Another name from my youth:
John Hughes, the producer, writer and director whose 1980s films such as “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” offered a sharp-eyed look at teenagers and their social habits, has died, according to a statement from his representative. He was 59.
Hughes died of a heart attack while taking a morning walk in Manhattan, according to the statement.
He made so many fun movies it is hard to choose favorites, but if I had to, I would go with Weird Science or Uncle Buck. Every time I see an old beater of a car on the road, I think of the music that played when Candy’s character in Uncle Buck was driving anywhere.
Has this been a particularly heavy death summer or I’m just imagining things?
so, what to you two little maniacs want to do first?
Holy moly, that’s way, way too young for the bratpack director to go. Very sad, indeed.
“Weird Science” is one of my guilty pleasure movies and I’ll stop and watch it whenever it’s on, regardless of how far along it is. Can’t help myself from quoting the blues bar scene.
Thanks for the memories, John Hughes!
I loved “Sixteen Candles.” The last scene where Sam gets to kiss Jake is one of my faves evah!
Does Barry Manilow know you’re raiding his wardrobe?
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.”
Danke schön, John Hughes.
Crazy insane? Insane crazy?
Loved John Hughes. I feel so fuckng old now.
The entertainment industry has sorta forgotten how to develop (and use) the abilities of the physically comically gifted.
Therefore I gotta give a shout out to Hughes’ “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” for putting Steve Martin and John Candy together.
I’m 58, so I totally missed the guy and his work, though I do vaguely recall some some of the titles you mention.
Dropping dead on a morning walk in Manhattan is my dream scenario, however, so I guess he got something right.
RIP, John Hughes.
I saw Ferris Bueller shortly before the first time I went to Chicago. Loved that movie, loved all his teen stuff. I will have to watch a few of his DVDs tonight in his honor.
This is demented and sad, and not even a little social.
Just Some Fuckhead
I hated all of John Hughes’ movies but I never wanted to see him dead.
Loved John Hughes’ movies. He really captured an era. I loved “The Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles.”
Fifty-nine seems awfully young these days. Where does the time go?
Dammit, that’s way too early to go.
Breakfast Club will always have very special significance to me.
RIP. So many good films.
I really like what he directed and wrote (up until the end of the eighties), but my absolute favorite would be “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”.
And I should rewatch “Uncle Buck”.
RIP John Hughes.
I feel like I should be in some type of 12 step self-help meeting…
“Hi, I’m lamh31, I’m an African American, and I liked John Hughes movies” (Hi…lamh31), even though early on, my peeps weren’t really represented in the Hughes movies. I challenge ya’ll to name one major African American character in Hughes early movies.
Still, Ferris Bueller, Weird Science, the Vacation movies, Uncle Buck and the first and second Home Alone movies, or probably some of my favorite movies ever. My best friend (also AA) would surely tell you that here fav movie EVER is Sixteen Candles & Pretty in Pink. Oh, and I can’t forget the Breakfast Club
It’s as if Death stepped in front of him on his morning jog and said, “You’re still here? It’s over. Go home!”
“Happy birthday, Samantha. Make a wish.”
“Well, it already came true.”
Personally, I thought the Donger was just fantastic. That’s who came to mind when I heard of Hughes’ passing.
Anyone out there in need of a Pick-me-up?
BEN STEIN just got SHIT-CANNED by the NYTimes for shilling for a credit-report scam company!
[does John Bender-style fist pump, backflips]
Too many good ones to name. I’m wondering if this is the moment that I officially become old.
@lamh31: I challenge ya’ll to name one major African American character in Hughes early movies.
The sheer whiteness of Hughes’ body of work is its largest glaring omission, I think, tied with the heteronormativity. Gender-wise, I remain happy with his teen flicks, though. Even with Ally Sheedy’s makeover.
When I was 10 or 11, I watched Ferris Bueller eight times in one day with my friend. I was also an extra in the wedding scene of Sixteen Candles and shook John Candy’s hand during a break in the shooting of Uncle Buck.
John Hughes was a big part of my childhood. Very sad news.
The Breakfast Club pretty much summed up my high school experience. I was Ally Sheedy without the suicidal tendencies and with better fashion sense. I’ll always love John Hughes for that insanely insightful film though I’ve loved most of his others, too. RIP
Yep. I was bang in the demo and couldn’t fucking stand his work. Nothing against him personally though. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. And stuff. Also.
Ferris bueller: just about every scene in that movie is perfect.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
I was a Chicagoland teenager during the John Hughes years. I spents some Saturdays in detention staring at girls, listened to The Smiths at the Art Institute, went to parties in the forest preserves and dated girls who were angry with their parents.
If I had to choose one movie it’d be Uncle Buck.
That is great news, but not for the reason you think. I just learned that according to Ben Stein, I am an economist. I can’t wait to impress people at parties (probably a better pick up line than computer geek)
MattR is a computer geek and economist
By the time his movies were being made, I was just starting out as a teacher. I valued his insights and loved the music he chose to tell his stories – prehaps his best legacy.
I so wanted to be Molly Ringwald! I am still searching for my Blaine. I love that last scene where they kiss in front of the BMW.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
The North Shore suburbs that John Hughes’ movies portray are lily white. Skokie, Evanston, Niles and Lincolnwood have diverse populations (Jewish, Korean, Indian, Black) but they border the northside of Chicago. Once you get to Park Ridge, Glenview, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe and Lake Forest and it is predominantly upper middle-class and wealthy whites.
Didja hear who got sprung from prison today?
He was just so emblematic of the 1980’s, and I loved how the pretty girls in his movies weren’t model look-a-likes. They just looked like the average pretty girl you’d see at your average high school. Thanks for all the good memories, Mr. Hughes.
And I still think Duckie got a raw deal.
Budd Schulberg also died. “On the Waterfront,” people.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Which almost speaks better for Hughes on the grounds he didn’t indulge in forced tokenism. I don’t think he was being deliberately blind. Just didn’t tell those stories. And they resonated like crazy with this lower-middle-class Masshole, so something about them crossed at least class lines.
@geg6: I was Ally Sheedy without the suicidal tendencies and with better fashion sense.
Oh, this game. Classic for our generation. I was the female Anthony Michael Hall who wished (and was raised to act like) she was Molly Ringwald.
I guess I was late teens – early 20’s when Hughes bratpack films first came out, so, yeah, part of demo. I enjoyed them for what they were, but not enough to say I was a fan. I don’t think I’ve even seen a Hughes film since the mid-late 80’s.
That said, I was also a alt-radio DJ at one of the better college stations of the time, and I’ve gotta admit: the Hughes films really did have some pretty good soundtracks.
Eh, Sloan Peterson (Mia Sara) was very modelesque. But I get your point, she’s the exception, not the rule. I’m just being arbitrarily contrarian today.
My two favorites:
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
but can’t forget:
I had a huge crush on Molly Ringwald and the Long Duk Dong character was classic
Didn’t he end up with Kristy Swanson at the end of that movie?
plus, he ends up with Models in the future…
I guess I was AMH with Sheedy’s taste in music, books, film, etc. – both a math/sci geek and a lit/arts/history geek.
Too many John Hughes movies to pick a favorite, but I would have to say Dogma is clearly the best movie with a John Hughes (or John Hughes movie) reference.
“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The way I remember it, Duckie lost his cherry to Annie Potts and had his first threesome after the prom. So not such a bad deal.
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Budd “Contendah” Schulberg?
“A Face in the Crowd” is must viewing for anyone who wants to understand Rush Limbaugh. I can’t believe I didn’t discover that movie until the early ’90s.
Oh, and for those of us who think this thing happens in threes: Who is the third?
Jesus fucking Christ molesting Molly Ringwald. I still make snow from my dandruff, hand out cartons of Marlboros for Xmas and smoke cigars with wily bluesmen every chance I get.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Thank you, that needed saying.
His movies blew chunks, but at least he pretty much quit making them over the last 10 years or so.
Correction: I like ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’. That’s a plus in his favor.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS! SHITTER WAS FULL!”
Breakfast Club tribute video (Youtube), to the movie’s theme song “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds, another 80’s name.
“What’s happenin’ hot stuff?” – Long Duk Dong
“Weird Science” is my sentimental favorite, although “Sixteen Candles” or “The Breakfast Club” were his best. He had a knack for creating some great memorable characters (Long Duk Dong, Chet, Ferris). Long Duk Dong was his best character, IMO, and to this day, I can quote every line LDD and Chet have.
Of the movies during his Shermer Sagas, I’d point to Ferris Bueller as the one that truly defined the Generation X experience.
The odd thing about Hughes’ films is that they were… not shallow, not prefabricated, but… tame. Even though there was a sizeable amount of anarchy wanting to burst out. What else is Weird Science for the first two-thirds but a plea for universal instability? The problem was that in the end all debts were purged, no consequences (except for the bad guy) befallen upon our heroes, with God in Her heaven and all made right in the megamall.
I thought of Weird Science a lot after Palin was announced by McMansion as his VP choice. It was like uber-nerds Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry created her out of right-wing, neocon, sexual-projection software – but without Kelly LeBrock’s intelligence.
Bummer about Hughes. Also.
I was in high school and college in the 80s and can’t even imagine the decade existing without those movies. I suspect they have even greater resonance for those of us who grew up in or around Chicago.
Kevin Smith’s homage to John Hughes (from Dogma a classic too)
Bethany: McHenry is pretty far from Jersey, might I ask what brings you guys to Illinois?
Jay: Some fuck named John Hughes.
Bethany: “16 Candles” John Hughes?
Jay: You know him too? That fucking guy. Made this flick “16 Candles” right? Not bad it’s got tits in it, but no bush. Of course Ebert over here don’t give a shit about that stuff cause he’s all in love with this John Hughes guy and rents every one of his movies. Fucking “Breakfast Club” all these stupid kids actually show up to detention, fucking “Weird Science” where this one chick wants to take off her gear and get down, but aw, no she don’t cause it’s a PG movie, and then there’s “Pretty In Pink” which I can’t watch with this tubby muthafucker any more, because everytime we get to the part where the red head hooks up with her dream guy, he starts sobbin’ like a little eight-year-old with a skinned knee and shit. And nothing is worse then watching a fat man weep.
I love all his 80’s movies. He will be missed.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Some Kind of Wonderful. Ferris Bueller.
Those aren’t two pillows!!!
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
So many of John Hughs’ movies are timeless enough to have huge appeal to different generations. My sister, now 43, came of age in the 80s and was so obsessed with Sixteen Candles that she named my 11 year old newphew Jake Ryan.
Both of my kids, age 21 and 18, love his movies as well. The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Say Anything are all in my daughter’s Top 10 and some of my son’s favorites are Farris Bueller, The Breakfast Club and, in particular, Uncle Buck. Everytime I bring home take-out for dinner, he automatically says “Mom, how do you find the time?” Little smartass.
I’ve always wondered why someone so talented stopped making movies.
I want a fucking car, right fucking now.
Id go with Sixteen Candles. I, like The Saff, just love the ending of that movie and the rest was simple fun. But everything else was great.
And best character ever was Chet. “I did it out of love!”.
Why he stopped, or could no longer get the greenlight to direct the movies he wanted, is a bit of a mystery.
Oddly enough, he continued to write screenplays and screen stories, as late as 2008 (e.g. Drillbit Taylor).
Some of his later screenplays and stories are credited to Edmond Dantes, which is also the name of the hero in The Count of Monte Cristo.
The arc of Hughes’ later career reminds me a bit of writer/director Preston Sturges, who made a string of great films between 1940 and 1944 (including The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, and Hail the Conquering Hero, but fell out of favor with the public and the bosses, and could not win any of the battles he fought with the Hollywood suits.
I was 31 years old in the winter of 2002, and I came home to find Breakfast Club on the TV. As I watched, I removed my overcoat, jean jacket, and flannel shirt (over another shirt, of course). As I took off my Doc Martens, I realized that almost 20 years later I was still trying to dress like bad-boy Jonathan Bender. I felt like such a tool. Honestly, I think those movies affected me down to the bone.
P T & A and Uncle Buck. Psychadelic Furs ‘Pretty in Pink” one of my fave ’80’s tunes. What fascinated me about his teen/high school movies was how the public schools made my high school (private, upper middle class) look like a shithole! Are there really public schools like that in the Chi ‘burbs? As movies tho’ most seemed tame compared to my experiences (admittedly my high school years were pre-HIV and pre MADD, when 16 yr. olds could get served without question).
Tangent: According to Chris Miller Animal House was originally set in high school but the studio execs wouldn’t go for it.
You are correct about “Animal House”, sir. It’s roots are from “National Lampoon’s High School Yearbook Parody”: http://www.marksverylarge.com/booksetc/yearbook.html
One of the funniest, most inspired publications ever. I still have my original copy laying around somewhere.
Everything I Know About Politics I Learned From Ferris:
…Not that I condone fascism, or any “ism” for that matter. “Isms” in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an “ism,” he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the Walrus. I could be the Walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people…
“can you describe the ruckus, sir?”
Must watch the BC this weekend in honor… that was my favorite
Doug Kenney was a genius. In the Yearbook, the depressing, hearbtbreaking and disturbing bits about living in a shitty little midwestern burg in the 1950s were his. His highschool picture was used for the obligatory doomed kid on the first page. Kenney also did the “Commie Plot Comics” and co-wrote Caddyshack.
Kenney and Michael O’Donoghue made NatLamp dark enough to leave an impression decades later.
So, class, Ben Stein was fired for…what? Fired for…conflict of…what? Bueller? Bueller? Conflict of…interest.
I gotta admit, I grew up in the 80s, and in the suburbs – but I could not relate to Hughes’ teen characters. Sure, “Weird Science” appealed to the horn-dog in me, but I never saw the whole movie. Ferris Bueller was funny, but it was an upper class suburbia I never experienced. To me, “Vacation” and “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” are the only ones that hold up over time.
Uncle Buck is one of my very favorite movies all time. Hughes was too young to go.
My Condolences to his family, I loved some of his movies especially the breakfast club, Home Alone and Home Alone 2. Definitely his movies defined a generation as well as gave us plenty of chuckles. For all his fans I have collected some good sites and articles (more than 250 sites ) related to his latest news coverage, biography, Movies, Movie Quotes and Interviews. If you are interested take a look at the below link