The Top 5 of John Hughes
John Hughes kicks ass. That’s all I’m going to say about it. The man passes away this afternoon and already I’m catching flak for being a fan. Critics want to minimize what he gave to cinema, while die-hard fans will defend his contributions with their dying breaths.
It could be argued that no other director impacted the lives of young moviegoers more than John Hughes. How many times have you wished you had the nerve to be able to climb aboard a float and belt out Twist and Shout or had the scientific know-how to produce Kelly LeBrock? For me, it’s been a time or two.
Hughes’ contributions to film have long been overlooked due to the fact of subject matter and, in later years, box office performance. Hughes directed just eight films with a combined domestic total of $329 million from 1984 through 1991.
Perusing over his collective works, I decided to choose five projects that I feel are Hughes’ top contributions to the film industry to pay tribute to the man.
5. Plains, Trains and Automobiles
John Candy and Steve Martin — need I say more? Hughes’ fifth film blended a wonderful script with two comic performers at the top of the game. Hughes’ first attempt to step outside the adolescent pictures that marked the beginning of his career was a clear home run.
4. Sixteen Candles
Hughes’ debut effort featured a hilarious Anthony Michael Hall in his third film. Add to that Molly Ringwald’s awkward cuteness and it’s no doubt why passions still run deep for this film.
3. Christmas Vacation
In the Hughes penned screenplay, it’s difficult to pinpoint the best moment of his flick. Is it cousin Eddie’s tale of his metal plate and urination problem? Is it Clark mercilessly beating the hell out of Santa and his eight tiny reindeer ? Is it when the cat gets super-cripsy after clawing Christmas lights. All of it equals up to some great gut-busting laughter.
2. The Breakfast Club
This film ranks as one of the best high school flicks ever. As classic and iconic as American Graffiti or Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club appealed to everyone. Chances are looking at Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Ringwald or Hall; you saw either yourself or someone close to you.
1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This film is one of those special films that you can remember precisely where you where when you first saw it. For me, it was at Ashley Square Cinema in Greencastle, and I was 11. The flick was the dream for every kid in school who craved to cut out and have one helluva day on their own terms. Matthew Broderick’s rendition of Twist and Shout atop a parade float is one of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history.
Sure John Hughes never directed an epic that turned out to be an Oscar contender, but what he did do was capture what it’s like to be an awkward adolescent better than any director ever has.
His films may be fluff, but fluff never looked or tasted so good. Godspeed sir, Godspeed.