Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Top 10 Favorite John Hughes Films

John W. Hughes was born February 18th, 1950, in Lansing Michigan. After spending his youth in the Detroit suburbs, he moved to Chicago, Illinois with his family at the age of 13 (his father was a salesman). The Hughes family lived at the much-scorned outskirts of a wealthier suburban-Chicago neighborhood, which permanently cemented his loathing disrespect and jealousy of snobs. Chicago would become an area that would figure prominently in most of his films (not to mention some rich, snobby characters).

He graduated from Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois in 1968, and moved to Arizona State University but dropped out his junior year. By this point he was already married (he met his wife Nancy in high school) and became an advertising copywriter (some of his ads were for 7-UP). He also wrote many short stories, magazine articles, unpublished novels, and jokes for stand-up comedians such as Rodney Dangerfield, Henny Youngman an Rip Taylor. "It was good training in minimalist thinking, and taught me how to think comically."

In 1979 he became an editor for National Lampoon magazine. It was here where he broke into professional screenwriting with National Lampoon's Class Reunion (1982) and in 1993, National Lampoon's Vacation, which was based on a short story he wrote called "Vacation '58." (When another writer's Lampoon short story became the genesis of Animal House, Hollywood studios started recruiting all the Lampooners to come up with movies, and thus John got his big chance at a movie career.) He also made Mr. Mom (1983), but it was in 1984 when he made it big with the teen crowd with his films Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Weird Science.

While toiling as a rewriter and script doctor on many early 80s films (including Joy of Sex), John saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Risky Business, and Wargames, and realized that he could be writing vastly superior teenage entertainment, and eventually create a niche for himself. His first teen script was The Breakfast Club, but it did not get made until after he'd first proven himself with Sixteen Candles. Plot, scene, and character elements from a lot of these earlier films he'd seen as a rewriter would soon pop-up again again and again (in altered Hughes versions) throughout his 80's teen flicks.

It was also in 1985 when he entered a multiple-picture contract with Paramount, and produced films under his own banner, the John Hughes Company. In 1988 Hughes Entertainment became associated with Universal. Today many of his films are released through Disney and their subsidiaries.

(in order)

1. She's Having a Baby

Great movie. Very overlooked and underrated.

2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

"We can laught about it's all over with" (car is still on fire)

3. Career Opportunities

Another overlooked/forgotten film of the Hughes collection. I just watched this yesterday to be reminded of how funny it is.

4. Some Kind of Wonderful

This is one is a real gem. Who knew teenage love triangles could be so interesting?

5. Uncle Buck

"Bobby you little piss ant....what are ya drunk?"

6. National Lampoon's Vacation

"Is that real tomato ketchup Eddie?"

7. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

"Your son has been absent.... NINE TIMES"

8. Mr. Mom

The Soap Opera dream scene is still just as funny now as it was the first time I saw it.

9. Pretty in Pink

People should still make movies like this, it would help the integrity of the film industry.

10. The Breakfast Club

I wish pop culture would not have raped and pillaged this film of all its precious jewles, happened and I just cannot enjoy this one as much as I once did. It's still a great film though.

Honorable Mention:

Sixteen Candles
National Lampoon's European Vacation
Weird Science
The Great Outdoors
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Home Alone

1 comment:

Ying Yang Twins said...

Dutch is awesome! This movie is on of Ethan Embry's first and best. You might not have noticed however in this film his name is not listed as Embry but as Randall. It is my belief that he changed his real name into a stage name...its just a guess though.