Sadly, writer, producer, and director John Hughes died last week in Manhattan at the age of 59. For me, as a child of the 80s, the loss of Hughes was particularly unsettling; some of my earliest and fondest memories of movies are of the ones Hughes was responsible for making. Nobody is going to compare John Hughes to David Fincher, or even John Landis, but the man made fun, memorable, and perhaps most importantly, totally rewatchable films.
Hughes hadn’t directed anything since 1991, but his movies have nevertheless left a lasting impression on me and many others of my generation. In an homage to a man who really helped define cinema in the 80s, take a look at some classic clips from movies directed by John Hughes.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Molly Ringwall’s springboard to teen idol started with this movie. But it’s Dong who’s the real scene-stealer. The above scene always cracks me up. More Long Duk Dong:
The Breakfast Club (1985)
More Ringwald, and the movie most associated with “The Brat Pack.” I’d say that The Breakfast Club was the defining movie of the 80s, but I think that honor belongs to another movie…also directed by John Hughes. Anyway, it’s impossible not to think of The Breakfast Club when hearing this song:
Weird Science (1985)
Probably my favorite 80s comedy, and Kelly LeBrock drove me nuts. This scene just kills me, though. Weird Science, unlike most 80s comedies, still holds up real well today. The scene where Gary gets drunk in the jazz bar is one of my favorite comedic scenes in any movie. Here’s the bar scene:
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Quite possibly THE movie most representative of the 80s. I am yet to meet a person who doesn’t like this movie. It’s incredibly rewatchable, and there are literally dozens of memorable, quotable lines. Heck, I’d argue it even launched Ben Stein’s career. Here’s some of those great lines:
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Steve Martin and John Candy when they both still had their fastballs. A sneaky underrated comedy. You see that Bears game last week?
She’s Having a Baby (1988)
Hughes could do sappy and sentimental, too, in addition to comedy. Most of Hughes’ characters are pretty memorable and have definitive characteristics, but you really have no choice but to root for Jake and Kristy Briggs. The above clip shows some of their sweeter moments.
Uncle Buck (1989)
More classic John Candy. I definitely miss him. Here’s Candy with Macaulay Culkin:
Curly Sue (1991)
Did you know that Steve Carrell was in this movie?