"John Hughes, whose coming-of-age movies captured an American teenage generation between Elvis Presley and Britney Spears, died Thursday of an apparent heart attack while walking on a Manhattan street. He was 59. Hughes, a Michigan native who lived in Illinois, was visiting his family in New York, according to a spokeswoman.Matthew Broderick, who starred in Hughes' 1986 hit "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," said he was "truly shocked and saddened by the news about my old friend. ... He was a wonderful, very talented guy and my heart goes out to his family."
Hughes' 1985 film "The Breakfast Club" established him as the signature teen filmmaker of that decade, and made "John Hughes movie" into shorthand for a sometimes agonizing but ultimately upbeat look at teenage years."The Breakfast Club" made a star of Molly Ringwald, and he directed her again in two subsequent films, "Sixteen Candles" and "Pretty in Pink."Ringwald said she was "stunned and incredibly sad" to hear about Hughes' death. "He will be missed - by me and by everyone that he has touched", she said in a statement on People.com.Some of the actors in his films, including Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson, became known as the Brat Pack.
In contrast to raucous 1980s teen comedies like the "Porky's" series, Hughes films were sweet, often sentimental. Their heroes and heroines, who started out feeling like misfits, were rewarded for the basic virtues of good hearts and decency.
He kept them from being simply throwbacks to some romanticized earlier age by effective use of realistic teen dialogue".
THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985)
We see it as we want to see it — in the simplest terms, the most convenient definition: The Breakfast Club is the best high school movie of all time. It may lack the scope of its peers — the drinking, the driving, the listless loitering in parking lots — as well as any scenes that actually take place during school. But if hell is other people — and high school is hell — then John Hughes is the genre's Sartre, and this is his No Exit. The Breakfast Club rules because watching the group dismantle/ignore the authority of Principal ''Dick'' Vernon is a vicarious thrill at any age. It rules because Simple Minds' ''Don't You Forget About Me'' is a kick-ass theme. Mostly it rules because, as Anthony Michael Hall told EW in 2006: ''In the end, you learn maybe we're more alike than we realize, and that's kind of cool.'' Leave it to the neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie to get all cheesy. —Whitney Pastorek
PRETTY IN PINK (1986)
Perhaps the most controversial ending to a teen romance ever. (Just after Romeo and Juliet, anyway.) Should Andie (Molly Ringwald) have chased after rich, repentant Blane (Andrew McCarthy), or stayed at the prom with poor, devoted Duckie (Jon Cryer)? That we, women now in our 30s, still care is a testament to John Hughes' script about love across class lines (point for Blane); the meaning of friendship and individuality (point for Duckie); and the evil nature of wealthy high schoolers in crisp, white clothing (point for James Spader). —Mandi Bierly
"John Hughes wrote some of the great outsider characters of all time", says Apatow, the writer-director-producer whose new film, "Drillbit Taylor", is loosely based on an old Hughes story idea. "It's pretty ridiculous to hear people talk about the movies we've been doing, with outrageous humor and sweetness all combined, as if they were an original idea. I mean, it was all there first in John Hughes' films. Whether it's 'Freaks and Geeks' or 'Superbad' the whole idea of having outsiders as the lead characters, that all started with Hughes.""He's our generation's J.D. Salinger", says Smith, whose film "Dogma" shows its heroes, Jay and Silent Bob, on a pilgrimage to Shermer, Ill., a mythical town that only exists in Hughes' films. "He touched a generation and then the dude checked out. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be doing what I do. Basically my stuff is just John Hughes films with four-letter words."
"Is Holden Caulfield Salinger's property and, therefore, is he able to exclude others from imagining a future for Holden? How much copyright resides in a character as opposed to an entire work? And is the reclusive and difficult Salinger trying to stuff a 58-year-old genie back in the bottle?
The genie is Holden Caulfield, a New York teen escaped from prep school and one of literature's most electric creations.
With 65 million copies sold, there have been many others who have been "spoken to" by Caulfield.
It has inspired the films Igby Goes Down, Donnie Darko, The Graduate and Dead Poet's Society. Its literary lineage includes Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and Bret Easton Ellis' Less than Zero".
Read Alison's post about her pen pal John Hughes.