John Hughes Movies

Thursday, April 14 by Joshua Wade

Characterized by heartwarming comedy and brilliant writing, this list of John Hughes movies exemplifies the illustrious career of one of cinema’s most talented filmmakers. The most iconic filmmaker of the 1980’s, Hughes perfectly captured the teen angst and suburban sensibilities of the era, producing some of the most memorable and successful films of the Brat Pack generation.

  1. “Pretty in Pink” One of the best John Hughes movies to feature Molly Ringwald, “Pretty in Pink” was written and produced by Hughes and cemented Ringwald’s status as American’s sweetheart of the 1980’s. The film follows Ringwald's character, Andie Walsh, as she juggles the affections of her childhood best friend and a rich playboy. Exceptional performances by Jon Cryer and a young James Spader highlight this sentimental teen comedy.
  2. “Sixteen Candles” The best of the early John Hughes movies, “Sixteen Candles” was written and directed by Hughes and stars Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker, a girl who is all but forgotten on her sixteenth birthday. Highlighted by exceptional performances by Anthony Michael Hall and Michael Schoeffling, the film also features a young John Cusack in his second screen appearance.
  3. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” This film was written, produced and directed by Hughes and stars Matthew Broderick as the titular character who, along with his best friend and girlfriend, skip school to enjoy a day off in downtown Chicago. Matthew Broderick shines in his breakthrough role, backed by exceptional performances by Alan Ruck, Mia Sara and future “Dirty Dancing” star Jennifer Grey.
  4. “The Breakfast Club” Arguably the most memorable John Hughes movie, this film about a group of students who bond over Saturday detention was written, produced and directed by Hughes and stars a brilliant young cast including Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Ally Sheedy. The film features some of the most iconic scenes in teen film history as well as an amazing performance by Judd Nelson as John Bender.
  5. “Some Kind of Wonderful” An underrated gem, this film was written and produced by Hughes and stars Eric Stoltz as Keith Nelson, high school senior hoping to have the perfect date with the most popular girl in school, played by young Lea Thompson. The film delivers excellent performances by a young Elias Koteas and Mary Stewart Masterson in her breakout role as Watts.
  6. “Home Alone” One of the highest grossing films of all time, “Home Alone” remains the most successful live-action comedy ever made and launched the career of Macaulay Culkin. The film, about a child left home alone who must defend his house from burglars, was written and produced by Hughes and showcases his warm, sharp humor.
  7. “Christmas Vacation” The best of the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” series, this classic was written and produced by Hughes and stars Chevy Chase as hapless family man Clark Griswold who vows to give his clan a “good, old-fashioned family Christmas." Chase is at his absolute best, backed by standout performances by Randy Quaid, Beverly D’Angelo and screen legend William Hickey as Uncle Lewis.
  8. “Uncle Buck” One of the best John Hughes movies to feature Hughes’ long-time friend and collaborator John Candy, this film was written, produced and directed by Hughes and finds Candy as the boozing, irresponsible Buck Russell who is called in to take care of his brother’s rebellious children. Candy gives one of his finest comedic performances, backed by the exceptionally talented Jean Louisa Kelly in her screen debut.
  9. “She’s Having a Baby” One of the most underrated John Hughes movies, this film is one of his best and chronicles the marriage of young couple Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern up until the birth of their first child. Written, produced and directed by Hughes, the film offers an iconic view of the traditional 1980’s suburban life and features a very young Alec Baldwin in his second screen appearance.
  10. “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” A highly successful hit about the hilarious misadventures of two men trying to make it home for Thanksgiving, this film was Hughes’ effort to move away from the teen angst films for which he is known. John Candy and Steve Martin prove to be a hysterical pair in this exceptional comedy gem written, produced and directed by Hughes.

- Joshua Wade

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