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they broke my watch!


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#1 nighttrainwine

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 07:42 PM

this has been bugging me for awhile and i'm not sure if this has been covered, since i'm new to the forums, but is there a running gag about watches in the movie.

when jake is first released, he receives a broken timex watch
(later at the gas station before the palace he checks its time and says that they're late)

in the mall chase scene, one trooper complains that his watch is broken.

the final one that i noticed was in the chase scene from the palace to the accessors office. elwood says 'i gotta pull over' and cuts across the median and the police follow. at the end of the crash sequence you can hear some one yell 'hey! that broke my watch!'

is there something i'm missing?


also in the credits, the cook county clerk is named 'steven spielberg,' i know this is long shot, since it looks nothing like the director/mega-producer, but could it be?

some clarifications would help.

#2 ChAnOoD_bLuEs

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 08:43 PM

I don´t know if the "broken watches" gags have a backstory... And I had to watch the movie a lot of times to realize what character was Steven Spielberg ;)
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#3 Syd-Blues

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 09:20 PM

After the "They broke my watch" line is said the first time, in the mall, you can hear it in every car crash after.

joking, of course.


#4 Jo_Pierce

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 09:42 PM

Hey! I never realized that Jake was checking out his broken watch...

unless the watch that was returned had broken glass or something... and did actually work. But I like to think it really didn't work. Funny stuff.

#5 Vinnie Blues

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 04:30 AM

Jake checks his watch at least 3 times in the movie :

- at church, just on cue when Rev. Cleophus James says 'Wait a minute !" in his sermon - also to show that he is pissed off at the notion of having to listen a sermon he doesn't care about.

- at Ray's, when Ray suggests he'll take 'naturally and as usual' an IOU to cover for the purchase of the instruments. Everytime I see that scene, it comes to me that this is a gesture Jake makes to express embarrassment.

- at the gas station, when he realizes they are late, while Elwood is daydreaming about the Chic Lady.

Maybe in 11 days, Jake managed to get to a shop to buy some batteries for his watch and have it thus repaired. Who knows ?
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#6 ChAnOoD_bLuEs

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 06:01 AM

As John Landis would say, "Is a magic watch!" ;)
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#7 bbcentral

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 06:20 AM

Well, there are many times where I look at my watch and don't actually read what time it is, maybe Jake was just looking at his watch because:
-He wanted to show Elwood he was bored at the sermon
-He wanted to look distracted instead of talking to Ray about the IOU
-He saw it and remembered they had a gig to go to

And yes, it's definitely Spielberg the famous director, I think John Landis asked him if he wanted to be in the movie (I believe they were friends at the time, but I can't remember).
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#8 ChAnOoD_bLuEs

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 08:06 AM

And yes, it's definitely Spielberg the famous director, I think John Landis asked him if he wanted to be in the movie (I believe they were friends at the time, but I can't remember).


Or maybe he did the cameo as a favor to Dan & John, two of the big actors of the 1941 movie, who knows!
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#9 Belford_Blues

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:35 PM

I dunno why when Jake got free from the joint, Frank Oz says the watch is broken... and later, at the gas station scene, Jake realizes is too late by checking his watch... it isn´t broken? or when did he fix it??
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#10 Fulmernator

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:25 PM

In that case the magic watch theory sounds correct. On those lines, perhaps when Jake was picked up after the gas station robbery, the arresting officers broke his watch in the process, and thus the breaking of the cops' watches all through the film is his revenge.

#11 Vinnie Blues

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 02:28 PM

In that case the magic watch theory sounds correct. On those lines, perhaps when Jake was picked up after the gas station robbery, the arresting officers broke his watch in the process, and thus the breaking of the cops' watches all through the film is his revenge.


I like this theory. Moreover, Jake probably had the time to get his watch repaired in 11 days.

Maybe the watch was not broken properly said but only the batteries died. Jake had spent 3 years in the joint - most batteries don't live that long, at least in the late 70s. In that case, a change of batteries was the only repair needed.
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#12 Scott

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 06:28 PM

Unlikely that Jake got it repaired, considering he spent all the money he had right after he got out on a prostitute.

It's possible that the time on the watch was some time after they were supposed to be at the Palace Hotel, so he could still tell from it that they were late.

#13 Vinnie Blues

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 03:49 PM

Unlikely that Jake got it repaired, considering he spent all the money he had right after he got out on a prostitute.

It's possible that the time on the watch was some time after they were supposed to be at the Palace Hotel, so he could still tell from it that they were late.


Oh that's true (though it doesn't appear in the movie - but we could all imagine Jake doing that). But maybe he borrowed the money from Elwood (nice, caring little brother that would do anything for his elder sibling) - including paying for the repairs.

Also, a broken watch gives the right time twice a day. ;)
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#14 Steam McQueen

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 08:38 PM

Also, a broken watch gives the right time twice a day. ;)


Unless it's a digital watch.:P I remember when they came out, the rich kid in school had one. The LED display only lit up when you pushed a button. So, broken or working, the display was black unless you pushed a button.

Which makes the gas station scene that much funnier. Jake only remembered he was wearing a watch because he saw it when he was checking if there was one last drop of Night Train. When he realized he had a watch, he realized they had to be somewhere. Hahaa ... well, it's one possible theory. Considering he never pushed a button on the watch, he was looking at a blank display. Impossible for him to know the actual time.

:P

*edit edit edit* - I looked at the gas station scene again. Jake DOES press the button on the watch. The watch must have been fixed, or as others have mentioned, the magic watch decided to work just for that moment. Now if someone can look at it in HD, maybe zoom in, and see if there is a faint little glow of red coming from the watch. Heh.

#15 Odupianist

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 08:25 AM

I always thought of it like this. Jake's watch was broken. Maybe it got broken in the arrest that put him in Joliet. So in a sense, he was getting the police back by breaking their watches ;)

#16 MoeBluesStooge

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 05:46 PM

maybe it was a reference to Captain Hook's dislike of ticking, you know, since the watches were broken and Hook hates ticking.

Ok so Captain Hook has nothing to do with The Blues Brothers but you guys are guessing too!

#17 ChildOfFire

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:58 AM

Where oh where does "They Broke My Watch" occur?

Jake's Release- Frank Oz: One Timex Digital Watch, "Broken"
Mall Chase: John Landis says "They Broke My Watch."
State HW 47 Chase: Off-screen Cop says is
Downtown Chicago Chase when the cops fire their guns after the last car pile up in front of LaSalle Plaza (Very audible on DVD release) before The Nazi party enters the chase.

#18 Jake_TheSoulMen

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 05:11 PM

This was too good to pass up.

So do you think the guard (Frank Oz) thought it was broken. Because the Timex watch did need a button pressed in order to see the time. And, in the Blues Brothers movies, those watches would have been relatively new. So maybe Frank Oz, when checking in Jake's things, thought the watch was broken because he was expecting to see the time, but didn't know you had to push a button.

How about that.

#19 ChildOfFire

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 08:08 PM

Hmm. Now that I think of it, he didn't push a button to see if it worked. But, there is the impression that the battery was dead in the digital watch and maybe Jake got a battery for it. Notice where Jake checks his watch during the Triple Rock Baptist scene.

Thanks for bringing this up.

#20 Jake_TheSoulMen

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 09:11 PM

Hmm. Now that I think of it, he didn't push a button to see if it worked. But, there is the impression that the battery was dead in the digital watch and maybe Jake got a battery for it. Notice where Jake checks his watch during the Triple Rock Baptist scene.


The battery would be dead if it was on the whole time..........all it would be doing is sending it to a chip, which wouldn't take much energy at all. The only thing that would be draining the battery would be turning on the light, and if it's sitting in a box for 3 years the light wouldn't be on.

So we can get really technical and say that a 9V AA battery would power that watch for at least 5 years if the light is off, because again, it would just be sending an electrical charge to a very very small chip in the watch. So we can also assume that if Jake had, let's say, just replaced the battery before he went to jail, the battery would still work.

And I think the watch is a Timex 550.




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