Director John Hughes dies at 59
59 year old John Hughes best known for his teeny bopper movies in the 1980’s such as ‘Sixteen Candles’ , ‘Home Alone’ and ‘The Breakfast Club’ died of heart attack during a morning walk while on his visit to his family in Manhattan.
His ‘Home Alone’ series starring Macaulay Culkin is one of the top box office comedies of all times making Culkin an overnight star. He stopped directing films in 1991 and retired to a peaceful life in Illinois. He has never won any major award during his lifetime.
He had a huge influence on the current crop of directors which includes the likes of Wes Anderson, Kevin Smith and Judd Apatow. Judd Apatow had even remarked in L.A. Times last year that “Basically, my stuff is just John Hughes films with four-letter words.”
John Hughes, born in Michigan started his career as a copywriter in an advertising firm in Chicago after dropping out of University of Arizona. He then started selling his jokes to well-established performers like Rodney Dangerfield and Joan Rivers. His first short story ‘Vacation 58′ based on his childhood experiences gave him instant entry to the National Lampoon Magazine. While still working for the magazine he wrote his first screenplay and production ‘Class Reunion’ released in 1982. His next film ‘National Lampoon Vacation’ became his first hit resulting in numerous sequels.
John Hughes first film as a director was ‘Sixteen Candles’ was applauded really well when released in 1984. As Devin Ratray stated “He understood young people in a way few filmmakers ever have. He tapped into the feelings of teenagers and literally changed the face of the ’80s. The film industry has lost a giant — a gentle, wonderful giant.” ‘Sixteen Candles’ starring Anthony Michael Hall, John Cusack and Molly Ringwald were later on tagged the Brat Pack as they appeared in many more movies together.
‘The Breakfast Club’ followed in 1985 with Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Hall and Judd Nelson in it followed instantly by ‘Weird Science’ in the same year.
By 1987, Hughes expanded his circle of work with more grown up films like ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ starring Steve Martin. His next two films ‘Uncle Buck’ and ‘Curly Sue’ were his last two as a director.
He then primarily diverted towards writing and producing films of which ‘Home Alone’ in 1991 produced three sequels. Later followed more hit films like ‘Dennis the Menace’, ‘101 Dalmatians’ and ‘Reach the Rock’.
John Hughes earned his distinction as a director-producer of film depicting stories of rebellious and dissatisfied teenagers.
He is survived by his wife, two sons and four grandchildren.
Sixteen Candles trailer
The Breakfast Club trailer