Local Current Blog

Jake Rudh’s Day Off: tracing the films of John Hughes

I think Ferris said it best – “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

It was with those words in mind that I decided Chicago was the place I’d officially exit my 30s and enter the 40s. Besides, Wally World doesn’t exist.

Like most of us raised in the ’80s, the movies of John Hughes made a big impact on my life, from the content covered in the films to the rad tunes used on their soundtracks (cue Simple Minds).

For close to a decade, I’ve celebrated the work of Mr. Hughes annually by hosting club events where I play iconic clips and unforgettable songs throughout … but now it was time to go see where all the magic happened and visit the actual filming locations of many of these beloved movies.

Some might find this to be an odd way of celebrating one’s birthday. To them I quote Andrew Clark (the athlete) from The Breakfast Club: “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”

Many thanks to my wife, who encourages her husband to be bizarre; to Meghann and Chris, the proud, new owners of “The Ferris Bueller house” for the awesomely surreal tour of their beautiful home; and to The Current’s Luke Taylor for his help in putting this together. I hope you enjoy the tour of these iconic filming locations.

Now that I’m officially in my 40s, I must concentrate on those urges to raid Barry Manilow’s wardrobe.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“I bet Cameron is sitting in his car debating whether or not to go out.”

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“I love driving it; it is so choice.”

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“You killed the car.”

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“Here’s where Cameron goes berserk.”

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“Oh, Sloane, dear — hurry along now.”
(Glenbrook North High School, 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook, Ill.)
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“So that’s how it is in their family …”
(Glenbrook North High School, 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook, Ill.)
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Sloane: “What are you interested in?”

Cameron: “Nothing.”

Sloane: “Me neither.”

(Alexander Calder “Flamingo statue” at 230 South Dearborn Street, Chicago)

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“I think I see my dad.”
(Former Sears tower — now Willis Tower — at 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago)
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Instrumental: “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” – cover by The Dream Academy

(Art Institute of Chicago)

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“Four thousand restaurants in the downtown area, I pick the one my father goes to.”
(22 West Schiller Street, Chicago)

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Sixteen Candles

“Automobile?? Lake … big lake.”

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Music: “If You Were Here” by Thompson Twins; die-hard Hughes fans will get this.
(Glencoe Union Church at 263 Park Avenue in Glencoe, Ill.)

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“Will you please be quiet? We don’t want to announce to everyone that she has her period!”
(Glencoe Union Church at 263 Park Avenue in Glencoe, Ill.)

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“Be polite to his parents, OK?”
(“Jake Ryan’s House” — 1407 Waverly Road. Highland Park, Ill.)

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The Breakfast Club

“But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

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Be sure to listen to my archived “Tribute to John Hughes” episode of Transmission from July 24, 2014.