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Hero. Legend. Good Bloke.
John Peel OBE, 1939 - 2004

Red Lick Records



Black Snake Moan

There was a time when Lazarus (SAMUEL L. JACKSON) played the blues; a time he got Bojo’s Juke Joint shakin’ back in the day. Now he lives them. Bitter and broken from a cheating wife and a shattered marriage, Lazarus’ soul is lost in spent dreams and betrayal’s contempt…Until Rae (CHRISTINA RICCI).

Desire is a burning sickness for Rae, a feverish need that eats at her soul, while making her the white-trash sexual target of every man and boy in her small Tennessee town. When her true love Ronnie (
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE) leaves for military service, Rae plunges into wild excess. Beaten, left for dead, she’s taken in by Laz a reformed bluesman, a private self-contained black man who nurses deep anger of his own. Fiercely committed to his task of keeping her alive, Laz makes Rae his prisoner to give her a chance at freedom, and finds his own way back to the force of life in the bargain.

The film is the third feature by Writer-Director Craig Brewer, his first film HUSTLE & FLOW won an Academy Award® for Best Song and the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. A Paramount Vantage production, BLACK SNAKE MOAN is produced by John Singleton and Stephanie Allain, who also produced HUSTLE & FLOW. 


Music and Influences:

Having never played guitar prior to making Black Snake Moan, the Academy Award nominated actor Samuel L Jackson utilised the skills of several different teachers as he slowly learned to pick and play the blues. “I wanted to be tactile enough on the guitar to film from my hands to a full shot and audiences would know full well that it was me actually playing,” 

In the film Jackson performs several powerful performances as bluesman Lazarus, alongside cast Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake including the song ‘Stack-o-Lee’. 

Along with Director Craig Brewer, Jackson took a road trip through Mississippi and stopped in on several local juke joints to listen to the heart and soul of the genre. “Some of these guys played with whatever they could use as instruments, guitars, spoons and forks! They each had their own style and when I sat down and played with them, they were actually very encouraging to me.” 

“I listen to Robert Johnson and B.B. King and Big Momma Thornton. What I got to do in this film was learn to feel and appreciate a new kind of music that doesn’t require that I need to have a velvet voice!” 

“I knew I could listen to a song and pick my way and find the groove. I learned to play the songs in this odd kind of way that was just mine. When I visited those guys in the Delta, I saw that most of them didn’t start learning till they were past 30 and they taught themselves so they each have their own unique style. I created this thing that was mine and that was kind of cool. I looked forward to waking up each morning and picking up the guitar, learning the songs and making my own style. I never used a pick. I just used my fingers.” 

Black Snake Moan is a story of desire, passion and pain. Bitter and broken from a cheating wife and a shattered marriage, Lazarus’ soul is lost in spent dreams. Rae (Ricci) has a feverish need for sex, and when her true love Ronnie (Timberlake) leaves for military service, Rae plunges into wild excess. Beaten, left for dead, she’s taken in by Lazarus who nurses her and a deep anger of his own.  

In the film, vintage footage of 1930s blues legend Son House, makes it clear: “There’s only one kind of blues…that consists between male and female.” This is what BLACK SNAKE MOAN is all about. 

Director Craig Brewer says “A lot of people ask me, ‘Why did you name this movie BLACK SNAKE MOAN?’ Well, there’s this song called ‘Black Snake Moan,’ by Blind Lemon Jefferson, and I think that it’s one of the most haunting, wicked blues songs of all time. A lot of his music is viewed with this sense of fear of the unknown. What’s in my room? What’s crawling around? Somebody, come help me….”           

Black Snake Moan is available on DVD.

Trailer Links: 

Windows Media


Real Player




Black Snake Moan - Music Video:    ‘Stack-O-Lee’ 

Windows Media:


Real Media:

http://ukpress.waytoblue.com/media/video/black_snake_moan_musicvideo_stack_o_lee_330k.ram http://ukpress.waytoblue.com/media/video/black_snake_moan_musicvideo_stack_o_lee_850k.ram http://ukpress.waytoblue.com/media/video/black_snake_moan_musicvideo_stack_o_lee_1500k.ram  


http://ukpress.waytoblue.com/media/video/black_snake_moan_musicvideo_stack_o_lee_330k_meta.mov http://ukpress.waytoblue.com/media/video/black_snake_moan_musicvideo_stack_o_lee_850k_meta.mov http://ukpress.waytoblue.com/media/video/black_snake_moan_musicvideo_stack_o_lee_1500k_meta.mov

Want to know about the origins of the song Stack O' Lee.... Click here

Check out other Blues Movies

This page: Black Snake Moan Copyright © 2007 Paramount Vantage.
A division of Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Website © Copyright 2000-2007 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

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