24 Heartwarming Facts About Your Favorite John Hughes Films

Updated on December 16, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.

John Hughes was a talented and renowned filmmaker with a cinema career that spanned nearly 30 years. With cult classic hits such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, the director had an extensive and beloved resume. Hughes was famous for writing, directing and producing a slew of hit films in the '80s and '90s; let's look at some heartwarming facts about your favorite John Hughes films.

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1. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) was based on the article "Vacation 58" written by John Hughes, and was featured in the September 1979 issue of National Lampoon magazine.

2. During production of Sixteen Candles (1984), Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall did not initially like each other, so John Hughes took them to a record store and they ended up bonding over their similar taste in music. The pair both liked The Rave-Ups, which Molly scribbled on Samantha's notebook.

3. In The Breakfast Club (1985), the scene in which all the characters sit in a circle on the floor in the library and tell stories about how they ended up in detention was not scripted. John Hughes encouraged them to ad-lib.

4. In an interview at Comic Con, Kelly LeBrock said when she did the kissing scene with 14-year-old Ilan Mitchell Smith in Weird Science (1985), he got carried away and stuck his tongue down her throat. Afterwards she told him, "If you ever do that again, I'm going to kick your ass!"

5. In Pretty in Pink (1986), when Duckie gets thrown into the girls' bathroom, he says regarding the tampon machine, "We don't have a candy machine in the boys' room." This line was ad-libbed by Jon Cryer.

6. In Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), to produce the desired drugged-out effect for his role of the drug addict in the police station, Charlie Sheen stayed awake for more than 48 hours before the scene was shot.

The Breakfast Club.
The Breakfast Club. | Source
Duckie (Jon Cryer) in Pretty in Pink.
Duckie (Jon Cryer) in Pretty in Pink. | Source
Charlie Sheen in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Charlie Sheen in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. | Source

7. Steve Martin was convinced to join Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) after favoring two scenes he had read from the script; the seat adjustment scene in the car and the F-word tirade at the car rental desk.

8. One night during the filming of Uncle Buck (1989), John Candy went to a bar with Music Supervisor Tarquin Gotch, and spent most of the night meeting and visiting with people. The following day, John Hughes heard a caller on a radio show describe his evening with Candy and became upset with the actor. Despite Candy's assertion that Buck was supposed to appear disheveled, Hughes cancelled his scenes for the day and told him to get some sleep and get himself together.

9. In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), when Clark (Chevy Chase) failed to get the Christmas lights to work one last time, he takes his frustration out on the plastic decorations in the front yard. Chase ended up breaking his pinky finger while punching Santa Claus. He then resorts to kicking and clubbing the decorations after that.

10. During production of Home Alone (1990), Joe Pesci kept forgetting that he was filming a family movie during his character's on-screen outbursts, so director Chris Columbus advised him to say "fridge" instead of the "F" word.

11. Macaulay Culkin was paid $4.5 million to star in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; it was the biggest salary ever for a 12-year-old child actor.

12. For 101 Dalmatians (1996), writer John Hughes made more money from the film than any other movie in his career, because his contract gave him a piece of the merchandising profits.

Chevy Chase as Clark in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Chevy Chase as Clark in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. | Source
Joe Pesci as Harry in Home Alone.
Joe Pesci as Harry in Home Alone. | Source

13. John Hughes cast Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles (1984) after seeing her head shot. Inspired by Ringwald's appearance, he put it over his desk and wrote the film just over a weekend, with her specifically in mind for the lead role.

14. In The Breakfast Club (1985), Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) hit a growth spurt during production. According to Judd Nelson (John Bender), Hall was shorter than him at the start of filming, but at the end of it, he was taller than him.

15. Molly Ringwald hated the pink prom dress she had to wear in Pretty in Pink (1986).

16. In Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), the shot of Ferris playing the clarinet was done on the spot. Someone spotted the instrument as part of the set, and Matthew Broderick said he could play it, but of course he couldn't.

17. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) ends with a freeze frame of John Candy with a tight lipped grin. Uncle Buck (1989) ends exactly the same way, with Candy having the same expression.

18. In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Beverly D'Angelo (Ellen) improvised grabbing Chevy Chase's (Clark) crotch when the SWAT team holds up the house. She later said she did it in only one take, on the off chance it could make the film's final cut, which it did.

Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.
Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. | Source
Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. | Source
Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains & Automobiles. | Source

19. During the scene in Uncle Buck (1989) where Macaulay Culkin interrogates Buck, the script's dialogue was written on index cards and placed on John Candy's head so Culkin could get his lines off quickly without having to worry about memorization.

20. For Home Alone (1990), writer John Hughes was worried that mothers would never believe a family could forget one of their kids. Director Chris Columbus recalled, "John really filled in every possible logic hole, and the audience always bought it."

21. During filming of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), after one scene, Macaulay Culkin asked Joe Pesci why he never smiled. He responded by telling him to shut up. At the time, Pesci said, "He's pampered a lot by a lot of people, but not me, and I think he likes that."

22. Within only 15 months, John Hughes directed Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Weird Science.

23. In 2014, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) was chosen to be preserved by the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. In 2016, The Breakfast Club (1985) was also chosen.

24. John Hughes helped launch the careers of many actors, including Molly Ringwald, Matthew Broderick, Michael Keaton, and Anthony Michael Hall.

Macaulay Culkin and John Candy in Uncle Buck.
Macaulay Culkin and John Candy in Uncle Buck. | Source
Beloved filmmaker John Hughes (1950-2009).
Beloved filmmaker John Hughes (1950-2009). | Source

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    © 2019 Rachel M Johnson

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