The Best Behind The Scenes Stories Of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

By | June 19, 2022

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The movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", written and directed by John Hughes. Seen here from left, Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye, Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson and Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller in the Art Institute of Chicago. Getty

The incomparable writer/director John Hughes owned the ‘80s. His 1986 “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” continues to charm generations long after its heyday. Incredibly, the quintessential ‘80s flick started with a simple one-sentence pitch from the iconic director to Paramount, "I want to do this movie about a kid who takes a day off from school and ... that's all I know so far."

Thanks to his impressive collection of Hollywood hits, that’s all Hughes needed to get the greenlight in what would become one of the greatest high school movies ever made. Here are the highlights of what made “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” such a classic.

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Home Turf

Hughes’ proven record of success always came back to familiar territory, Chicago. "It was my city, and I really wanted to show it at its best. I think it's wise for people to concern themselves with the things they know about. I don't consider myself qualified to do a movie about international intrigue - I seldom leave the country. I'd feel extremely self-conscious writing about something I don't know."

A prime example of such familiarity comes in the scene where Bueller and Co. get high and go to the Art Institute of Chicago. As the director admitted, filming there was “Self-indulgent. I went there quite a bit. I loved it. I knew all the paintings. I knew the building, and this was a chance for me to go back into this building and show the paintings that were my favorite." Hughes’ commitment to realism also didn’t stop at the setting.