John Hughes (Creator)

October 3, 2020 – 12:46 am
"It is thanks to him that not a day goes by when someone, somewhere does not come up to me, taps me on the shoulder and says, 'Hey Ferris, is this your day off?'"— Matthew Broderick, John Hughes (February 18, 1950 — August 6, 2009) was an American filmmaker best known for the teen comedies he wrote and directed in the mid 1980s:, , and .He started as a writer for National Lampoon Magazine, and was one of the key developers of Delta House, the TV spinoff of . His first big successes as a screenwriter (the year before Sixteen Candles) were and . (He got a rare shared screenplay (and sole story) credit for National Lampoon's European Vacation when his script was rewritten by Robert Klane.) After Ferris Bueller, he directed, She's Having a Baby, , and, and wrote and produced, , the Lampoon's Vacation sequel entitled Christmas Vacation, and the first three movies. (He also produced Only The Lonely for writer-director (and Home Alone (and its sequel) director) Chris Columbus, one of only two films he produced that he didn't write - the other was New Port South, written and directed by his son James.)During the 1990s, he somehow ended up writing and producing a string of more family-oriented comedies, including the live-action versions of and, and the remake of . In the following decade he would become a recluse, and the rest of his screenplays would be written under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes (also used for 1992's ). His last film was the Owen Wilson comedy .

His films (those few that don't already have pages of their own) provide examples of:

Adults Are Useless In a couple of his movies, the bad guys are people who take "just doing their job" too far. Parents are usually depicted as well-meaning, but generally out-of-touch and ignorant. This is played with in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where, yes, the adults are easily fooled and/or moronic...but the kids are easily fooled, too. The Breakfast Club hit this one in a somewhat dark way. Not only are there no positive adult characters in the movie (save Carl the janitor), almost all of them are downright cruel and abusive. That attitude is summed up pretty well in Allison's line, "When you grow up, your heart dies." All There in the Manual: Hughes apparently spent several years putting together a detailed history for the Shermer universe of his films (see below), but his stories and notes have never been released. A lot of it wouldn't match up, anyhow (see The Verse below). Author Appeal: Fine art, indie music and Chicago. Creator Provincialism: A John Hughes movie that doesn't take place in Chicago? Preposterous! Dean Bitterman: Hughes explored this trope twice. In both cases, the principal takes administration a little too far, and becomes needlessly vindictive in dealing with a student. Principal Vernon from The Breakfast Club is the dramatic version of this trope. At his worst, he tells Bender to punch him, because who's going to believe a useless punk over a respected principal? Principal Rooney from Ferris Bueller's Day Off is the same thing, except played for comedy. Every time he oversteps the proper boundaries, he suffers a Humiliation Conga. The '80s: Most of his best-known and best-liked films were made this decade, making a few of them Unintentional Period Pieces. Getting Crap Past the Radar: Some of his earliest films (from before the PG-13 rating was introduced) managed to sneak by with a PG rating, even though their content should obviously have been rated R. Monochrome Casting: Virtually none of his movies had a non-white lead. Justified, since most of his stories took place in American suburbia, which was still not quite integrated when he began writing. Society Marches On: Looked at objectively and from current standards, Ducky from Pretty In Pink is a real creep, not to mention the dean of students turning a blind eye at what he believes to be father-daughter incest in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Something Completely Different: Weird Science is the odd man out among the teen pics, being much more fantasy-based and a little cruder in its humor than the others.


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