I saw Ferris Bueller's Day Off in 1986 along with everybody else, and thought it was very funny. And then I didn't see it again for twenty-five years. I figured a comedy about a rebellious high school student wouldn't resonate much in my middle aged brain. Boy, was I wrong. It's actually a very mature film with lessons that apply no matter what your age.
And it's still very funny.
1986 was a big year for writer-director John Hughes who had hits with both Bueller and Pretty in Pink. The latter features a fine performance by Molly Ringwald just before gravity plucked her career off the end of a table, but is otherwise marred by the casting choice of Jon Cryer as the boy who pines for her. The screenplay originally had Ringwald rejecting rich pretty boy Andrew McCarthy in favor of the true blue Cryer, but as you might expect, test audiences barfed and Hughes rewrote the final scene.
Cryer went on to an award-winning career playing Charlie Sheen's hapless little brother on Two and a Half Men; Hughes recycled the original ending (with the genders flipped) in Some Kind of Wonderful.
PICTURE (Drama) winner:Platoon (prod. Arnold Kopelson)
PICTURE (Comedy/Musical) winner:Hannah And Her Sisters (prod. Robert Greenhut)
PICTURE (Foreign Language) winner:Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources (Manon of the Spring) (prod. Pierre Grunstein and Alain Poiré)
ACTOR (Drama) winner: Bob Hoskins (Mona Lisa)
ACTOR (Comedy/Musical) winner: Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
ACTRESS (Drama) winner: Sigourney Weaver (Aliens)
ACTRESS (Comedy/Musical) winner: Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink)
DIRECTOR (Drama) winner: Oliver Stone (Platoon)
DIRECTOR (Comedy/Musical) winner: Woody Allen (Hannah and Her Sisters)
SUPPORTING ACTOR winner: Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet and Hoosiers)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS winner: Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters)
SCREENPLAY winner: John Hughes (Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty in Pink)
Named for Katie-Bar-The-Door, the Katies are "alternate Oscars"—who should have been nominated, who should have won—but really they're just an excuse to write a history of the movies from the Silent Era to the present day.
To see a list of nominees and winners as well as links to my essays about them, click here.
Remember: There are no wrong answers, only movies you haven't seen yet.
The Silent Oscars
And don't forget to check out the Silent Oscars—my year-by-year choices for best picture, director and all four acting categories for the pre-Oscar years, 1902-1927.
Look at me—Joe College, with a touch of arthritis. Are my eyes really brown? Uh, no, they're green. Would we have the nerve to dive into the icy water and save a person from drowning? That's a key question. I, of course, can't swim, so I never have to face it. Say, haven't you anything better to do than to keep popping in here early every morning and asking a lot of fool questions?