We take a look at the work of John Hughes, celebrated writer, director and producer of some of the most successful and heavily referenced comedies of the 1980s and 1990s.
Born in Michigan in 1950, Hughes began his career as a copy writer in Chicago and went on to work for National Lampoon magazine and it while he was still on staff with the magazine that he wrote his first credited screenplay Class Reunion. Class Reunion did not fare very well at the box office, it was Hughes next screenplay – National Lampoon’s Vacation – that was his first major hit.
Hughes captured the teen and preteen market during his career as both a writer and director with a chain of 1980s teen movies. Hughes directed such classic teen movies as The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. These films defined the stifling high school experience and even now, 24 years after its release, The Breakfast Club is still appreciated by teenagers.
During the 1990s Hughes switched his focus to kids movies and penned the screenplay for the live action 101 Dalmations movie, the quirky Robin Williams vessel Flubber and the first three Home Alone movies.
Hughes retired from directing after Curly Sue in 1991, and removed himself from the public eye in 1994.
Hughes is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy, and his two sons.
If any of you ‘90s kids out there are unsure as to why he’ll be so missed by children of the ‘70s and ‘80s, movies.ie brings you our favourite John Hughes films.
At the time of Home Alone’s release in 1990, there didn’t seem to be a child alive that didn’t envy Kevin McCallister, even a little bit. To be left home alone without annoying parents and older siblings telling you what to do? A little bit of heaven. Shame that Kevin’s peace is shattered by a gang of inept burglars, although he does seem to have a lot of fun defending his home against them…
Two teenage boys, Gary and Wyatt, are suffering the humiliation of not being the popular kids in school. They are never going to get the girls they want, especially after they are pantsed in front of the whole school, so they turn to science to create the perfect woman. Typically, things don’t go according to plan due to the school bullies Max and Ian (a very young Robert Downey Jr) and Gary and Wyatt’s lives are turned upside down in a weekend they will never forget!
What do you do when you are stuck for a babysitter? Call on family! The late, great John Candy stars as unemployed slacker Buck, who is left with his three nieces and nephews when a family emergency calls their parents away. Although the TV spin off from the movie was not well received, the movie stayed at the number one spot in the US for four weeks and is still Macaulay Culkin’s highest grossing movie outside the Home Alone series.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Serial faker Ferris decides to skip school (“it’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school”) and have a relaxing day with his girlfriend, Jeanie and best friend, Cameron in downtown Chicago before they head off to different colleges. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right? Wrong. The day is spent dodging teachers and parents who are out looking for them, and trying to avoid being caught joyriding in Cameron’s dad’s Ferarri, and although not relaxing, at least the trio get to have one last day together.
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club is the classic film about teen angst. Five teenagers, all from different walks of life are put in detention together, and manage to put their preconceived notions about each other to one side and pour their hearts out to each other and discover they have more in common than they thought. It’s like My So Called Life gone right!