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The Rock-itt : September 2009
John Hughes gained his popularity through the 1980's with movies focusing on the tribes and tribulations of teenage life and growing up that are still relevant today. Although he saw himself as more of a writer, he directed some great movies during his brief stint of filmmaking. Hughes' first job was with National Lampoons Magazine where he would sell jokes to comedians on the side for some extra pay until he was given the chance to write his first film, 'Class Reunion'. The response to this movie was mostly negative reviews. With his second attempt at writing a film, he came up with Mr. Mom, a story where Dad stays home and looks after the kids while mum went to work. While it wasn't the greatest film ever, National Lampoon found it good enough to give Hughes the opportunity to write his 3rd film, one that would gain him recognition. National Lampoon Vacation, starring Chevy Chase was a hit, and put the struggling Lampoon franchise back on the map. Hughes then branched out from the Lampoon brand, and for his next film took the director's chair for the first time. Sixteen Candles won unanimous praise due to the realistic, and relatable depiction of regular people growing up. Hughes made a career of these types of movies following Sixteen Candles up with an array of teenage-based films starting with 1985's 'The Breakfast Club' where 5 teens from separate groups are forced to spend the afternoon together in detention where they find that as different as they think. Breakfast was ranked #1 in the top 50 High School Movies of all-time. Hughes' next directing job was 'Weird Science' starring Robert Downey Jr. Sandwiched between Hughes directing the film, he wrote National Lampoon's European Vacation, and Pretty in Pink. Next up was Hughes' most famous comedy, 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', following Ferris as he attempts to skip school with his friends without his parents or Dean busting him. It is a regular on funniest films of all-time lists, and was considered a box- office smash at the time. Ferris Bueller was the last teen comedy that Hughes directed, as he began to move on. His first attempt was the hilarious 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles', starring Steve Martin, who is accompanied by John Candy as he tries to make his way home by thanksgiving. Hughes then directed a further 2 films in two years beginning with his least recognised film, 'She's having a Baby' with Kevin Bacon. His movie is about a young couple who are hit with the unexpected news of pregnancy. He continued his more adult themed comedies with 'Uncle Buck', starring John Candy who must come in to fill in for his brother's three children in different stages of growing up. Hughes directed his last film in 1991 with 'Curly Sue' where a homeless father and daughter scam wealthy people. It was more a kid's comedy that sent a good message, but was not well received by critics or public. Although 'Curly Sue' bought an end to his directing career as he moved from Los Angeles back to the East Coast of America for what he considered a normal childhood for his kids and lived as a farmer in Illinois. Although he stopped directing, Hughes continued with his real passion of writing. He added to his National Lampoon resume with 'Christmas Vacation' before moving into family comedies, creating the 'Home Alone' and 'Beethoven' series. As well as writing other recognisable 'Dennis the Menace', '101 Dalmatians' and 'Miracle on 34th Street' and the sequels to the Home Alone and Beethoven series, sometimes writing under the name Edmond Dantes. In August of 2009 John Hughes died of a heart attack in Manhattan at the age of 59, and will be remembered for creating some of the most influential teenage movies of all- time. Popular Movies Directed: Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Planes Trains and Automobiles