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Top 10 Best John Hughes Movies You Must See

Hughes, John Wilden Jr. (February 18, 1950–August 6, 2009) was an American actor and filmmaker. Beginning as a contributor to National Lampoon, he went on to write, produce, and occasionally direct some of the most popular live-action comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s, including National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and its sequels National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Mr. Mom (1983), Sixteen Candles (1984), Weird Science (1985), and Weird Science (1989).

The majority of Hughes' works are situated in the Chicago metro region. He is most known for his teen comedy films about coming-of-age, which often blend magical realism with realistic portrayals of suburban adolescent life.

Hughes' muse, Molly Ringwald, inspired several of his most memorable characters during this period. Hughes died of a heart attack while out for a morning stroll in New York in the summer of 2009.

Many performers with whom he had worked, including Ringwald, Matthew Broderick, Anthony Michael Hall, and Macaulay Culkin, celebrated his memory following his passing, notably at the 82nd Academy Awards.

Michael Keaton, Anthony Michael Hall, Bill Paxton, Matthew Broderick, Macaulay Culkin, and members of the Brat Pack are among the actors whose careers Hughes helped start.

John Hughes Movies
John Hughes Movies

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) 

While Chevy Chase and the National Lampoon series it created are more well associated with Vacation, Hughes was the brains (and writer) behind the Griswolds' ill-fated road trip to Hell.

Clark, Ellen, and their two grumpy teens hit the roads in the world's ugliest station wagon, on route to the nostalgic theme park Wally World, in search of some summer family togetherness.

There are difficulties, redneck cousins, and Christie Brinkley on the way. Clark, on the other hand, shows the tenacity of a frontier explorer in his search for family pleasure, dammit! Hughes produced one of the best-loved comedies of the decade before reinventing adolescence in the mid-'80s.

Pretty In Pink 1986

Pretty in Pink, a Brat Pack classic stars Molly Ringwald in her most recognized performance as Andie Walsh. It not only treats its adolescents with the respect that John Hughes was renowned for, but it also has two distinguishing characteristics.

First, it dared to consider the class divide, creating an arena of forbidden romance in the mold of Romeo and Juliet, which went against the grain of male-driven angst and frat-boy antics typical of so many other films of the time. Second, it dared to consider the class divide, building an arena of forbidden romance in the mold of Romeo and Juliet.

The post-punk/new wave music utilized throughout, as well as Jon Cryer's famous performance as Andie's "best buddy" Duckie, are both important elements of what makes Pretty In Pink so memorable (The Psychedelic Furs' title track being the standout).

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) 

Given Hughes's untimely passing, it's fitting to remember Ferris Bueller's motto: "Life goes fairly quickly." You may miss it if you don't take a few moments to look around."

For Ferris, it means making up an illness so he can skip school on a beautiful spring day in Chicago so he can embark on a series of fantastic adventures with his gorgeous girlfriend Sloane and overly anxious best buddy Cameron, committing minor crimes and outsmarting dumb grownups along the way.

The question isn't so much "what are we going to do," as it is "what aren't we going to do." Wrigley Field is a baseball stadium in Chicago, Illinois. The art gallery. The Sears Tower is a landmark in Chicago.

Lunch with 'Abe Froman, Chicago's Sausage King.' The procession commemorates German Independence Day. And, of course, there's the rented Ferrari. What an eventful day! Is Ferris a jerk or a "decent guy" at the end?

He is both genuine and memorable. Looking back as an adult and asking oneself, "Am I living my life the way Ferris would want me to?" is both entertaining and humbling. Imagine an adolescent film that elicited so much reflection. That was John Hughes' method of doing things.

Weird Science (1985) 

The notion of converting a computer, a Barbie doll, and a few bras worn on the head into a DIY lady were almost too much for a young and impressionable geek to stomach.

Weird Science may be Hughes' most fantastical picture (it's hard to deny that a film in which one character transforms into a huge, talking pile of human feces is realistic), but it's also one of his most enjoyable.

Weird Science is that one-of-a-kind image that everyone, from geeks to jocks, could and did enjoy. It's filled with quotable one-liners ("It's Chet.") and, of course, the memorable Kelly LeBrock as the ideal fantasy girl.

Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987)

This John Hughes-penned high school drama, which Janet Maslin of The New York Times called the "much-improved, recycled version of the Pretty in Pink story," is directed by Howard Deutch, who also directed Pretty In Pink. It features a romance divided by both the "popular" and "unpopular" cliques, characterized by the wealth gap between them.

Deutch is less interested in the frivolity of Hughes' directorial attempts, but she shares Hughes' strong emphasis on the ups and downs of high school life.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Is Hughes' detention-hall-as-confessional comedy, as recommended by Entertainment Weekly editors in 2006, the "greatest" high school film ever made? Perhaps, but categorizing a film about resisting categorization misses the idea entirely.

Although Hughes wrote for adolescents, his keen insights cut across generations. The Breakfast Club is his most sincere film, noteworthy for its understanding of five diverse adolescent characters, who are trapped in time due to the way they are shown in this film.

Because Hughes gave rebellious John Bender a locker full of great lines, Judd Nelson walks away as the winner — or, more properly, marches away with his fist-pumping in the air.

However, it was the ensemble's excellent effort that revealed the sensitive reality beneath the judgemental titles of Princess, Brain, Criminal, Jock, and Basket Case used in high school. Everyone is a member of the same club, as Hughes points out, regardless of which personality suits them best.

Planes, Trains, And Automobiles (1987) 

Hughes wrote, directed, and produced the film. With neither Broderick nor Ringwald insight, this was touted as Hughes' "grown-up" picture. Instead, it follows two frantic businessmen (Steve Martin and John Candy) who are attempting to get home for Thanksgiving.

Martin plays the straight guy, a somewhat snobbish big wheel whose complete frustration provides an excellent stage for the actor's physical abilities. Candy is the jerk: a well-intentioned shower curtain ring seller who pulls off the impossible task of being both nice and rude at the same time.

Hughes' talent for language and the overused but always powerful use of travel as a source of comedy may have made it the late comedian's best performance.

Sixteen Candles (1984) 

Samantha Baker, a gangly redhead, says to herself in the mirror, "You need four inches of body and a wonderful birthday." Hughes, who takes his muse, Molly Ringwald, through the wringer of humiliation before she can ultimately blow out all Sixteen Candles, ensures she gets neither.

Hughes made his directing debut with this picture, and his obsession with his own caustic language causes a few pace issues (which he solved by the time he filmed The Breakfast Club the following year).

Hughes' comedy is considerably more childish than in his previous works, even the sex-charged Weird Science, as his perspective of high school drips with contempt rather than a lack of comprehension.

However, every filmmaker must first walk before running, and Hughes's steps in Candles continue to influence screenwriters and filmmakers to this day.

Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone is arguably John Hughes' most well-known and beloved picture, and it's definitely his most financially successful.

While the lighthearted criminal caper made Macauley Culkin a household name and became a staple of many families' Christmas television viewing, it isn't Hughes' most powerful film, but it is nevertheless a joyful mix of cartoonish violence and feel-good humor.

Dutch (1991)

John Hughes just sort of stopped, at the end of the 1980s-the, broken but interesting Uncle Buck and the utterly appealing trifle Christmas Vacation in 1989-and then he immediately started in with the alternately treacly and cruel Home Alone in 1990, and a sharp skid through 1991 that ended in the blow-out of his entire damn career.

We may put this up to burnout since the guy was unimaginably productive for seven years, but it doesn't make the fall any less painful or unpleasant to see.

Even with that in mind, I was unprepared for Dutch, Hughes' second film and the third to be released in his annus horribilis, because it's just a straight-up nasty fucking film, not intermittently dark like Uncle Buck, not mean-spirited without realizing it like Home Alone, and a thousand light-years from the gooey humanism that had dominated the filmmaker's work pretty much fucking fucking fucking fuck

It's naughty, brutish, and lengthy-at 107 minutes, it's hardly an epic, but it is (by a slim margin) the longest picture in our retrospective and the third-longest film in which Hughes was ever involved in any way.

About The Authors

Adaline Fritz

Adaline Fritz - Adaline's upbeat, can-do attitude and nurturing disposition make her perfect for understanding each client's wants and needs and skillfully directing them toward their real estate objectives. Adaline has experience in all facets of the real estate process, having started in the administrative sector and progressed to operations before achieving success in real estate sales. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and Western Oregon University, and returned to the Portland area in 2011 to pursue a career in real estate. She also loves traveling, working out, and spending time on the water during Portland's beautiful summers.

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