TV Cream

Films: F is for...

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“Save Ferris!” went the cry. And so we did. Yeah, it’s a little childish and stupid, but then so’s school. Actually, what makes this film work outside the US is probably the fact it’s largely set outside high school, thus avoiding many of the bewildering cliches of America’s largely alien education environment. Instead it’s Broderick vs. Jeffrey ‘Beetlejuice’ Jones through the streets of Chicago, relentlessly cracking wise as they go. And wise they certainly crack – you won’t find dialogue of this calibre in most “uh-DULT” films these days, never mind the witless, clammy-handed “teen” fare that clogs up the multiplexes during latter-day “spring breaks”, which makes us weep for the future. Plus you get Zapp, BAD, Dream Academy, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and, of course, Yello’s mighty Oh Yeah on soundtrack duties, which helps wrap it in its own evocative time capsule, abetted by the fact they wisely avoided a sequel (although a ’90s sitcom version with Charlie ‘Delinquents’ Schlatter and Jennifer Aniston thankfully bombed). Writing magnificently and directing with sacks of flair, it’s Hughes’ baby all the way, and though the rest of his canon we can mostly take or leave (especially the sentimental Breakfast Club), this still comes up as fresh as paint. You may baulk at the high placing, and granted, it’s definitely a film you have to buy into wholesale or sit there nonplussed throughout, but we’re not going to let the snot-nosed detractors leave our cheese out in the wind. We’re going to defend it. Right or wrong, we’re going to defend it.



  1. Morgan

    August 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    It might have avoided the high school schlock but still alienates with all the high end, conspicuous, consumerism. His keyboard cost about two grand and that’s a mid eighties two grand! Our Renault family car cost about half that. Finally if he’s so smart why is he still going to school in his early twenties?

  2. Glenn Aylett

    July 16, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    America was feeling good about itself again and all of these high school type films raise a big smile from me as they make you feel positive. I still think Risky Business, with a young Tom Cruise playing a sex mad 18 year old, is the funniest, particularly the scene where he is being interviewed by a professor from Princeton during a wild party with ladies of the night. Also good for a laugh, Revenge Of The Nerds, where a group of geeks take on the guys on the football team who are hassling them, and one of the nerds pulls the team captain’s girlfriend. Ferris Bueller is still quality and worth watching on a wet afternoon.

  3. Sidney Balmoral James

    July 16, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    Can’t imagine Risky Business is a film Tom Cruise looks back on with much warmth, and it is (along with Pretty Woman), one of those quite bizarre, ‘isn’t prostitution glamorous’ type films that have dated horribly. De Mornay’s unlucky not have had a better career, with both this and The Hand that Rocks the Cradle as very high profile successes. Mind you, they couldn’t make a star of Paula Prentiss, which should be a warning to any aspiring good-looking actress (just as Tom Cruise’s career can give hope to any aspiring actor, although he is arguably more of a crash-test dummy than an actor, throwing himself in and out of various vehicles at high speed, with very limited, flatly delivered dialogue in between). That Tom Cruise is 61 is slightly hard to comprehend. That’s five years older than William Holden when he made Towering Inferno – and he looks younger even than Paul Newman did in that.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    July 16, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    There is a scene in Risky Business where a pimp is defeated and Pretty Woman has Richard Gere take Julia Roberts away from prostitution to a much better lifestyle. These are odd films now, making prostitution look like a career where woman can end up with rich boyfriends, but they did great box office.

  5. Richardpd

    July 16, 2023 at 10:53 pm

    This a great fun film, I remember seeing it in the early 1990s & really enjoyed it. The Ferrari was actually an MG with custom bodywork from what I’ve heard.

    Petty Woman is an odd film, but still enjoyable & really made Julia Roberts a big star after The Steel Magnolias had given her career a big boost. Oddly she seemed to shy away from romcoms for a few years until My Best Friend’s Wedding seemed to cement her position as Queen of the Chick Flicks for a few years with the odd drama in her CV to stop her being totally typecast.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    July 17, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    Pretty Woman is a good film, even if the subject matter might be controversial these days, but I think Richard Gere’s outstanding romantic role was in An Officer And A Gentleman, another film with a happy ending and a great story. I never tire of watching it.

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