This week, we’re putting the spotlight on the “king of teen films,” the late filmmaker John Hughes.
John Wilden Hughes, Jr. was born on February 18, 1950 in Lansing, Michigan. His childhood heroes were Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Picasso, with Dylan and Lennon’s band The Beatles having impacted his life immensely. When he was a teenager, he and his family lived in Northbrook, Illinois, a place that he would later use as the inspiration for the setting of his films.
Hughes was a college dropout, and he made a living initially by selling jokes to popular performers. In the 70s, he worked as a copywriter for advertising agencies Needham, Harper & Steels, and then for Leo Burnett Worldwide. Later on, he would become a staff member of the now-defunct National Lampoon magazine.
Hughes began his filmmaking work in the early 80s. He initially worked as a writer for “National Lampoon’s Class Reunion” (1982), “Mr. Mom” (1983), “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983), and “Nate and Hayes” (1983). Between 1979 and 1983, Hughes also wrote for television via “Delta House” and “At Ease.”
The 1984 coming-of-age film “Sixteen Candles” marked Hughes’ first foray into directing. It starred Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, and Anthony Michael Hall. Hughes also penned its script. Critics loved the movie which was even regarded as among the best to have come out that year.
Hughes’ most celebrated work was his second film “The Breakfast Club,” released the following year. He directed, produced, and wrote the movie that again starred Ringwald and Hall, this time with Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy. Like his directorial debut, this movie was also well-received by the critics and has made its mark in film history as “the quintessential 1980s film.” Moreover, its young cast members have become well-known in pop culture as members of the Brat Pack along with actors from another coming-of-age film, Joel Schumacher’s “St. Elmo’s Fire” (1985)
Hughes directed two more teen flicks consecutively, “Weird Science” (1985) topbilled again by Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Kelly LeBrock; and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986) starring Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, and Alan Ruck. In addition, Hughes also wrote and produced “Pretty in Pink” (1986) and “Some Kind of Wonderful” (1987).
Aside from teen-oriented films, Hughes was also involved with writing and producing comedy films. Among the most popular were the “Home Alone” movies (1990, 1992, and 1997), “Dennis the Menace” (1993), “Baby’s Day Out” (1994), “101 Dalmatians” (1996), and “Flubber” (1997). As a screenwriter, Hughes had also worked under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes.
Hughes retired in 1994 and was rarely seen in the limelight since then. On August 6, 2009, he passed away while in Manhattan due to a heart attack. He worked on a total of 34 films in the span of his career, 32 of which he had a hand in writing the scripts. Even after his death, Hughes remains as an invaluable part of filmmaking history.
All information in this article were sourced from Wikipedia.