Sad news today with reports that John Hughes, legendary 1980s writer/director of such movies as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (among others), has died age 59 of a heart attack.
While I was almost too young to get most of those movies in their original release, as they filtered to me on video through the late 80s, I was a real fan, at least of his topline stuff. Movies like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller (likely his two best) really did speak to kids in the 80s, as good as any filmmaker ever has.
Sure they’re kind of dated now, but they’re still universal at their core at the same time, and that’s what matters. They really worked with character, humour and honesty in dealing with young characters and their lives, and that’s all anyone could ask for.
Not to mention the music — again, kind of dated, but some outstanding work for its time went into his movies, from the likes of Simple Minds and Psychadelic Furs, not to mention the Beatles reworking in Ferris Bueller.
His most successful project, Home Alone, gave me a chuckle at the time, but in retrospect seems pretty pathetic, and his few projects after that were even worse. No matter… by then Hughes seemed to have turned his back on Hollywood. He’d been a recluse for 15+ years, so his loss seems almost anti-climactic in a “cinematic impact” way. He’d left the industry a long time ago.
But his best works will always be remembered, and are worth a re-watching if you get a chance.