MRR's Movie of the Week: Five Facts about "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

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Matthew Broderick stars as Ferris Bueller, a smart aleck who is determined to have a day off from school, despite his suspecting principal.
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
January 22nd, 2013

MRR's Movie of the Week: Five Facts about "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

When it comes to iconic 1980s films, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" ranks among the best and most beloved. The film, directed by the late teen-comedy guru John Hughes, starred Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey. It focuses on one day in the life of a suburban Chicago teenager as he ditches school with his girlfriend and best friend. Though many film fans know the story of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," some facts about the movie are not quite common knowledge.

A Love Letter to Chicago

Director John Hughes created "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" as a love letter to Chicago. Many of his films were set in Illinois, but none of them showcase Chicago quite like this film. Historic locations such as Wrigley Field and The Art Institute of Chicago were used as major set pieces in the film. Hughes even managed to sneak in a few exterior shots of his alma mater, Glenbrook North High School. Native Chicagoans love the film for the stunning way that the city is portrayed, from the elevated train line to the downtown parades. John Hughes masterfully wove the setting in with the rest of the story so that those who are not from Chicago don't feel as though they are missing anything.

The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spider California

Though the film follows the three main characters, Ferris (Matthew Broderick), Sloane (Mia Sara), and Cameron (Alan Ruck), there is one other character in the film that steals several scenes: the Ferrari. In the movie, the Ferrari belongs to Cameron's father, and after much pleading, Cameron begrudgingly allows Ferris to drive the car into Chicago. The car used during filming was a fiberglass replica of the rare 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spider California. After filming, the automobile restoration expert who built the car repaired it and sold it to a couple from California. As valuable as the car may have been in 1986, when "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was filmed, an original model set a world record in 2008 when it sold for £5.5 million.

Famous Quotes

There are many memorable quotes from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," though the one that most people think of right away is Ben Stein's famous, "Bueller, Bueller?" Lines from the film have been quoted by some of the most famous people in the world. At a commencement address for Wellesley College in 1990, First Lady Barbara Bush quoted the iconic line, "'Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." The pop culture reference was received by the students with thunderous applause.

Unique Supporting Cast

The casting choices made by John Hughes reflect his ability to make great ensemble films. Some of the actors who appeared in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" would go on to have successful film and television careers. Jennifer Grey, who played the Ferris' sister, would go on to star in "Dirty Dancing" opposite Patrick Swayze. Alan Ruck still enjoys a successful television career, starring in "Spin City, "Greek," and "Bunheads," to name just a few. Interestingly, the actors who played Mr. and Mrs. Bueller married shortly after filming. Charlie Sheen has a guest spot in the film as a drug addict, and he reportedly stayed awake for forty-eight hours before the scene was shot to achieve the strung-out look he captured.

The Sequel that Never Was

As with most extremely successful films, there was some demand in Hollywood for a sequel to "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Die-hard fans of the film may not have wanted to see Ferris in another film, but it almost happened. John Hughes and Matthew Broderick toyed around with several plot possibilities, including Bueller's first day at college. In the end, a sequel just wasn't meant to be. For those fans who really wanted to see what happened to Ferris later in life, Broderick did film a Super Bowl commercial for Honda that served as a short homage to the original film. Some fans were disappointed that the commercial was not filmed in Chicago, but others were just happy to see Ferris one more time.

There are many other fun facts about the film that not all fans may know: for instance, Johnny Depp was considered for the role of Ferris, and John Hughes wrote the script for the film in six days. All of the trivia surrounding the film gives fans more reasons to rewatch it with the hope of catching things they may not have noticed before. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" represents the best of filmmaking in the 1980s.