John Wilden Hughes, Jr. (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He directed and/or scripted some of the most successful films of the 1980s and 1990s, including National Lampoon's Vacation, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, and The Breakfast Club.
"But I don’t think I’m alone among my cohort in the belief that John Hughes was our Godard, the filmmaker who crystallized our attitudes and anxieties with just the right blend of teasing and sympathy. Mr. Godard described “Masculin Féminin,” his 1966 vehicle for Jean-Pierre Leaud and Ms. Karina, as a portrait of '“the children of Marx and Coca-Cola.'”
Hughes has been faulted for smoothing over too many rough edges and softening harsh social and psychological realities. Many other filmmakers have been faulted for the same thing.
In 1979, the former ad copywriter and National Lampoon magazine staffer scored his first Hollywood credit on a short-lived sitcom version of Animal House. Within five years, Hughes was in the director's chair on Sixteen Candles.
Though most associated with the 1980s, Hughes has his biggest hit in the 1990s. Hughes wrote Home Alone, which became a box office smash.
Hughes had a reputation for tapping into teenage angst, but he didn't experience it himself. “I didn’t have this tortured childhood,” he told The New York Times in a 1991 interview. “I liked it.”
“The Breakfast Club” featured the troupe of young actors who showed up in films who were tagged "The Brat Pack." The group included Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy.
Hughes grew up in Chicago. He would direct his cult classic films, The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, there.
In addition to becoming box office hits, Hughes films provided cinematic comfort to the '80s generation and beyond. His characters were teenagers with issues with parents, friends and lovers.
Adult authority in John Hughes's movies were always viewed the same. They were undernourishing, vindictive, and prehistoric.
Hughes's teenage characters often followed a similar path. They were smarter and morally superior to their parents.