- Stony Island, a classic film directed by Andrew Davis, is re-released for its 45th anniversary.
- The movie showcases Chicago’s rich musical history and is a tribute to the city and its artists.
- It received positive reviews from critics, such as Roger Ebert, for its refreshing cynicism and capturing the city’s spirit.
Stony Island, a classic film that tells the inspiring story of two musicians starting a band against all odds in Chicago’s South Side, is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a re-release. Before making it big with other films like The Fugitive, Holes, and Collateral Damage, director Andrew Davis brought this funky story to life. The film stars Richard Davis, Gene Barge, Rae Dawn Chong, Susanna Hoffs, Dennis Franz, Oscar Brown Jr., and Meshach Taylor.
The movie’s plot revolves around Richie Bloom (Richie Davis), the only white kid in his neighborhood, and his best friend Kevin (Edward “Stoney” Robinson) as they form an R&B band with the help of their mentor, aging sax legend Percy (Gene “Daddy G” Barge). The band members come together despite numerous challenges by using their wit, charm, and Chicago bravado to make their dream debut.
At its release, Stony Island received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. Film critic Roger Ebert described it as “bouncy, lively, engaging […] An easy‐going, cheerful movie that captures a city’s spirit with a certain refreshing cynicism.”
Besides its compelling story, Stony Island is also a tribute to Chicago’s rich musical history that gave birth to electric blues, jazz, R&B, soul, and gospel music. The city harbors the legacy of famous artists like Benny Goodman, Buddy Guy, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Muddy Waters, Nat King Cole, Quincy Jones, and Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire).
The movie takes place in the iconic neighborhood of Stony Island, which holds historical significance as the spot where Louis Armstrong first arrived in Chicago and where Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry established themselves. Stony Island also pays homage to Chess Records, an influential label founded by immigrants from Poland.
The 45th-anniversary re-release of Stony Island will be available on demand and on digital platforms November 17, which is the same day it was originally released in 1978. Learn more about the film and director Andrew Davis on his website.