Tag Archives: hughes

This Week in Movie History…

robert-mitchum

On September 30, 1948, actor Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear) was released from prison following his charge of marijuana possession. Mitchum was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. He had received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor two years earlier for his role in Story of G.I. Joe, and appeared in four feature films in 1947, including Pursued, Crossfire, Desire Me, and Out of the Past. He also worked with director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story) in a western film earlier in 1948 called Blood on the Moon. His recent string of success, however, only made his bust on September 1st that much worse.

Mitchum was found with actress Lila Leeds (Lady in the Lake, Wild Weed) and dancer Vicki Evans. With the 60s still more than a decade out, and public opinion towards marijuana still very much in the light of propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1936), the young actor feared the very public arrest would effectively end his acting career. It didn’t help that industry names like Howard Hughes (Scarface, The Outlaw), David O. Selznick (King Kong, Gone with the Wind), and the press constantly berated him during this period. But his famous bust that could have completely ended his career ended up doing just the opposite. Continue reading

Chicago Is Making Plans To Celebrate The 30th Anniversary of ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’

This May will mark the 30th anniversary of acclaimed writer/director John Hughes‘ iconic tribute to truancy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Like most of Hughes’ films, the movie was filmed in Chicago, where the director was from, and features some of the city’s most memorable sites, including Wrigley Field, Calder’s Flamingo in downtown’s Federal Plaza, and Von Steuben Day, during which Ferris hijacked a parade float and led the city in a fanfare of The BeatlesTwist and Shout. To celebrate, the city of Chicago is planning an all out Ferris Fest celebration on the weekend of May 20th-22nd, which will feature a bus tour that follows Ferris’s “tour de Chicago” on that day off. There will also be a recreation of Ferris’s bedroom, and fans will get the chance to sit in Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane’s seats in Wrigley Field. The day will wrap with a screening of the movie at Hughes Theater. Thus far none of the original lead actors, namely Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, and Mia Sara, have committed to making an appearance, but the event organizers are still hopeful at least a few of them will make an appearance. If you’re a fan of the movie, or just want an excuse to visit Chicago for the weekend, be sure to mark your calendar for the event. Tickets will most likely be sold in advance, but so far as we know they are not yet available. Check back for more updates.

SXSW Will Host Remastered Cut Of ‘The Breakfast Club’ For 30th Anniversary Celebration

club
The Breakfast Club (from left to right): Judd Nelson (the criminal), Emilio Estevez (the athlete), Ally Sheedy (the basket-case), Molly Ringwald (the princess), and Anthony Michael Hall (the brain).

Writer/director John Hughes‘ 1980s classic The Breakfast Club will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The movie will be released on Blu-Ray next week, but fans of the film will get to see a newly remastered cut at this year’s SXSW Film Festival at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX this March. The Breakfast Club was released in February 1985 and starred Emilio Estevez (Young Guns, The Mighty Ducks), Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink), Judd Nelson (St. Elmo’s Fire, New Jack City), Anthony Michael Hall (National Lampoon’s Vacation, Weird Science), and Ally Sheedy (WarGames, Short Circuit) in the famous Saturday-detention story of “a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel, and a recluse” and how they found out they had a lot in common. Late actor Paul Gleason (All My Children, Die Hard) also starred in the movie as their high-strung teacher Richard (Dick) Vernon, with John Kapelos (Internal Affairs, Forever Knight) as janitor Carl. Since it’s release, The Breakfast Club has become an iconic symbol of the 1980s, reminiscent of the fashions, culture, and music of the time; the theme song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Keith Forsey for Simple Minds was a Billboard Hot 100 #1 Single for 3 weeks in 1985. If you haven’t seen this one you should definitely check out the new Blu-Ray when it hits shelves next week; and if you’re attending SXSW this year, consider seeing the remastered cut on the big screen at the Paramount Theatre March 26-31st.

Howard Hughes Biopic From Warren Beatty Finally Underway

warren

Filmmaker Warren Beatty, known for both his writing and acting talents, is finally getting his biopic on Howard Hughes underway after a 20 year struggle to get production going. The project has received financial backing from both Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, and has Windsor Media and New Regency also helping with production. Beatty is set to direct the film and also star as aviator and filmmaker Howard Hughes, who will apparently be a supporting character rather than a lead role, and the plot will instead focus on a story following Hughes’ assistant. Beatty started out in Hollywood as an actor in the 1960s and then moved into writing and directing in the mid-70s. He is also no stranger to starring and directing simultaneously. Heaven Can Wait (1978), Dick Tracy (1990), and Bulworth (1998) are all directing projects that Beatty also starred in while directing. Director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon) is also lending a hand with production under RatPac Entertainment.

Hollywood Hits Chicago

ferris

Chicago is no stranger to movies. With its large metropolitan area and aboveground transit system, Chicago has become a recent hub for big blockbusters in the last 30 years. Movies including The Dark Knight and the 2002 movie-musical Chicago bare great tribute to the city’s monuments and history, including the culture and music that has grown with the city throughout the 20th century. Here’s a look at some of those memorable moments in movies that have captured the look and/or feel of The Windy City.

1) The Blues Brothers (1980)

If you live in Chicago, and you haven’t seen this movie…you may seriously want to consider moving! Director John Landis reunited with Animal House favorite John Belushi, and Dan Aykroyd to write and direct The Blues Brothers. With a wild chase scene all across The Loop and guest appearances by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Carrie Fisher and James Brown, The Blues Brothers is one of the quintessential Chicago movies. The film is a triumphant blend of slapstick comedy and large-scale musical numbers, which makes The Blues Brothers a must see if you live in Chicago or you just want to hear some great music and have some laughs in the process!

2) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Not only does this movie take us all over Chicago, including the famous Parade scene that was filmed right downtown, it has also gone down as one of the greats of filmmaker John Hughes, whose writing and directing credits include The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Home Alone 1 and 2, and National Lampoon’s European and Christmas Vacations’. Ferris Bueller has become an 80s movies icon, but not only because of Hughes’ writing and directing talents. Yes, we all know that Matthew Broderick was probably at his best when he made this movie, but a great amount of credit is owed also to actor Jeffery Jones, who portrays Principle Ed Rooney in such a cartoonish way, it’s impossible not to laugh at his childish antics and his undeserved pompous demeanor! This movie is a great watch, every time!

3) The Untouchables (1987)

With the same director as Scarface, the story of the most famous gangster of the Prohibition era, and the original James Bond, how can you not expect good things from this movie? Brian DePalma directed this epic story of a U.S. Treasury officer who forms a team of honest police with the sole purpose of charging and sentencing Al Capone. Not only did The Untouchables score three Academy Awards nominations for Best Art Direction (Set Decoration), Best Costume Design and Best Music (Original Score), it also won Sean Connery his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Chicago also played a starring role in the film. Several scenes were filmed right downtown on LaSalle Street, and even a climactic scene involving a mother and her infant playing pickle in a gun fight was shot right in the entrance to Union Station on Canal Street and Jackson Blvd. If you’re a history fan, or you just want to get a feel about Chicago and Al Capone, The Untouchables is a must see!

4) The Fugitive (1993)

Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones star in this modern update of the 1963-1967 television series of the same name. The storyline is pretty loyal to the original series, which tells of Dr. Richard Kimble and his escape from prison after being wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and now must prove his innocence. Ford does a decent enough job as Dr. Kimble, the character not being all around complex but a little more of the quiet type. The highlight of the film, however, is Tommy Lee Jones, who steels the stage with his portrayal of U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard, winning him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994. The Fugitive is filled with both suspense and mystery, at points drawing you to the edge of your seat, and you definitely get some good shots of Chicago too! Look for the famous fight scene that takes place right on the CTA…its good shit!

5) Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Director Michael Bay had already made a great success of the first two Transformers movies, which also brought Megan Fox into the spotlight and threw Shia LeBeouf to the top of the list of Hollywood A-List actors. I was less impressed with the storyline than I was with the first two films, but then the writers did have to patch up the story after Megan Fox’s untimely withdrawal. But what Michael Bay lacks in story he makes up for in action and special effects, scoring Academy nominations for Sound Editing, Mixing, and Visual Effects. And if you ever wondered what it would be like if all-out war broke out in the Loop, all you have to do is watch this movie! The visual effects are so incredible, you can literally watch Chicago get blown and smashed to bits, including the new Trump Tower which seems to take the worst of the damage. Be sure to pay attention to the skydiving scene too. Five divers actually flew around the skyscrapers surrounding the Loop on Randolph, Lake and Michigan Avenue!