Ferris Bueller Day’s Off (“FBDO”) was undoubtedly an iconic comedy movie of the 1980s… specifically in 1986. The movie left a legacy which has inspired a whole generation of comedians and gave comedy films a new direction. The movie made Bueller as an ode for youngsters in its time and even still to this day. It’s incredible that John Hughes, the writer and director so poignantly capture American’s adolescence in the 1980s but specifically his imagination of what it would have been like in an ideal situation for a teenager to ditch school and do whatever the heck he wanted… and inthis case, it was Ferris, his girlfriend Sloane and his bestfriend Cameron exploring the city of Chicago.
Here are 30 infamous facts of this movie which will make you fall in love with this movie all over again. with it even more. So let’s find out the facts about the movie which you might not have ever known. Some will definitely surprise you.
The Lead Actor and Actress Were Engaged
Yes, you heard it right. The movie became the reason for bringing two love birds closer to each other. Jennifer Grey who played “Jeannie” (Ferris’ sister) who was twenty-six years old at the time of filming and Matthew Broderick who of course was “Ferris Bueller” who was twenty-four at the time, met on the set of the movie and there they decided to get engaged. However, their engagement didn’t last long and soon both parted ways after a tragic accident which they had in Ireland. In that accident, two people were killed by their car.
. . . and Their Parents Too!
Layman Ward and Cindy, both got married at the onset of the movie in 1986. The couple gave birth to two children, but just like Jennifer and Mathew their marriage bond broke: after 6 years and two kid later, in 1992 they filed for divorced. It would have been kinda funny had they named their two children Ferris and Jeannie.
Del Close – The Improv Man
The movie director brought Del Close to participate in the movie. As he was the one who formulated the modern improvisation acting and introduced it to the world. Perhaps it is because of this that the characters in all of John Hughes’ movies seem so natural and fitting in their role… perhaps because they were allowed to be themselves rather than read directly from a script.Hughes cast Del Close as the English teacher in the movie where he is found speaking in his famous accent” In What…. Waaay?” to his students.
Stein’s scene: An Improvisation!
Ben Stein had to work hard over his speech for the movie. It was all because of his background. Before the movie, he was working as the President’s official speech writer, and had made speeches for both Nixon and Ford. In the movie, he was cast as the Economics teacher. This made his speech quite vary for the movie. So, the director told him to speak a lot in front of the camera so that his voice becomes suitable for the movie. Stein gave a whole lecture on economics and after that he became successful for recording his voice for the movie. His voice was used for attendance of Bueller in the class.
. . . and The Phone Call Scene
In addition to that Ben Stein’s scene, the phone call between the Principal and his assistant Grace was also improvised—and was not planned in the script.
Not to mention this classic line too
“…they think he is a righteous dude.” Iconic, indeed! Another interesting fact about the movie is that in all the scenes starring Ferris and the school Principal played by Jeffrey Jones, there is no two-way conversation: either the protagonist spoke or the Principal but never together.
Cameron’s jersey was Howe’s actually
Film set was based in Chicago, so it appeared that Cameron would support Blackhawks and wear their jersey during the match. But that didn’t happen. Hughes made Cameron wear the Detroit hockey Jersey because Hughes loved his childhood hometown as he grew up in Gross Pointe, Michigan. After that, Gordie Howe sent his infamous and highly celebrated number nine jersey to the set and stated that he wanted to see number nine on the screen.
Richard Edson, the drummer, was also there
Hughes casted a member of the iconic Sonic Youth band in his movie. Their original drummer Richard Edson of Sonic Youth who was in the band from 1981 to 1982 appeared as a parking garage attendant on the screen. Edson was primarily a musician, specifically a drummer but he had appeared in as many as 75 movies and television.
One Sentence—that is what it took to make that film!
Hughes met with Ned Tanen, the head of productions for Paramount Films, and pitched him about this movie. He explained his idea in words that he just knew that a kid would leave his school for a day and embark on a journey throughout the city of Chicago and he wanted Ned’s advice on the script. “I want to do this movie about a kid who takes a day off from school and and that’s all I know so far,” said John Hughes and Ned replied in affirmation and said to go for it and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was born.
. . . . And it was written in “just 4 days”!
John Hughes wrote his film script in less than a week because of an ongoing Writer Union strike and he wanted to complete it before that. So he utilized his intensive work ethnics and create a cult classic in just four days… although there are other accounts where it was said John Hughes wrote the entire script in six days. Regardless, it was less than a week that it took him… and that’s a huge accomplishment for such a ‘masterpiece’ of cinema.
Fun trivia was that the character Sloane played by Mia Sara was the only teenager at the time of filming… she was eighteen going on nineteen.
It Was Actually A Day Off For Ferris
News Feed junkies and so-called internet Sherlock Holmes found out that the real day that Ferris Bueller took off was June, 5, 1985 when he attended the baseball game at Wrigley’s Field in the movie. The match which Ferris along with his friends was watching wasn’t a match between the Cubs against the Braves as depicted in the movie but in fact it was a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and Expos.
They found out it through the timeline whilst the movie shooting was underway in September—and at that time it was Cubs against Expos.
Real-time Workers, Real-time Parade
In the movie where the Cubs had shown playing was actually a real match which was going on in the stadium. Even the parade was the real deal and Hughes took the benefit of it and had shot it for the movie. The actual scene took place in the way that Hughes told the crew to drift into parade without even informing the officials and let it go naturally. Most of the shots were taken this way while the rest of the filming were shifted to the next day. The next day Hughes asked on public radio for local people to join him for his movie and many commoners responded to his Plea. Jennifer Grey also took advantage of it and got mingled in the crowd for fun with her wig. The people were definitely ecstatic and dancing on the road, especially that scene in which those construction workers are shaking their bodies. It was all natural they weren’t actors. They were real workers.
Before there was Marvel, there was FBDO
Hughes had made its movies quite a part of the cinematic universe not like Marvels had made. But it was according to its time. All the license plates in the film were a nod to his many other movies. Even the famous number plates which reads as “MMOM” (for Mr. Mom), 4FBDO (for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and VCTN (for National Lampoon). Moreover, as displayed in FBDO, in Ferris’s bedroom, the Simple Mind’s band poster with iconic song “Don’t You Forget About Me“ was also a nod for The Breakfast Club.
Although we never got to see Jeannie’s car, her license plate was TBC for The Breakfast Club as well.
Number “9” Has A Lot Of Meanings
In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the number 9 is quite significant. The Jersey which Cameron wears has number 9 over it. Ferris Bueller was absent 9 days from school. Ferris changes his clothes nine times before leaving his house. Well, the song “Danke Schoen” plays only four times in the film, but you get the point. By the way, Cameron is standing in the Art Institute of Chicago admiring… Serat’s 1886 A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. What a coincidence.
Fauxrari which they destroyed is worth $11 million…the real one at least
Then there’s the infamous Ferrari… but few know that the Ferrari in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in fact not a Ferrari at all. John Hughes initially wanted to track down one for the filming of the movie (as only about one hundred of the 1957 to 1962 Ferrari 250 GT California were built). The studios said no as it would have cost $300,000 for the real Ferrari, more than Paramount was willing to pay for a car that would eventually get destroy…. so they found a company based in Pennsylvania Modena Design and Development covert a 1985 Modena GT Spyder California into the iconic replica of the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California which cost them $25,000 for each of the replicas.
In reality there were three replica of the 1961 Ferrari GT California, one got destroyed and the other two survived and one is currently exhibited at the AACA Museum in Hershey Pennsylvania for all die hard FBDO fans to view and drool over. The other surviving one was sold to a private collector in 2013 for $235,000. Even though it is just a replica, it is still one beautiful piece of machinery.
Drawing Parallels with Friends? Bad Idea, Hughes!
In 1990, a proposal was made by NBC executives that FBDO should be turned into a tv series after the movie. The cast of this series would be Jennifer Aniston and Charlie Shallater as the lead characters. The series was made to be a continuation of the movie, but there were some glitches which emerged in the script of the TV series. The script turned out to be very bizarre—at times, it felt like some prequel of the movie, at other times, it felt like a sequel. In the end, after airing just thirteen episodes, the jumbled and poorly written sitcom died of . . . natural causes.
The Bueller House: It Was All Real
In the movie, the house which is shown as Bueller’s house was actually a real property located at 4160 Country Club in Long Beach, California. It was found just the way it was in the movie with some changes which the director made. Like that specific hole enjoying its stay at the fence, a special door for Rooney to climb and an intercom setup from where he could yell at Ferris.
The house remained as original as possible during the shooting and the owner was even paid for the food which he left in the house fridge. The owners got to stay in their homes the entire time it was filmed which was about ten days of shooting at the location.
Back to School v. FBDO: The former won the Opening Week
John Hughes Ferris Bueller Day’s Off and Alan Meter’s Back To School with Rodney Dangerfield open on the same weekend. For one week, Back To School ruled the box office but was soon taken down by FBDO. FBDO went to on to top the box office made a ton of money can became a classic and a national treasure! Yup you heard that right.
After the release, the film hit records of success. It was the most profitable movie of1986. Even the Registry of National Film which is part of the Library of Congress considered it a significant movie and had it preserved in its archives stating that “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
. . . . and there is a lot more common in these two movies!
“Twist and Shout” one of the best songs of the Beatles which was played in both films i.e. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School both movies written and directed by John Hughes. Both movies made Beatles’ song a huge hit and brought it back to the Billboards ranking even after 16 years after its original release. The song made everyone remember the Beatles although it had been 16 years since the band had broken up.
Before John Hughes became a Hollywood legend known for his adolescence movie block busters, he would write jokes and sell it to Rodney Dangerfield for his stand-up comedy acts.
Paul McCartney Approved . . . Then Disapproved
The director and producer of FBDO were successful in convincing Paul McCartney for the use of Beatles’ song “Twist and Shout” in the movie. He had agreed initially for the usage but then was outraged at how the song was used. He claimed that John Hughes, the director had used it in quite an a atrocious way. According to Paul McCartney, the final cut needed to be the original song instead of the overdubbing which was added by marching band through their brass horns.
John Hughes didn’t want to offend Paul McCartney but he also didn’t want to make any corrections to the way he used the song either so, in a statement he clarified that’ the song had to be this used in the way the movie was shot, even if the brass instruments from the marching band had ‘distorted’ the song’s tune.
Musical Moments, YES. Official Soundtrack? NO!
In FBDO, John Hughes included a variety of assortment of music genre and he didn’t think it made sense to create a soundtrack…but when asked, he refused to announce any song as the official song for the movie. According to him, the movie had many uneven soundtracks which did not go well along with each other. So if he had an album, it would be a bad idea for his movie.
John Hughes has since passed and thirty years later, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off get its ‘original’ soundtrack initially on Spotify and YouTube.
The Cure Almost Score A Song
Initially for the movie, Hughes used a song written by the The Cure band lyricist and front-man Robert Smith for the museum scene. But the song didn’t go well with the expectation of Hughes. There was a disagreement between the producers and the directors; and in the end, the song by Robert Smith was not featured in the movie. Rather, Hughes chose one of the The Smith’s for his movie, an instrumental version of “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.” Ultimately, The Smiths replacing “a” Smith—was ironic!
Oddly enough John Hughes was one director who really understood even as an adult the mentality, psychology of a teenager so descriptively. Morrisey who was then was still with The Smiths was John Hughes’ musical counterpart as he too understood the teenage angst as expressed in so many of his compositions. It was fitting that these two creative genius worked together in the cult classic of a movie
Missing Out On Charlie Sheen—too much of that!
There are many things which didn’t make it to the movie. For example, the whole history of Garth Volbeck, played by Charlie Sheen was filmed for the movie but most of the scenes did not make it to the final cut of the film. In 1986, a documentary was released which showed how significant the Volbeck family was in FBDO’s community. For one, there’s Charlie Volbeck who was Jennie’s bad boy love interest and a couple of his scenes —was in the movie but there were so many scenes that were filmed but wasn’t included. For example, the person whom Ferris’ mother was showing the “open house “was a Volbeck; and, Rooney’s car was also towed by the Volbeck’s towing company.
Stayed Awake For Two Days
Charlie Sheen was casted on the recommendations of Jennifer Grey as she had worked with him before when they filmed Red Dawn together. Even thought Charlie Sheen doing another project at that time but he still accepted Hughes’ offer and played Garth’s role in the FBDO movie. According to some reports, Sheen stayed awake for a straight 48 hours so that he could have the dizzy look of his character so that his expressions can be authentic… though a good make-up artist may have accomplished the same look, Charlie wanted to be as ‘natural’ as he can.
Casting “Cameron Frye” Was Not Easy
Deciding who will play the role of Cameron Frye became tricky for the FBDO director John Hughes. Initially it was offer to Anthony Michael and Emilio Estevez, but they both refused. John Candy had audition for the role but he wasn’t selected because he was too old for the character. At last, Alan Ruck was given the role who was 29 years old at the time.
Yes, That Is Louie Anderson
Anderson showed twice on the screen. Once when he could be seen delivering flowers to Bueller house, and the second time he was with the nurse.
Straight outta Chicago: the Hot Doug
The film features an actual king of Hot dogs in it. Although his name was Doug Sohn not Abe Froman as in the movie, he was the king of Hot Dogs in Chicago. In 2015, the real sausage king, Doug closed his shop but his customers were so in love with his Hot Dogs that they camped outfor days in front of his stall in order to have their last hot dog as soon as Doug opened up the shop. Once a Doug Fan came to his store and offered him one million dollars for staying open in Chicago. But at that moment, Doug could not do it. Though after some time, he managed to start again and now has a permanent dog stand at Wrigley’s Field and lifetime entry to any ball games that he wants.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: Some People think it’s Fight Club!
FBDO fans formulated many conspiracy theories and one of them was the movie had the
same concept of Fight Club. To be more specific: the theory goes like, Cameron is the person who shifts his personality and wants to escape his true self. The day he spends is all his imagination and makeup of his mind just like the way it is happening with the protagonist (Edward Norton) of Fight Club.