‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ turns 35: Secrets behind the most iconic lines

Legend has it, John Hughes wrote the screenplay for it. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” In just six days. The joke at that time was, imagine how good it would have been if he had spent seven.

Released 35 years ago on Friday, the ’80s flick follows a charismatic troublemaker (Matthew Broderick) who persuades his moppy friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), to drop out of school and spend a fun-filled day in Chicago. is.

The irresistible comedy directed by Hughes did not set box office records at all. It finished second on its opening weekend and 10th for the year.

Since then, though, “Ferris” has become a classic, making its way into pop culture like few other teen comedies—a typically disposable genre.

view from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
Although “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” did not set a box office record in 1986, it has become a cult comedy classic.
NY Post Photo Composite

Part of its durability lies in its abundance of memorable scenes. Hughes’ genius script, as well as winning performances by the cast, is its quotable quotient off the charts.

Here are the stories behind the five most enduring lines.

“Bueller? Bueller?”

Amateur actor and law professor Ben Stein also shouldn’t have been in the film. Hughes, who had met Stein through friends, planned to use Stein as an off-screen voice calling the role in Bueller’s classroom.

But Stein’s unique monotone delivery had the cast and crew in stitches, prompting Hughes to lead her in front of the camera.

The director asked Stein to improvise a lecture on a topic he knew about, and an unforgettable scene was born.

“Buller?” The line has since become an expression used to indicate a lack of answer.

Stein has said that the line will likely lead to his obit, and he is leaning into that. He asked that his tombstone read, “He loved dogs,” and, “Bueller? Bueller?”

“The girlfriend of my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s moving in with the girl who saw Ferris last night in 31 Flavors. I think that’s serious enough. is.”

Christy Swanson "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
Christy Swanson

Even today, ‘Ferris’ fans contact Christy Swanson and ask him to read the line. He is happily obliged.

“It’s fun to do,” Swanson told The Post. “And that line never left my mind. It’s one of those things you never forget.”

But she almost didn’t get to say it.

Hughes originally envisioned Swanson—then 15—the girl who chats with Ferris on the high school pay phone and asks, “How’s your body?”

But scheduling issues forced Hughes to offer Swanson the role of Simone Adamly instead, a curious girl who explains to the teacher why Bueller might be absent.

“That line was definitely a tongue twister,” Swanson says. “I had to sit and go over and over it in my head. There were some mistakes [while shooting]. I don’t know how many.”

Somehow, Swanson impressed Hughes. He invited her a few days later to play Duckie’s girlfriend in “Pretty in Pink”.

“He’s so popular, ed. Sportos, Motorheads, Geeks, Sluts, Bloods, Westoids, Dweebies, D-khed, they all love him. They think he’s a noble dude.”

Eddie McClurg, who plays Grace, the cheery school secretary for Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), was brought in to audition because of her Midwestern look.

This memorable line was part of a scene read during the casting for Grace. McClurg, who has family in Chicago, decided to infuse it with a notable Midwestern accent.

In the end, McClurg thought it would be fun to improvise, and he threw in the “righteous friend” line.

Hughes broke down and offered him the role.

“You’re Chicago’s Sausage King Abe Frome?”

The scene in which Ferris pretends to be a bratwurst bigwig to sit in a fancy French restaurant was probably inspired by real events.

Ferris Bueller was probably based on Ed McNally, a classmate of Hughes in Glenbrook North, the school in which the film is set. McNally grew up across the street from Hughes and is now a Manhattan attorney.

Back in their day, McNally and Hughes Once Claiming that they were an advance crew for Kirk Douglas, who happened to be in town to shoot a movie, made their way into a sold-out comedy show.

These days, there are Abe Froman T-shirts, and a few years ago, an Abe Froman sausage cart popped up outside a Chicago skyscraper.

“Life moves very fast. If you don’t stop and look around once, you might miss.”

One of the more fascinating aspects of Bueller’s character is that he speaks directly to the audience—a technique that Hughes had never used before.

“Matthew was a little uncomfortable talking to the camera,” late director Said in 1999. “We were both feeling our way through this technology.”

That fourth-wall-breaking gave the film some of its own big laughs, including Bueller cracking, “Never Have One Lesson,” after horribly playing a clarinet.

The technology also gave the film – and many of its audiences – its mantra.

“Life Moves Too Fast” explains the theme of the film and gives advice to the audience on how to live.

“Ferris is an almost magical character,” says co-creator Tom Jacobson in “You Can’t Ignore Me If You Tried” by Susanna Gora. “He’s a showman and storyteller, and he has this zest that is a celebration of life.”


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