John Hughes, writer and director of such iconic 80’s films as Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Some Kind of Wonderful and Home Alone died yesterday of a heart attack in New York City. He was only 59 years old.
John Hughes’ movies defined teen life in the 80’s. He assembled a group of unknown teenage actors and developed them into the dream team of young talent referred to as the Brat Pack. Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, John and Joan Cusack, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy, not to mention Matthew Broderick, Jon Cryer and later, Macaulay Culkin became superstars thanks to the movies of John Hughes.
The Brat Pack and John Hughes were a winning ticket; a guaranteed box office success. John Hughes understood teen angst. Much of inspiration for his movies was taken from his own experiences. Anyone who has seen any of his movies can relate to them. I must have seen them each 20 times. They never get old or stale. Two decades later, people still quote from his films.
Although he specialized in teen movies he also had commercial success with more mature comedies like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Mr. Mom, N.L. Vacation and his final movie, Curly Sue (which launched the film career of Steve Carell).
Although John Hughes has not made a movie since 1991 and has slipped in Hollywood oblivion, becoming a recluse over the years, his passing touches us deeply because his movies remain so fresh in our minds. This unforgettable quote sums up everyone’s feeling about John Hughes. “They think he’s a righteous dude.”–Ferris Bueller’s Day Off