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Ferris Bueller's Day Off Movie

What is the perfect day off? John Hughes knew exactly how it should look like. He created a cult movie for all high school slackers – the “Ferris Bueller’s day off” movie. In this post I want to tell you about few fascinating real life details from the movie.

Introduction

The “Ferris Bueller’s day off” movie follows high school student Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) on a day, when he decided to skip school and spent a day with his friends in downtown Chicago. The whole idea of the movie lies in one quintessential expression from Ferris:

“Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!”
–Ferris Bueller

This phrase was even paraphrased by First Lady Barbara Bush in her 1990 commencement address at Wellesley College.

John Hughes

John Hughes

John Hughes wrote a screenplay in about a week and filmed it during few months in 1985. The movie features many famous Chicago landmarks and it was like a love letter from Hughes to the city.

“I really wanted to capture as much of Chicago as I could. Not just in the architecture and landscape, but the spirit”
–John Hughes about movie

The “Ferris Bueller’s day off” movie was instant success. The total weekend gross of $6,275,647 has made it #2 of top grossing movies and #10 in 1986. Overall gross was about $70,136,369 and considering $5,800,000 budget, it was a huge success.

Key Artists

Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller
March 21, 1962 (26 years old during movie)

Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller

Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller

Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye
July 1, 1956 (29 years old during movie)

Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye

Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye

Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson
June 19, 1967 (18 years old during movie)

Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson

Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson

The Ferris Bueller’s House

The Ferris Bueller’s house is located in California, not in Chicago. The address is 4160 Country Club Drive, Long Beach, California.

The Ferris Bueller’s House

The Ferris Bueller’s House

Established in 1906, Los Cerritos – Virginia Country Club Neighborhood has long served the film industry of Los Angeles for its All-American atmosphere and historic, estate-sized homes.
This particular house also appeared in “Not another Teen Movie” in 2001 and in “Red Dragon” thriller in 2002.

Cameron Frye’s House and Pavilion

The Cameron Frye’s house located at 370 Beech Street, Highland Park, Illinois 60035. Highland Park located 23 miles away from downtown Chicago.

Cameron Frye’s House and Pavilion

Cameron Frye’s House and Pavilion

The Highland Park neighborhood was used many times as a location shot by movie industry. John Huges used it for the following movies:

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Weird Science
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Uncle Buck
  • Home Alone

The house itself is known as Ben Rose House as it was owned once by famous photographer Ben Rose. This house was recently on sale for $2.3 million.

This 5,300 sq. ft., four bedroom and four bathroom house was on sale for more than a year and price has been dropped from $2.3 to $1.6 million.

The property’s realtor, Meladee Hughes (not related to John Hughes), says a “bad market” is partly to blame, but also the fact that the home is needed some upgrades.

In 1958, the house was one of 12 homes in the nation featured in a Bethlehem Steel publication promoting the use of steel framing for residential design.

Economic Lecture

Benjamin Jeremy Stein

Benjamin Jeremy Stein

Surprisingly, but Ben Stein (Benjamin Jeremy Stein) is actually a very famous person outside entertainment industry and his earlier success came from writing speeches for presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Stein has also frequently written commentaries on economic, political, and social issues, along with financial advice to individual investors.

Ben’s monotonic lecture from the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” movie is actually launched his performance career. I think that lecture, presented by Ben Stain in the movie, was absolute hit. Not the lecture itself but the faces of students. That was a real motivation to skip a day at school and avoid this torture by economical terms.

Economic Lecture

Economic Lecture

The Art Institute of Chicago

It is easy to recognize the soul of the movie from the scenes in the Art Institute of Chicago as it the one of the most touching scenes.

“A self-indulgent scene of mine—which was a place of refuge for me, I went there quite a bit, I loved it. I knew all the paintings, the building. This was a chance for me to go back into this building and show the paintings that were my favorite.”
–John Hughes about scenes from the Art Institute of Chicago

I think, that John Hughes did this pretty well – in a relatively short sequence he featured 21 paintings with special attention to Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”

“And then this picture, which I always thought this painting was sort of like making a movie. A pointillist style, which at very very close to it, you don’t have any idea what you’ve made until you step back from it.”–John Hughes about scene with “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” painting

Parade

How can you get so many people into movie? The answer is very simple – at the beginning, they shot a real parade. Then they announced on a radio, that John Hughes is making a movie and 10,000 people showed up. Matthew Broderick said, he felt like a rock star, when he saw a river of people on a final shot.

Ferris Bueller Parade Performance

Ferris Bueller Parade Performance

Matthew performance was pretty good in this scene. It was a real surprise to find out that he injured his knee badly during the scenes of running through neighbor’s backyards.

Ferris Bueller Jumping Fences

Ferris Bueller Jumping Fences

1962 Ferrari 250 GT California

The most memorable scene in the movie is destruction of the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT California. I remember, that my heart was bleeding, when Cameron Frye (or better to say Alan Buck) was kicking it with his foot and enjoyment of the movie was almost completely ruined, when they dropped it from the second floor window. Don’t worry – that was a replica (not even completed). Only 100 of these cars existed in 1985 and they were too expensive to destroy. Automobile restorationist Mark Goyette designed a few kit cars for movie.

However, the real car was used for close-up shots. The price for this car estimated $350,000 in 1985 and it set a price record for a car, when it was sold at auction in 2008 for $10,976,000.

One of the replicas was sold in April 19, 2010 for £79,600.

The End

Without any complicated analyses about movie values and artists performances, I just want to finish this story with Ferris Bueller Matthew Broderick quotes:

“Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!”
–Ferris Bueller

“For the past 25 years, nearly every day someone comes up to me, taps me on the shoulder and says, ‘Hey, Ferris, is this your day off?'”
–Matthew Broderick at the 2010 Oscar tribute to Hughes

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