John Hughes nailed the 1980s with films like "The Breakfast Club." Brat-packed with great actors, his movies made teens everywhere feel like it was OK to be themselves. But how much do you know about Hughes' life and other films?
One of John Hughes' first jobs was writing for which magazine?
John started working on National Lampoon and became editor by 1979. His experience at the magazine led to his creation of movies like "National Lampoon's Vacation," which was based on a short story he had written for the publication. Without John, there would be no Wally World.
What fictional city is home to many of Hughes' films?
Hughes paid tribute to his suburban upbringing by setting many of his movies in a little (fictional) town known as Shermer, Ill. The next time your watch your John Hughes movie collection, look for the name in films like "The Breakfast Club, "Sixteen Candles" and "Weird Science."
John Hughes had a special pen pal for a couple of years. Who was it?
his high school sweetheart
the wardrobe designer from "Pretty in Pink"
a teenaged babysitter
Alison Byrne Fields was John's pen pal from 1985 to 1987. While she was babysitting one night, she wrote a fan letter to Mr. Hughes. When she got a form letter as a reply, she wrote him back to complain and they ended up corresponding for two more years.
John Hughes could have stayed home alone counting his money after "Home Alone" grossed $285,761,243. "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" raised the roof as his second highest grossing movie with $173,585,516. Too bad the third installment in this series was a fixer-upper with only about a tenth of the first film's takings -- $30,882,515 -- at the box office.
John Hughes made many box office hits. Which of these films goes down on his record as a financial flop?
"Nate and Hayes"
"Reach for the Rock"
Maybe he should have reached farther with "Reach for the Rock." This film debuted in 1998 and has grossed a whopping $4,960 . But that's all right. Like his movie characters, you can't always be a winner.
The 2009 documentary film "Don't You Forget About Me" chronicles the journey of four filmmakers who tried to track down the reclusive John Hughes and get an interview with him. Even after he dropped out of Hollywood in 1991, no one forgot about him.
The premiere episode of which sitcom was dedicated to John Hughes?
The premiere episode of "Community" on NBC was dedicated to John Hughes and included several references to "The Breakfast Club." It also ended with a cover version of the song "Don't You Forget About Me."
What did John Hughes use to record his thoughts and ideas?
After his death, his sons John III and James found over 300 notebooks that captured their father's thoughts and drawings. Mr. Hughes was known for carrying a Moleskine notebook in his pocket at all times.
Though Brat Pack members came and went and included many of Hughes' leading stars, the Pack is most commonly known as the actors from "The Breakfast Club": Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Anthony Michael Hall. Sometimes Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore and Rob Lowe sneak onto the scene, among other young, popular actors of the 1980s.
In what year did John Hughes die from a heart attack?
Mr. Hughes died at the age of 59 on August 6, 2009, after suffering a heart attack during a morning walk in Manhattan. He left behind a legacy of films that capture what it was like to be a teenager in the 1980s -- and, arguably, what it's like to be person in the process of finding him- or herself at any age in any time.
Hughes continued to write and produce films throughout his career, but "Curly Sue" was the last one he directed. After that, he gradually withdrew from the Hollywood scene, though his poignant movies depicting the woes and joys of growing up will be treasured far longer than our memories of prom.