TOP 10 MOVIES: JOHN HUGHES

It’s great to find lists on THE LIST again, isn’t it? To keep with the theme of making them as challenging as possible, I’ve picked one of the most talented men around for this week’s Top 10 Movies!

John Hughes’ passing was one of the saddest things that ever happened to Hollywood. I dare you to find a screenwriter with a better resume featuring so many diverse films. SERIOUSLY! Hughes gets pigeonholed as being the teen comedy guy but his reach goes so far beyond that. He’s had some flops, don’t get me wrong, but his greats are more than that. They’re classics! What makes them so great comes from Hughes’ ability to balance comedy with understanding relationships of all types. Not to mention he manages to capture the experience of growing up better than anyone… something we can all identify with.

This was literally like trying to pick my favorite kid but I managed to pull it off. So, here we go (in order):

SIDENOTE: I have not seen She’s Having a Baby, Some Kind of Wonderful or Curly Sue so they are not in contention for this list!

10. PRETTY IN PINK.

I wanted to put The Great Outdoors at #10. Editor-in-Chief convinced me that Pretty in Pink needs to be on this list. I agree… it is a good film. It’s just that I’m a dude. So, I’ll just say that Pretty in Pink makes it for Duckie cuz that guy is awesome and he never gets a break.

9. PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES.

Those aren’t 2 pillows! How ’bout them Bears? This film brings the laughs until the end where it delivers a textbook heartwarming Hughes’ ending. While the film is extremely well written, the backbone of this film is the performances and the back and forth of 2 great actors: John Candy and Steve Martin.

8. CHRISTMAS VACATION.

Can hardly see the lines, can you, Rust? Vacation movies are like pizza and sex… they’re never really bad. However, Christmas Vacation is actually a cut above. A true throw back to the first film, this movie brings back everything that got lost in the sequel. Including Cousin Eddie!  Also, one of my Top 5 Threequels of all time!

7. 16 CANDLES.

I love this film but it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it so I’m deferring this one to the Editor-in-Chief who had the pleasure just recently:

My disslike of movies before ’94 is no secret. With the exception of John Huges films and this one in particular. Easily my number 1. Caught up in the excitement of your older sister’s wedding and marriage to a total douche, your entire family forgets your 16th birthday. I’ve never even had a birthday, and I completely understand that devastation! The series of embarrassments that follow are equally as devastating: Felt up by your grandma, forced to show around foreign exchange student Long Duck Dong, some freshman has your underwear and the guy you’re in love with, Jake Ryan, doesn’t even know you’re alive. Oh, and speaking of Jake Ryan, what the heck ever happened to Michael Schoeffling? He gives us three good flicks and then falls off the face of the earth?! Another reason to love this movie!!

6. WEIRD SCIENCE.

You’re stewed, Buttwad! I wonder if girls like this film as much as boys do because it really is every teen boy’s dream. I mean, could you imagine having your own Kelly Lebrock sexbot at age 16 begging to fulfill your every desire??? I can tell you that a young Kaiderman would have done a whole hell of a lot more than take a shower in my underwear with her. In fact, I would abandon underwear and clothing all together… along with anything else not having to do with sex. Oh, and Robert Downet Jr. was in it before he had some much needed dental work.

5. MR. MOM.

I suddenly feel like some Tuna… some Schooner Tuna. Damn you, advertising geniuses! Why was that stuff not on my favorite made-up movie products list? Aaaargh!

Michael Keaton is one of my favorite actors and Mr. Mom is one of my favorite of his movies. The whole gender switch aspect of the story is ripe for comedy and watching Keaton’s Jack spiral out of control and then regain control of his life is still a fun time nearly 3 decades later.

4. HOME ALONE.

This film should probably be higher on this list as it is probably Hughes’ most successful film. Home Alone was a HUGE hit and every kid of the 80’s loved that movie. Not only did it make Culken a household name but it had an awesome ending featuring scene after scene of Kevin torturing an awesome pair of dimwitted thieves… played brilliantly by Joe Pesci (Raggaspragga!) and Daniel Stern. I should also say, as a parent, this film has proven to work on 2 levels as I can see the story from the Mom and Dad’s perspectives now. I remember seeing this film on Christmas Day with my parents and it will always hold a special place in my movie memories… ya filthy animals.

3. FERRIS BEULLER’S DAY OFF.

How cool is this movie? A band took it’s name from it. Save Ferris! anyone? Yeah… like I’m the only one who listened to skank in the 90’s!

Another example of Hughes’ living out a teenage fantasy… told through the eyes of one of the most charming characters (with one of the worst names) in movie history. What sets this film apart as well is it’s use of breaking down the fourth wall and having Ferris talking to the audience and sucking us into his world.

SIDENOTE: How many of you tried that mannequin on a string with snoring recording trick? Hmmmm? Bom-bom-bom. Chook-chooka-chooka!

2. THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

The Nerd, the Jock, the Princess, the Basketcase, the Criminal… Hughes asked what happens when people stop being polite and start eating breakfast. The Breakfast Club! Sounded much better in my head but I bet MTV still greenlights it!

GOD, I LOVE THIS MOVIE! I used to know the first 45 minutes by heart… and every second is not only HI-larious but classic as well.  It takes a bit of a turn after they all get their weed on but remains a poignant and honest look at high school life. It also features one of the best uses of a song in movie history… and a fist pump!

1. VACATION.

If Vacation movies are like sex and pizza, then the first Vacation film is liking eating pizza while having sex… with Kelly Lebrock… and Christie Brinkley.

If I have to explain this pick to you than you probably wear a helmet and don’t play football. Vacation is one of my Top 3 comedies of all time. It’s Chevy Chase doing everything that makes Chevy Chase cool only without all the arrogance, a sexy Beverly D’Angelo, the best Audrey and Rusty to date and good old, incestuous Cousin Eddie… and John Candy… and Wallyworld… and did I mention Christie Brinkley? You get the point!

What do you think?

36 Responses to “TOP 10 MOVIES: JOHN HUGHES”

  1. Editor In Chief Says:

    yay…me first!!

    great list for a very difficult task…thanks to me and my love of molly ringwald…you have to see some kind of wonderful…you are just gay enough to like it!!!

  2. He made this flick “Sixteen Candles.” Not bad. There’s tits in it, but no bush, but Ebert over here don’t give a shit about that kind of thing ’cause he’s, like, all in love with this John Hughes guy. He goes out and rents, like, every one of his movies. Fuckin’ “Breakfast Club,” where all these stupid kids actually show up for detention. Fuckin’ “Weird Science,” where this chick wants to take her gear off and get down, but oh no, she don’t ’cause it’s a PG movie. And then, “Pretty in Pink,” which I can’t even watch with this tubby bitch anymore, ’cause every time we get to the part where the redhead hooks up with her dream guy, he starts sobbin’ like a little bitch with a skinned knee and shit. And there’s nothing worse than watchin’ a fuckin’ fat man weep.

  3. Hmm… if anything should be higher than The Breakfast Club, it would be Christmas Vacation. That’s the only switch I’d probably make.

  4. Damn, what a fucking resume. Duckie is an insufferable human being and I’d have to give Breakfast Club the #1 spot, but whatever, can’t knock Vacation. Well played, chum.

    • Yeah… had to grapple with that one. I LOVE Breakfast Club. I used to know the first 45 minutes by heart. Every word in the first half of that film are flawless.

  5. Still have yet to see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Vacation (I know I know) but since I love The Breakfast Club and Home Alone, I’m looking forward to discover those! Looks like a keeper list!

  6. Ahh Ferris Buellers gotta me #1 for me. Breakfast Club second, then Home Alone, then Mr. Mom……….in that order and then these in any order:

    Uncle Buck
    PTA
    The Great Outdoors
    Sixteen Candles
    Christmas Vacation
    Dutch
    and Some Kind Of Wonderful

    Don’t hate me, but I’ve never seen Weird Science

    • You will die when you see Kelly LeBrock in that movie… DO IT!!!

    • I heart Heather. Ferris is far and away my #1 as well. And Uncle Buck is definitely on my list, though I’m not sure where just yet.

      I don’t hate you, Heather…I haven’t seen 16 Candles!

      What, no Baby’s Day Out? Drillbit Taylor?

  7. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles needs to be higher on the list, but other than that, good picks. Vacation is wonderful, and Chevy is enjoying a bit of a renaissance on “Community” where he gets to be funny without having to be the center of attention.

  8. Great list, Kai. I’m so happy to see Sixteen Candles on here since it’s my favorite. I’d always loved it as a kid, then it became my reality. My family didn’t acknowledge my 26th birthday because MY wedding was the following week. Sure I was a decade late and it was my own wedding, but it still sucked.

  9. Yes, the loss of John Hughes is a tremendous one and he will be missed. However, there are a number of screenwriters with equal and better resumes. I also found the Oscar homage to him to be a bit much, as there are many Hollywood loses each year and more deserving. In any case, a great list. Love Mr. Mom and Planes, Trains…is one of my faves…

    • Just out of curiousity, who’s screenwriting resume would you put against his?

      • Off the top of my head (as I am sure I am fogetting a few) i would say William Goldman, Billy Wilder, Woody Allen, John Huston, The Coens, James Brooks, Alvin Sargent, Bergman, PT Anderson, Lawrence Kasdan, Oliver Stone, Robert benton, Mamet….

        I like Hughes. He helped define a generation. I would have liked to have seen him branch out a bit, the same way i wish Woody would. He is underrated at times because his films are mistakenly seen as sophomoric….but he sculpted a nice niche forhimself and most of his characters were quite genuine and warm.

      • Nice choices… I can’t comment on some of the older ones like Wilder. I don’t think PTA and Coens have done enough yet. I think Woody Allen is a nice comparison as they both put out some stinkers amidst the goos stuff and showed diversity in their work.
        And I LOVE Goldman and Kasdan!

      • Glad to hear. Kasdan doesn’t get enough credit, but he writes dialogue so well. Woody does have a few stinkers, but his body of work is so impressive.

  10. Just saw She’s Having a Baby, and I have to say, that is around third on my favorites of his. Behind Breakfast Club, and Uncle Buck of course. Nice list!

  11. Top stuff! Breakfast Club would be my number one but Vacation is brilliant so it’s stuff to choose between the two. Hughes has a great body of work – films you can watch over and over again.

  12. jaysis Kai. No uncle buck? planes trains at 9? come back to me when you know something about movies. and yes, Fight Club still blows.

  13. This (straight) girl likes Weird Science as much as the guys

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