Farewell John Hughes...

07 August 2009


Yesterday, 'titan of teen angst' John Hughes died in New York, after having a heart attack while out walking. Hughes was the writer and director of most of our all-time favourite '80s films: The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful and Weird Science (he also did Home Alone and Beethoven, but we're going to ignore that).

Without John Hughes we would never have wanted to be ginger (Molly Ringwald was THE coolest), eaten a sugar sandwich, tried to put lipstick on with our cleavage instead of hands, bought a Psychedelic Furs album, actually considered calling our children 'Blane', 'Watts', 'Slone' or 'Hardy', feed pictures of Rob Lowe and James Spader into our Amstrad 64s with bras on our heads (in the hope the perfect man would come out), bought a keyboard just because it could make coughing noises, simultaneously found both Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall attractive, believed you could decrease a car's mileage just by driving backwards, had to listen to every boy we knew chanting, "I am now, and will forever be, a Duckman", fashioned SAVE FERRIS T-shirts, and given ourselves mohicans in the shower with the aid of copious amounts of shampoo. 

Mr Hughes, you will be missed. So in your memory, here are our favourite random pub-quiz facts about your work. And, by the way, if anyone knows the punchline to Bender's joke in The Breakfast Club, please let us know below. Because it's been driving us mad for 24 years.  

Our favourite facts
1. Duckie in Pretty in Pink was originally going to be played by Anthony Michael Hall, then Robert Downey Jr, before Jon Cryer was cast. He now plays Charlie Sheen's brother in Two and a Half Men. And we didn't realise that until we Googled him just now. Doh!

2. Jodie Foster was offered the role of PiP's Andie before Molly Ringwald, but turned it down to finish her degree at Yale. Zzzzz.

3. During the shooting of The Breakfast Club, John Hughes almost fired Judd Nelson because of his negative attitude towards Molly Ringwald off camera. Judd said he was just method acting and trying to stay in character. Charlie Sheen also like a bit of method acting: to look all drugged out in the police station scene in Ferris Bueller he stayed awake for 48 hours before the scene was shot.

4. John Cusack, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr and Michael J Fox were all considered for the role of Ferris Bueller. Wrong, wrong, and trice wrong.

5. Wyatt's house in Weird Science was also Jake Gyllenhaal's in Donnie Darko.

6. Despite playing siblings in the film, Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey became engaged after making Ferris Bueller. And Molly and Anthony Michael Hall briefly dated after The Breakfast Club wrapped, too (even though they didn't get on when they met on Sixteen Candles).

7. John Hughes wrote Weird Science in two days.

8. Maine North High School was used as the setting for The Breakfast Club and Ferris B. Apparently some of the posters you see on the walls in the background of TBC are still there in FB if you look closely, film geeks.

9. Much to John Hughes' disgust, in 1990, a TV series of Ferris aired in America. It was meant to be a prequel to the movie and an unknown actress called Jennifer Aniston landed the part of Jeanie, Ferris's long-suffering sister, which Jennifer Grey plays in the film. The series was cancelled after 13 episodes and Jen went on to make Friends. Then Jennifer Grey pops up in an episode as Rachel Green's ex-best friend Mindy. (And we now have brain ache).

10. A TV series sequel to 16 Candles was also planned (called 32 Candles, geddit?), but thankfully has never seen the light of day.

PS If that's not enough for you, have a read of this amazing article about the birth of the Brat Pack back from 1985's New York magazine: http://nymag.com/movies/features/49902/index1.html

- Suzy Cox


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