John Hughes


John Wilden Hughes Jr. (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was an American filmmaker. Beginning as an author of humorous essays and stories for National Lampoon, he went on to write, produce and sometimes direct some of the most successful live-action comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s such as National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), directed by Harold Ramis, and its sequels National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985), directed by Amy Heckerling, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik, all starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo; Mr. Mom (1983), with Michael Keaton, Teri Garr, Jeffrey Tambor, Ann Jillian, Christopher Lloyd and Martin Mull; Pretty in Pink (1986), with Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader, and Andrew McCarthy: Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), with Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Lea Thompson; Dutch (1991), with with Ed O’Neill, Ethan Embry, and JoBeth Williams; Dennis the Menace (1993), with Mason Gamble, Walter Matthau, Joan Plowright, Thompson, and Christopher Lloyd; Baby’s Day Out (1994), with Joe Mantegna, Lara Flynn Boyle, Joe Pantoliano, and Brian Haley; the Beethoven franchise (co-written under a pseudonym with Amy Holden-Jones), the first two with Charles Gordin and Bonnie Hunt; and Home Alone (1990) and its sequels Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), both with Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, and Catherine O’Hara; and Home Alone 3 (1997).

His films as director included Sixteen Candles (1984), with Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, and Anthony Michael Hall; The Breakfast Club (1985), with Emilio Estevez, Hall, Judd Nelson, Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Paul Gleason, and John Kapwlos; Weird Science (1985), with Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, and Bill Paxton; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), with Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, and Jennifer Grey; Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), with Steve Martin and John Candy; She’s Having a Baby (1988), with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern; Uncle Buck (1989), with Candy, Amy Madigan, Jean Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffmann, Culkin, Jay Underwood, and Laurie Metcalf; and Curley Sue (1991), with James Belushi, Kelly Lynch, and Alisan Porter. Most of Hughes’s work is set in the Chicago metropolitan area. He is best known for his coming-of-age teen comedy films which often combined magic realism with honest depictions of suburban teenage life. Many of his most enduring characters from these years were written for Ringwald, who was his muse.

While out on a walk one morning in New York in the summer of 2009, Hughes suffered a fatal heart attack. His legacy after his death was honored by many, including at the 82nd Academy Awards by actors with whom he had worked such as Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and Macaulay Culkin among others. Actors whose careers Hughes helped launch include Michael Keaton, Anthony Michael Hall, Bill Paxton, Broderick, Culkin and members of the Brat Pack group.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)



  • National Lampoon’s Class Reunion (1982) – directed by Michael Miller
  • Mr. Mom (1983) – directed by Stan Dragoti
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) – directed by Harold Ramis
  • Nate and Hayes (1983) – directed by Ferdinand Fairfax
  • National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1984) – directed by Amy Heckerling
  • Pretty in Pink (1986) – directed by Howard Deutch
  • Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) – directed by Howard Deutch
  • The Great Outdoors (1988) – directed by Howard Deutch
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)** – directed by
  • Jeremiah S. Chechik
  • Home Alone (1990) – directed by Chris Columbus
  • Career Opportunities (1991) – directed by Bryan Gordon
  • Dutch (1991) – directed by Peter Faiman
  • Beethoven (1992) – directed by Brian Levant
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)* – directed by Chris Columbus
  • Dennis the Menace (1993)* – directed by Nick Castle
  • Baby’s Day Out (1994)* – directed by Patrick Read Johnson
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – directed by Les Mayfield
  • 101 Dalmatians (1996)* – directed by Stephen Herek
  • Flubber (1997)* – directed by Les Mayfield
  • Home Alone 3 (1997) – directed by Raja Gosnell
  • Reach the Rock (1998) – directed by William Ryan
  • Just Visiting (2001)* – directed by
  • Jean-Marie Gaubert
  • Maid in Manhattan (2002) – directed by Wayne Wang – story
  • Drillbit Taylor (2008)* – directed by Steven Brill – story