The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), who skips school and spends the day in downtown Chicago. Accompanied by his girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) and his best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), he creatively avoids his school's principal Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), his resentful sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), and his parents. During the film, Bueller regularly breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to the camera to explain to the audience his thoughts and techniques. I think that this was very useful in a coming of age film like this, teens and the audience really felt like they were connected and that they were Ferris' friend.
Hughes wrote the screenplay in less than a week and shot the film—on a budget of $5.8 million—over three months in 1985. Featuring many famous Chicago landmarks including the then Sears Tower and the Art Institute of Chicago, the film was Hughes' love letter to the city: "I really wanted to capture as much of Chicago as I could. Not just in the architecture and landscape, but the spirit." I think Hughes accomplished this with another winning feel good film.
Released by Paramount Pictures on June 11, 1986, Ferris Bueller's Day Off became one of the top grossing films of the year and was enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike. In 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry as per being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." It captures what kids think the American way of high school life is, or at least what they dream it to be.
Here are 9 cool facts about Ferris Bueller's Day Off that you probably didn't know:
1) June, 5, 1985 was probably Ferris' real day off.
2) Mr. and Mrs. Bueller were a real-life couple.
3) Though they played sparring brother and sister in the film, Matthew Broderick was actually engaged to his on-screen sister, Jennifer Grey.
4) Though Ferris and company were portraying high-schoolers, only Mia Sara -- who played Ferris' girlfriend Sloane Peterson -- was a teenager at the time of filming.
5) Painter George Seurat's famous work, "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," is the work that Cameron appears to be so mesmerized by.
6) Cameron's father's smokin' red Ferrari California Spyder was actually a fake.
7) Charlie Sheen really wasn't 'on' anything during his scene in the film.
8) Though the film took place in the greater Chicago area, the Bueller residence was actually a house in Long Beach, California.
9) Look closely and you'll discover every license plate in the movie has a meaning.