The John Hughes Files
Your Guide To All Things Hughes
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    "John is great at nurturing his actors, incorporating their talents and adding things. He's great about that." --Anthony Michael Hall

    "Most of my work has been about ordinary people. Just regular folks, the guys that live on the right and left of you, the people you grew up next to. They're people you see every day, but you may never stop and think about them. But if you do stop and look, you discover there are really great dramas taking place in every one of those lives." --John Hughes

  • While working at National Lampoon magazine, Hughes wrote the scripts for a TV spin-off of Animal House (it lasted four months).
  • Anthony Michael Hall turned down roles in Pretty in Pink (Duckie) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Cameron) so he would not be typecast.
  • Hughes wrote the script for the film "Beethoven," but used the name Edmond Dantes because so much of his work had come to the theater around that time and he was afraid there would be a backlash against him. The pseudonym is a homage to a character in The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Sixteen Candles and Weird Science were both originally conceived as "R"-rated teen movies. They were written in an era prior to the PG-13 rating, back when there was only G, PG, and R. Since the prime audience of younger girls would have been cut off from the R-rated version of Sixteen Candles, all of the "F" words were eliminated with the exception of Samantha's pre-credits birthday line. The movie eventually managed a PG rating. A few months later the PG-13 debuted, and this enabled Weird Science to properly refocus its material.
  • The art museum tour in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Keith's painting talents in Some Kind of Wonderful are both inspired by John's real-life youth fondness for art and painting, which he pursued at the University of Arizona. (He eventually dropped out and never graduated.) He says the art museum scene in FBDO was added out of his own self-indulgence. :)
  • According to the book Laughing on the Outside: The Life of John Candy by Martin Knelman, the relationship between John Hughes and John Candy cooled in 1993 because Hughes stopped returning Candy's phone calls. Candy had been expecting to have roles in Dutch, Dennis the Menace, Home Alone 2, and another untitled film (where Candy and Sylvester Stallone would have had cameo roles as neighbors), but plans fell through. Candy remained hurt and perplexed by Hughes' cold behavior. However, Hughes was one of the select few to be invited to Candy's private funeral the next year, which he attended.
  • Three television series have been spun off of Hughes' movies: "Ferris Bueller," "Uncle Buck," and the current "Weird Science" (on the USA Network). However, he has never been involved with their productions. In fact, he was opposed to them but the studios made them anyway.
  • Kevin Smith (writer, director and producer of Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy) thanked John Hughes in the credits of Mallrats for "giving me something to do on a Friday night" (this may be roughly paraphrased). In his new film, "Dogma," his recurring characters Jay and Silent Bob go to Illinois to look for Shermer after watching Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles only to discover that it doesn't exist.
  • Read more interesting facts about Hughes life and career on the biography page.

National Lampoon's Vacation

  • This film originated as Hughes' National Lampoon magazine short story "Vacation `58."
  • The original script had the Griswolds travelling to Disneyland, but the theme park objected, pointing out that they are open 365 days of the year.
  • Roy Walley is an obvious resemblance to Walt Disney, who in real life had a brother named Roy.
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles was used for Wallyworld. Griswolds
  • Some interesting tech info: Ellen can be seen wearing underwear when Clark scares her in the shower at the first motel, and a microphone can be seen at the bottom of the screen when Ellen is praying in the rain . . . but, as I have been told, these are not actually goofs. Originally the film was shot at a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, but the matting was removed for the home video version so more is seen vertically than originally intended.
  • In every Vacation movie Audrey and Rusty wish they were in Hawaii.
  • Randy Quaid based a lot of Cousin Eddie on an employer he once had while working in a store.
  • Harold Ramis's (Egon from Ghostbusters) voice can be heard from off-screen as a cop at Wallyworld. He also directed the film.
  • There was once a different ending to this film: After the Griswolds' find WallyWorld closed, they go to Mr. Wally's house, hold him at gunpoint, and make his servants do stupid dance numbers. John Candy wasn't originally in the movie, either. Only a few people ever knew about this alternate ending, until it was revealed by Beverly D'Angelo on TBS's Dinner and a Movie. Now everyone knows. :)

Mr. Mom

  • This movie was based on Hughes' own fathering experiences when he quit his 70s warehouse job to write jokes at home. At the time he was writing advertisements, hence Teri Garr's character's ad career in the film.
  • In one scene, Jack's "girlfriends" take him to a male strip show in which the dancers are dressed as astronauts. Jack asks, "These aren't the guys from the space shuttle, are they?" When the film was first shown on network television in 1986, the line was removed, presumably because it seemed in poor taste coming so soon after the Challenger disaster.
  • Patti Deutsch, popular in the 70s for her appearances on TV's "The Match Game," appeared as the woman working at the grocery's deli counter.
  • Mr. Mom features great themes from other movies, including Rocky (when Jack conquers the housework) and Chariots of Fire (when Jack is racing at his wife's company picnic).
  • Taliesin Jaffe, who played woobie-loving Kenny, today does English voice-overs for Japanimation.
  • Frederick Koehler, who played Kenny's older brother Alex, starred as a child on TV's "Kate & Allie" with Jane Curtin, as well as a number of TV movies and shows. He continues to act as an adult, playing Nazi Andrew Schillinger in HBO's "Oz," and acting in a slew of other movies and TV programs.
  • Today Teri Garr continues acting as she battles Multiple Schlerosis, first diagnosed in 1983.

Sixteen Candles

Samantha and Jake

  • Hughes wrote this script in two days.
  • The storyline of a girl's family forgetting her birthday is based on the real-life experience of one of Hughes' friends.
  • According to Premiere magazine, "[Norman] Rockwell’s painting of a young girl staring at herself in a mirror inspired [Hughes] to cast Molly Ringwald because of her lanky, freckle-faced, Rockwell quality."
  • Ally Sheedy (Allison in The Breakfast Club) reportedly auditioned for the role as Sam as well.
  • Jim Carrey was reportedly considered for the role of Farmer Ted, before Anthony Michael Hall (whom Hughes knew from National Lampoon's Vacation) was cast.
  • Gedde Watanabe auditioned completely in character, and fooled the casting staff into thinking he really was from Asia (he's actually from Utah), as well as keeping John Hughes in a constant state of laughter. Watanabe had imitated a Korean friend.
  • Watanabe was one of the oldest "kids" cast for the movie, at age 28. The rest of the cast were primarily high school age.
  • The first day of shooting for Liane Curtis (Randi) was on her 18th birthday; cast and crew put a watermelon with candles in "her" locker.
  • While Sam and Randy are walking the halls at school and talk about the things they would love for their sixteenth birthdays, Sam mentions she'd like a good-looking French guy. In 1999 Molly Ringwald married a man from France. (See also France) Liane Curtis and Molly Ringwald
  • In the TV version there sometimes appears a cafeteria scene, where Sam gives Randy her lunch tray and says she doesn't want Jake to see her eat.
  • Even though we see this loud, scary schoolbus in Sixteen Candles (as well as another in Ferris Bueller's Day Off), Hughes despised the bus during his school years and took whatever pains he could to avoid it, even on field trips. ("I loathe the bus." -- Samantha Baker)
  • Hughes used real high school kids from local schools to populate the film, and allowed a lot of ad-libbing to give the movie its authenticity.
  • The kid with the red visor across his eyes was played by filmmaker Adam Rifkin when he was 16 years old.
  • During the family dinner scene, Gedde Watanabe shoved grapes up his nose to make the others laugh for their shots.
  • The gymnasium where the dance scene was filmed was sweltering hot (it was filmed in the summertime). Between takes crew members would hand out miniature fans to the kids.
  • Different video versions vary. A couple examples: In some videos (like mine), a drunken Long Duk Dong yells from a tree, "Oh sexy girlfriend!" On other videos, he yells this but adds "Bonzai!" Also, in the second video version mentioned, but in not included in mine either, Dong gets his crotch crushed by Grandma Dorothy when she spats, "You little scum bag!" after finding him drunk on the lawn.
  • Carlin Glenn (Mom) recommended to Hughes that her character apologize to Sam for forgetting her birthday; Hughes added that scene plus the one where Sam's dad apologizes and talks to Sam on the couch. Paul Dooley (Dad) has said that he still gets comments from people about how much they love that scene.
  • One of the scenes that never made it to the final edit features Long Duk Dong doing a rap.
  • Beth Ringwald, Molly's real life sister, makes an appearance as the girl being carried out of the coat room at the dance. She also appears in the party scene at Jake's house. Justin Henry
  • Sixteen Candles opened in theaters on May 4, 1984, and its popularity grew as word of the film spread word of mouth. Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were filming The Breakfast Club at the time, and Hall especially would get recognized in public.
  • Haviland Morris (Caroline) and Elaine Wilkes (girl at party) would later appear together as friends in Who's That Girl?.
  • Justin Henry (little brother Mike Baker) was the youngest person ever to be nominated for an Acamedy Award, for Best Supporting Actor in Kramer vs. Kramer (at the age of eight).
  • In October of 2000 a band called Sponge released a single called "Molly (Sixteen Candles)."
  • On June 10th, 2001 the E! True Hollywood Story featured Sixteen Candles.
  • Sixteen Candles was featured in a similar show called "Backstory" on AMC. It explored the film's conception and completion.
  • VH1 did an A-to-Z treatment of Sixteen Candles in 2004 in a half-hour episode of "A2Z."
  • Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong) and Haviland Morris (Caroline) were both later in the movie Gremlins 2.

Weird Science

Kelly LeBrock as Lisa

    "Two lonely guys tried to create the perfect woman. But, they didn't. They created a physical fantasy who turned out to be an actual person. They hadn't planned on getting a real person, just a great body. They were concentrating on the physical, which is only a very small part of anybody's identity." --John Hughes

  • Hughes also penned this script in only two days.
  • "Lisa" was named after the computer on which the script was written, an Apple Lisa.
  • The title of the film likely came from the early 1950s comic book series Weird Science.
  • Wyatt's computer is a Memotech MTX512 with an FDX add-on.
  • Oingo Boingo performed the title song "Weird Science." Danny Elfman, the lead singer, would go on to compose original scores for films, including Edward Scissorhands, another Anthony Michael Hall film. He also made an appearance with Oingo Boingo in Back to School, another Robert Downey Jr film. Oingo Boingo's song "Wild Sex (In the Working Class)" is featured on the Sixteen Candles soundtrack.
  • The music that's playing when Gary and Wyatt wake up the morning after creating Lisa is "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield. It was also used in The Exorcist.
  • After Lisa puts a spell on Gary's parents so they would forget that she threatened them with a gun, Gary's father's memory of his son is erased altogether. Gary's mother shows him a photo of Gary to jog his memory. The picture she shows him is a promotional photo of Anthony Michael Hall from Sixteen Candles. Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Wyatt Donnelly
  • Vernon Wells plays Wez, the Lord General of the biker gang; it's the same character he played in Mad Max 2 (1981). His vehicle, with two hooded corpses on it, is also the same as in Mad Max 2.
  • Jeff Jensen played the metal face guy. He also did stunts for John Candy in Planes, Trains & Automobiles and The Great Outdoors, as well as dozens of non-Hughes films.
  • The girl who plays the piano and gets sucked out of the house through the fireplace was played by Kym Malin, the Playboy Playmate of the Month in May 1982.
  • In the theater version, when Lisa rides up mall escalator the song "Pretty Woman" by Van Halen plays. Also the original version features the Rocky theme when Lisa appears in the phy ed class at the end. But on the video, both songs are replaced with "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo.
  • A couple cut scenes are sometimes added in the syndicated television versions: A bunch of guys wearing Devo helmets try to crash Gary and Wyatt's party; there's an extra scene at the very beginning where Gary and Wyatt are in the kitchen cooking (Click here to view it.).
  • Weird Science was made into a TV series for the USA Network in the early 90s, with Vanessa Angel starring as Lisa.
  • Pamela Gordon (Wyatt's mother) passed away in 2003 of esophageal cancer.
  • Today Ilan Mitchell-Smith (Wyatt Donnelly) is a college professor of medieval studies.

National Lampoon's European Vacation

Griswalds in the Swiss Alps

  • Hughes wrote the first few drafts of European Vacation, but refused to write any more drafts per agreement (and he was writing The Breakfast Club at the time). However, he submitted the script unfinished to Warner Brothers after they had already green lit the film and had begun production. WB hired Robert Klane to finish the script. (This is documented in the book Buy this Book, or We'll Shoot this Dog, written by Matty Simmons, who produced all four of the Vacation films.) For some reason, John Hughes denies any involvement in European Vacation today.
  • It is revealed in the intro, on his passport, that Clark's middle name is Wilhelm.
  • In this film, the family name is Griswald, with an "a." In the other Vacation films, their name is Griswold, with an "o."
  • Jason Lively ("Rusty") is brother to Robyn Lively, who also appeared in a string of 80s movies. (Remember Teen Witch?)
  • Kent Winkdale, the "Pig in a Poke" host, is played by John Astin (famous partly from his role on "The Addam's Family"). The game show hostesses were Sheila Kennedy (Penthouse Magazine Pet of the Month for December 1981) and Tricia Lange (Playboy Playmate of the Month in June 1984).
  • William Zabka (Audrey's boyfriend Jack) played a lot of blond jock stereotypes in the 1980s, particularly in The Karate Kid, Just One of the Guys, and Back to School.
  • Clark wears a sweater from "Walley World," the Griswolds' destination in the first Vacation movie.
  • After Clark hits the bike rider (Eric Idle), the bike rider insists that his injuries are "just a flesh wound," a reference to his earlier film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • The man who Clark believes is his cousin Fritz is played by German comedian Willy Millowitsch. A monument stands in his hometown of Cologne, Germany.
  • The song that plays during the fashion/runway sequence is called "Problemes d'amour," by Alexander Robotnick.
  • Moon Unit Zappa played Rusty's Californian love interest. She is the sister of Dweezil Zappa, who appeared in Pretty in Pink while dating Molly Ringwald. (See the Life Magazine article for photos.) Dweezil visited the set and appeared in a scene as a bicyclist going down a flight of stairs.
  • Dana Hill (Audrey Griswald) reportedly developed an eating disorder after filming due to all the fat jokes.
  • Dana Hill passed away at the age of 32 in 1996, after a stroke due to diabetes. Before her death she was busy doing voiceovers for cartoons, including Goof Troop, Rugrats, Duckman, Darkwing Duck, Tom and Jerry, and Rover Rangerfield.
  • Both Dana Hill and Elizabeth "E.G." Daily (who did music for The Breakfast Club and had a role in Dutch) supplied their voices for Duckman. See a photo of them together here.
  • When European Vacation appeared on TV's "Monstervision" with Joe Bob Briggs, both Matty Simmons (producer of all the Vacation movies) and Robin Leach guested on the show.

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