August 6, 2019 | sobczakd
A decade ago on this day August 6, 2009, John Hughes passed away suddenly after suffering a fatal heart attack while on a walk in New York City during a visit with family. He was just 59 years old. Born in Lansing, Michigan and grew up in Grosse Pointe, Hughes began his career as an author of humorous essays and stories for the National Lampoon. He wrote and directed some of the funniest and most iconic movies capturing suburban teenage life in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of those films, now considered classics, would also launch careers of actors including Michael Keaton and members of the Brat Pack group. These films made a huge impression on our generation and in popular culture back then. And they're still relevant today. Enjoy!
He allegedly wrote Ferris Bueller's Day Off in four days, Planes, Trains and Automobiles in three days, The Breakfast Club in two days, and Vacation in a week. He never went to film school or studied cinema. And he spent most of his incredible career in the Midwest, far from the Hollywood Hills. John Hughes was indeed one of the most prolific and successful filmmakers in Hollywood history. He helped launch the careers of Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Macaulay Culkin, and Judd Nelson. He made John Candy a household name. In this first illustrated tribute to the legendary filmmaker, author Kirk Honeycutt offers a behind-the-scenes look at the genius that was John Hughes--from his humble beginnings in direct mail to his blockbuster success with classics like Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, and Home Alone. Honeycutt also explores the darker side of John Hughes: his extreme sensitivity, his stormy professional relationships, and the devastation Hughes experienced after the death of his closest friend, John Candy. Featuring fresh interviews with Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Steve Martin, and Jon Cryer, and a foreword from Home Alone director Chris Columbus, this is the must-read for fans of John Hughes.
John Hughes wrote and directed this quintessential 1980s high school drama featuring the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped in a day-long Saturday detention in a prison-like school library are Claire, the princess (Molly Ringwald); Andrew, the jock (Emilio Estevez); John, the criminal (Judd Nelson); Brian, the brain (Anthony Michael Hall); and Allison, the basket case (Ally Sheedy). These five strangers begin the day with nothing in common, each bound to his/her place in the high school caste system. Yet the students bond together when faced with the villainous principal (Paul Gleason), and they realize that they have more in common than they may think, including a contempt for adult society. "When you grow up, your heart dies," Allison proclaims in one of the film's many scenes of soul-searching, and, judging from the adults depicted in the film, the teen audience may very well agree. Released in a decade overflowing with derivative teen films, The Breakfast Club has developed an almost cult-like status.
Accidentally left behind when his parents rush off on their Christmas vacation, eight-year-old Kevin McCallister embarks on a hilarious, madcap mission to defend the family home when two bumbling burglars try to break in, and find themselves tangled in Kevin's bewildering battery of booby traps!
You can quote lines from Sixteen Candles (“Last night at the dancemy little brother paid a buck to see your underwear”), your iPod playlist includes more than one song by the Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds, you watch The Breakfast Club every time it comes on cable, and you still wish that Andie had ended up with Duckie in Pretty in Pink. You’re a bonafide Brat Pack devotee—and you’re not alone. The films of the Brat Pack—from Sixteen Candles to Say Anything—are some of the most watched, bestselling DVDs of all time. The landscape that the Brat Packmemorialized—where outcasts and prom queens fall in love, preppies and burn-outs become buds, and frosted lip gloss, skinny ties, and exuberant optimism made us feel invincible—is rich with cultural themes and significance, and has influenced an entire generation who still believe that life always turns out the way it is supposed to. You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried takes us back to that era, interviewing key players, such as Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, and John Cusack, and mines all the material from the movies to the music to the way the films were made to show how they helped shape our visions for romance, friendship, society, and success.
The first film in the Vacation comedy franchise stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, an ad exec who becomes consumed with taking his family cross-country to Wally World, a California amusement park. Less a vacation than a descent into a peculiarly American kind of hell, the Griswolds suffer through an endless series of catastrophes, culminating in a run-in with the law.
On the eve of her sister's wedding, suburban teenager Samantha (Molly Ringwald) suffers silently as her family forgets her birthday. Even worse, some total dork (Anthony Michael Hall) keeps propositioning her with sophomoric innuendo when she really craves romantic attention from high-school hunk Jake (Michael Schoeffling). Moving from Samantha's family home as it's invaded by outre relatives to a high-school dance where nothing seems to go her way, this bittersweet teen comedy traces the hopes and disappointments of not only Samantha, but also a host of incidental but memorable characters, from a hapless Japanese exchange student to a prom queen and a posse of barely pubescent nerds. A climactic party scene at which these various strata of young America overcome their rigid hierarchies sets the stage for resolutions both tender and torrid.
John Hughes's third directorial effort, Weird Science, follows in the tradition of his previous teen-centered films, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith play the wannabe hipster Gary and his nebbish weak-willed best friend, Wyatt, a pair of high-school geeks who are hapless with members of the opposite sex. Using Wyatt's computer, they create what they believe is the ideal woman. A lightning storm brings that woman to life, and she takes the form of Kelly Le Brock. Lisa sets about building their self-confidence, but trouble begins brewing when Wyatt's cruel, military-minded older brother, Chet (Bill Paxton), begins to realize that something is not as it should be.
Teenaged Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a legend in his own time thanks to his uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one last grand duck-out before graduation, Ferris calls in sick, "borrows" a Ferrari, and embarks on a one-day bacchanal through the streets of Chicago. Dogging Ferris' trail at every turn is high-school principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), determined to catch Bueller in the act of class-cutting. Writer/director John Hughes once again tries to wed satire, slapstick, and social commentary, as Ferris Bueller's Day Off starts like a house afire and goes on to make "serious" points about status-seeking and casual parental cruelties. It brightens up considerably in the last few moments, when Ferris' tattletale sister (Jennifer Grey) decides to align herself with her merry prankster sibling.
John Hughes crafts an exemplary '80s Brat Pack romance out of the standard Cinderella story in Pretty in Pink. Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) is a teenager who lives in the dingy part of town with her terminally underemployed dad (Harry Dean Stanton). She works at a record store with eccentric Ionia (Annie Potts) and is considered a misfit at her uppity high school, but somehow she rises above them all. Her oddball best friend, Duckie (Jon Cryer), is hopelessly in love with her, so he causes trouble for her romantic pursuits. When local rich kid Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) develops a fascination with her, they go out on a date together. Visiting the home bases of each social clique, they are basically ridiculed for their audacity to date one another. When Blaine eventually asks the delighted Andie to the prom, he is threatened by his rich friend Steff (James Spader). The romance versus high school social politics finally culminates at the big night of the prom.
John Hughes continues the trend he began with the Home Alone series in Dennis the Menace, the Hughes-scripted film version of Hank Ketcham's long-running comic strip, cartoon show, and television comedy. The film opens as Dennis (Mason Gamble) is seen careening down a sidewalk in a beautiful and idealistic suburban town on his training-wheeled bike -- cans on string clattering behind him, baseball cards flapping in the spokes of the wheel, his red wagon filled to the brim and his dog following him. "Hey! Mister Wilson!" he screams and slams his bike to a halt in front of his much put-upon neighbor, Mr. Wilson (Walter Matthau). Half of the film concerns vignettes of small-town Hank Ketcham life as Dennis' mom Alice (Lea Thompson) starts a new job, Dennis stays over at his friend Margaret's (Amy Sakasitz) house, and Mr. Wilson and his gentle, well-meaning wife, Martha (Joan Plowright), mind Dennis during the night of a big garden party. Through all this, Dennis continually gets into Mr. Wilson's hair. But then the Home Alone plot kicks in -- with an unsubtle dose of O. Henry -- when Switchblade Sam (Christopher Lloyd) makes an appearance. Switchblade Sam is a homeless drifter who combs the neighborhood stealing purses and small home items. But when Switchblade Sam steals Mr. Wilson's collection of gold coins, Dennis comes to the rescue and inflicts Dennis the Menace-type tortures upon the thief in order to reclaim the coins for Mr. Wilson.
In a gender-reversed version of his previous hit Pretty in Pink, John Hughes retreads all-too- familiar ground in Some Kind of Wonderful, the story of a sensitive, young would-be artist, Keith (Eric Stoltz), who vies for the affection of his high school's popularity queen, Amanda (Lea Thompson), seemingly out of some deep-rooted insecurity regarding his social ineptitude. He enlists the help of his butch best friend and fellow misfit, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), unaware that she secretly pines for him. While she goads him to give up his pointless pursuit of Amanda, he encounters one other small obstacle -- Amanda's rich bully of a boyfriend, Hardy (Craig Sheffer), who threatens Keith with a face rearrangement. Undeterred, Keith decides he will, by any means necessary, escort his dream girl to the prom -- but not before he buys her expensive jewelry with the money from his college fund in order to impress her. (Hughes expects the audience to side with Keith when his father protests.) Some Kind of Wonderful is pure fantasy, but the plot is too tired and flawed for it to be completely satisfactory escapism. Still, the performances are all-around good and the ending is slightly more likeable than its predecessor's. Hughes decided to use the original Pretty in Pink ending, which had been dropped from the original after poor audience response at the advance screenings.
An aspiring writer faces up to the responsibilities of marriage and family in this romantic comedy from writer, director, and producer John Hughes. Despite the misgivings he pours out to best friend Davis McDonald (Alec Baldwin), Jake Briggs (Kevin Bacon) marries high-school sweetheart Kristy (Elizabeth McGovern). After an abortive attempt at graduate school in New Mexico, the couple settles in suburban Chicago. Jake fakes his way into a job as an advertising copywriter, while Kristy settles into her own corporate job. The couple faces the typical ups and downs of any new marriage, especially after Davis visits with a bimbo on his arm, regaling his pal Jake with tales of the good life. A few years later, Kristy decides to stop taking her birth-control pills -- and tells Jake about it three months later. Plagued by doubts, unfulfilled ambitions, and images of a fantasy girl (Isabel Lorca) he once spotted in a club, Jake resists the idea of fatherhood. Then he finds out he has low sperm count and, his manhood thus challenged, lines up for fertility clinic-assisted stud duty. The birth doesn't go as smoothly as Jake expected, however, setting the stage for climactic realizations. Edie McClurg, who played the nosy school secretary in Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off, makes a cameo appearance as an officious neighbor. In addition, a who's who of other Hughes alums and Hollywood stars lend their faces and voices to a series of closing-credits shots in which each suggests a name for the titular baby.
An uptight businessman faces disaster after disaster as he tries to get back home in time for his family's Thanksgiving dinner, and along the way is joined by an insane traveling salesman that will not leave him alone.
When his wife starts bringing home the bacon, an out-of-work 'house-husband' has to learn to fry - among other heinous domestic tasks - in this hysterically funny comedy.
Unaccustomed to suburban life, fun-loving Uncle Buck soon charms his younger relatives Miles and Maizy with his hefty cooking and his new way of doing the laundry. But his carefree style doesn't impress everyone, including Tia, his rebellious teenage niece, and Chanice, his impatient girlfriend.