
18. Some of This Should Be Saved [5:18]
19. Photo Show On Historic Maxwell Street [10:54]
20. Casey Jones, the Chicken Man [1:58]
21. Maxwell Street, 1940s [:50]
22. Daddy Stovepipe & Arvella Gray [:35]
23. Come Shop the Maxwell Street Market [1:01]
24. Gordon Quinn Interview [5:34]

Great job by Shanachie Entertainment --- looking forward to more high quality titles from the Shanachie and Koch film market --- order your copy now from Amazon or Shanachie where there are plenty of copies available on DVD, stay tuned once again for top notch releases --- where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.

Total Time: 100 mins on DVD ~ Shanachie Ent. 6801 ~ (6/10/2008)"
Fredrick Radloff | 08/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Is a great commetary of a street that definitely was Chicago's history. I spent many hours there,as a child. I would reccomend this for school history classes."