Monday, August 30, 2010

#68 - Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 1986


The 5th movie I watched this week was the 1986 cult classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I remember hearing about this film from some parents of teammates of mine back when I was playing baseball. I think it was a big deal back then and if I remember correctly it was controversial in a way but I cant figure out why now after seeing it so many times? Was it because it was glorifying skipping school? I don't get it. In any matter below is my detailed review.

Now most people know this film had quite the cast and was led by Matthew Broderick who played Ferris Bueller but there were some others who were in this who weren't the main star's that were funny to see. Lets first list the main cast. Alan Ruck starred as Cameron Fry, Ferris Bueller's best friend and Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson, Ferris Bueller's girlfriend. Jeanie Bueller was played by Dirty Dancing's own Jennifer Grey and rounding out the main characters would be Jeffrey Jones as Principal Ed Rooney and Edie McClurg as his secretary Grace. As I mentioned there were some other notables and they were Louie Anderson who was part of the singing telegram crew, Ben Stein as a teacher, Kristy Swanson as a fellow student, and Charlie Sheen as a troubled young man in the police department.


As is the case with many films the final choice for characters and who got the roles were not necessarily the first choices. Anthony Michael Hall originally turned down the role of Ferris Bueller and Emilio Estevez turned down the role of Cameron. Other's who were considered for the role of Ferris Bueller were John Cusak, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Michael J. Fox, Robert Downey Jr., and Tom Cruise. Now correct me if I'm wrong but was Jim Carrey even popular in 1986? Maybe it was the In Living Color TV show that made him popular but I don't think he was a breakout star at that time? John Candy also auditioned for the role of Cameron which I find odd. There was a slew of women who were considered for the role of Jeanie Bueller and the more popular ones were Madonna, Jodie Foster, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, and Michelle Pfeiffer.


I don't know exactly when I saw this film for the first time but I've seen it several times in my life and enjoyed it each time I saw it. I do have to admit that as funny as it is I did find some of it quite corny and unbelievable this last time I viewed it but then again I don't believe this type of a movie is supposed to be keen on facts and reality, right? This continually year after year is on several different top movie lists including 80's comedy, high school flicks, and cult classics. I liked it but didn't love it and with that being said Ill list below some of the things I really enjoyed about this film.


The first thing I always think about when I hear the word Ferris Bueller is Ferris Bueller's house and here's why. The house that belonged to Ferris Bueller actually is located in Bixby Knolls an upscale neighborhood in Long Beach, CA. This would be why the final scene where Principal Rooney gets picked up by a bus was filmed at Los Cerritos Park in Long Beach which is literally a few minutes away from where the house is located. When I lived in Long Beach back in 2005/2006 my wife and I used to take walks over there in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood and we walked by the Bueller house every time and we also walked by Los Cerritos Park as well however we didn't know that's where they shot the final bus scene but now we do. Very cool that they shot these scenes in Long Beach. As of 2006 the Bueller home looked just like it did in the movie.


Music was a big part of this film and my favorite and I think the best scene in the entire movie had music in it. Yes I am talking about Ferris Bueller's performance of Danke Schoen and Twist and Shout atop a parade float in downtown Chicago. After some research I guess there was actually a real parade going on when they filmed this scene and some of the people dancing like the steel worker up on a lift next to a building were not actually even part of the scene as an extra but they were just simply dancing to the music and ended up being added to the film. I loved the scene where the people at the steps did a classic Michael Jackson move while dancing and to this day I swear when they are first entered onto the screen they are all on a moving platform because it is just too perfect for them to have choreographed it that well. Speaking of music another great scene was at the beginning when yet again Ferris is singing Danke Schoen this time while getting ready and at one point sporting a Mohawk in the shower. Classic Ferris.

This films setting is supposed to take place in Chicago but personally I would love to know where they shot the scene's at Cameron's house. WOW! Love that house out in the woods. Throughout the movie the trio (Bueller, Cameron, and Sloane) venture to downtown Chicago, a Cubs baseball game, a museum, the Sears Tower, and back home but still my favorite setting for this film took place at Cameron's place with his secluded wooded hideaway of a home. Heck Id even take the car room as my room with that cool view every morning out to the wilderness.


Like most memorable films there are several scenes which most people always remember and identify with for a movie. For me and for this movie those scenes would be as follows. Ferris and Cameron yelling swing batter batter swing" at the cubs game. Ferris going back to introduce himself to bikini girls who are laying out while he is trying to race home. Cameron flipping out after hearing the mileage is off in his car. The big heavy set dude singing Twist and Shout in the crowd. Ferris Bueller's keyboard that he turned into a cold voice machine. Ben Stein calling out "Bueller, Bueller". These are my memorable moments which I'm sure are different than most people's. but still these things remind me of this film and come to mind when I hear this film title.


I thought overall this was a very good film and had a lot of pretty cool scenes in it. I loved the fact that it was filmed nearby and that I've seen some of the locations where they filmed this movie and I thought as good as Matthew Broderick was as Ferris Bueller I still liked Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye and he was my favorite character in this film. Jennifer Grey whom I thought was quite cute in Dirty Dancing had a more limited role than I would have liked but was still good in the role she had. This is definitely a film Ill see again one day and I enjoyed seeing it this week. Although not one of my favorites of the week I would still give this movie a firm B+!

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