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Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 comedy film written and directed by John Hughes. It stars Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones and Jennifer Grey. The film was released by Paramount Pictures on June 11, 1986.

The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who decides to skip school and spend the spring day in downtown Chicagomarker. Accompanied by his girlfriend Sloane Peterson and his best friend Cameron Frye, he creatively avoids his school's Dean of Students Edward Rooney, his resentful sister Jeanie, and his parents. During the film, Broderick occasionally speaks to the camera to explain to the audience his character's techniques and thoughts.


High school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) decides to skip school on a spring day by faking an illness to his parents (Lyman Ward and Cindy Pickett), then encourages his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and his pessimistic best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to spend the day in Chicagomarker as one of their last flings before they head off to different colleges. Ferris persuades Cameron to let them use his father's restored 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California to travel into the city. The rest of the school and many residents learn of Ferris's exaggerated illness and offer donations to help "Save Ferris". However, only two people are not convinced by Ferris's deception: his sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), outraged at Ferris's ability to defy authority easily, and the school's Dean of Students, Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), who believes Ferris to be truant.

Ferris and his friends arrive downtown and leave the Ferrari with two garage attendants (Richard Edson and Larry Jenkins), who drive off in it a short while later to take a joyride. Ferris, Sloane and Cameron enjoy many sights of the city, including taking in a game at Wrigley Fieldmarker, visiting the Sears Towermarker, the Art Institute of Chicagomarker, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and taking part in the Von Steuben Day Parade, with Ferris lip-syncing to "Danke Schoen" and The Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout." Ferris also uses his ploys to pretend he is Abe Froeman, the Sausage King of Chicago, to dine at an upscale restaurant on Rush Street (while narrowly avoiding Ferris's father, who is on his way to lunch with business associates).

Meanwhile, Mr. Rooney has gone off-campus to try to find Ferris, first at a local hangout, then traveling to Ferris's home. Mr. Rooney attempts to gain entry, but ends up getting stuck in the mud and losing his shoe and wallet while being chased by the family's dog. Jeanie comes home to try to find Ferris but instead discovers Mr. Rooney, whom she mistakes for a burglar. Jeanie calls the police, forcing Mr. Rooney to flee the scene. When the police show up, they take in Jeanie for prank calling, and while at the police station, she talks to a drug dealer (Charlie Sheen), who tells her that she needs to stop worrying so much about Ferris and more about herself. Jeanie's mother shows up later to collect her daughter, upset at having to do so.

At the end of the day, Ferris and his friends retrieve the Ferrari, but discover on the way back that hundreds of miles have been added to the odometer, sending Cameron into a panic attack fearing his father's reaction. After calming Cameron down, Ferris comes up with a plan to run the car in reverse while running in place at Cameron's father's hillside garage, hoping to reverse the odometer. When they realize this is not working, Cameron unleashes his pent-up anger against his father, damaging the front of the Ferrari, but comes to realize he is long due to stand up to his abusive father and vows to accept the consequences. Cameron calms down and rests himself against the car, but his previous actions have unbalanced it from the jack it was on, the car hits the floor, races in reverse and crashes through the glass wall behind the car, landing in a ravine behind the house. Despite Ferris's offer to take the blame, Cameron still plans to 'take it' and admit his actions to his father.

Ferris walks Sloane home, then quickly races through the backyards of his neighborhood, attempting to beat his parents home. When he gets there, he finds Mr. Rooney waiting for him. However Jeanie, who sped home despite her mother's demands, finds the two, thanks Mr. Rooney for driving Ferris back from the hospital, making sure to show him the wallet he left behind when he broke in earlier. Mr. Rooney is attacked by the family's dog and Ferris quickly thanks Jeanie for the diversion, making it into bed just as his parents check on him.

As the credits are rolling, Mr. Rooney in his disheveled state is forced to catch a ride back to school on a school bus as it drives students home. And in the tag at the very end of the credits, Ferris emerges from the bathroom, pleading directly with the audience, "You're still here? It's over! Go home! Go!" before he turns around and goes into the bathroom again.

Primary cast

Other characters



Shooting for this film began on September 9, 1985 and ended on November 22, 1985. The Von Steuben Day Parade scene was filmed on September 28, 1985, which was a Saturday. The majority of the film was shot in and around New Trier High Schoolmarker's Freshman campus in Northfieldmarker, formerly known as New Trier West in the Fall of 1985. Scenes were also filmed at several locations in downtown Chicagomarker and Winnetkamarker (Ferris's home, his mother's real estate office, etc.). Many of the other scenes were filmed in Northbrook, Illinoismarker, including at Glenbrook North High Schoolmarker, on Shermer Road, the famous long curvy street on which Glenbrook North and neighboring Maple Middle School are situated. The exterior of Ferris's house is located at 4160 Country Club Drive, Long Beach, Californiamarker. The house of Cameron Frye is located at 370 Beech Street, Highland Park, Illinoismarker 60035, and was once owned by photographer Ben Rose. Other scenes were shot in Chicagomarker, River Forestmarker, Oak Parkmarker, Northbrookmarker, Highland Parkmarker, Glencoemarker and Winnetkamarker, Lake Forestmarker and Long Beach, California, USAmarker

Deleted scenes

Several scenes were cut from the final film and were never made available on any DVD version. These scenes included additional screen time with Jeanie in a locker room, Ferris's younger brother and sister (both of whom were completely removed from the film) and additional/alternate lines of dialog throughout the film, all of which can be seen in the original theatrical trailer.

In a 2009 screening of the film at the New Beverly Cinema in tribute to John Hughes (who had died less than a month earlier), editor Paul Hirsch told the audience that film's original cut included a scene in which Ferris bluffs his way onto a radio talk show, where he claims to be the first teenager chosen to ride on the Space Shuttle. According to Hirsch, he was editing this very scene in January 1986 when the Challenger disaster occurred. Hughes and Hirsch agreed that the scene would then be in poor taste and was dropped from all versions of the film.


Paramount initially wanted to commission up-and-coming rock bands to write tracks for the film. Studio execs consulted with Welsh post-punk band The Alarm in April 1986, and the band subsequently cut the track "World on Fire" for the soundtrack. Paramount eventually dropped the project in favor of commercially-available songs.

Songs featured in the film include:
  1. "Love Missile F1-11" (Extended Version) by Sigue Sigue Sputnik
  2. "Jeannie" (Theme from I Dream of Jeannie)
  3. "Beat City" by The Flowerpot Men
  4. "Main Title / Rebel Blockade Runner" by John Williams (From, Star Wars)
  5. "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" (instrumental) by The Dream Academy (a cover of a song by The Smiths)
  6. "Danke Schoen" by Wayne Newton
  7. "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles - which charted again, 16 years after the Beatles broke up, as a result of its prominent appearance in both this film and Back To School (where Rodney Dangerfield performs a cover version) which was released the same weekend as FBDO. The re-released single reached #23 in the U.S; a US-only compilation album containing the track The Early Beatles, re-entered the album charts at #197. The version heard in the film includes brass overdubbed onto the Beatles' original recording, which (according to Hughes on the DVD commentary) did not go down well with Paul McCartney.
  8. "Radio People" by Zapp
  9. "I'm Afraid" by Blue Room
  10. "Taking the Day Off" by General Public
  11. "The Edge of Forever" by The Dream Academy
  12. "March of the Swivelheads" (a remix of "Rotating Head") by The Beat
  13. "Oh Yeah" by Yello
  14. "BAD" by Big Audio Dynamite

No soundtrack was ever released for the film, as director John Hughes felt the songs would not work well together as a continuous album.



The film was received well by most critics. It has a "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, having an aggregated critical film review score of 80%. Roger Ebert gave it 3 out of 4 stars.

Broderick was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1987 for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Box office

The film opened in 1,330 theaters in the United Statesmarker and had a total weekend gross of $6,275,647, opening in second position to another teen comedy, Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off's total gross in the United States was approximately $70 million making it a smash hit. It subsequently became the 10th highest grossing film of 1986. Compared to the lean budget of $6 million, it was viewed as a big success.


As an influential and popular film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off has been included in many film rating lists. This film is number 54 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies", and came 26th in the British 50 Greatest Comedy Films poll. This film ranked number 10 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the "50 Best High School Movies". The film was featured in the VH1 television show I Love the 80s which aired in 2002.

The film was short-listed by the American Film Institute as part of the AFI 100 Years... series celebration in the category of AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs.

In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted Ferris Bueller's Day Off the 23rd greatest comedy film of all time, and in 2005 an Empire magazine article declared Ferris Bueller's Day Off the number one teen film of all time.

Cultural impact

Former First Lady Barbara Bush famously quoted Ferris in her 1990 commencement address at Wellesley Collegemarker: "Find the joy in life, because as Ferris Bueller said on his day off, 'Life moves pretty fast; and you don't stop and look around once in a while, you're gonna miss it.'" Responding to the audience's enthusiastic applause, she added "I'm not going to tell George ya clapped more for Ferris than ya clapped for George."

Other phrases from Ferris Bueller's Day Off such as Ben Stein's nasally voiced "Bueller? ...Bueller? ...Bueller?" and "Anyone? Anyone?" as well as Kristy Swanson's cheerful "No problem whatsoever!" also permeated popular culture. Stein's monotone performance actually launched his acting career.

Project Bueller mimicked the parade scene from the film in New York City in 2008.


The film's influence in popular culture extends beyond the film itself to how musical elements of the film have been received as well, for example, Yello's "Oh Yeah." As Jonathan Bernstein explains, "Never a hit, this slice of Swiss-made tomfoolery with its varispeed vocal effects and driving percussion was first used by John Hughes to illustrate the mouthwatering must-haveness of Cameron's dad's Ferrari. Since then, it has become synonymous with avarice. Every time a movie, TV show or commercial wants to underline the jaw-dropping impact of a hot babe or sleek auto, that synth-drum starts popping and that deep voice rumbles, 'Oh yeah . . .'" Concerning the influence of another song used in the film, Roz Kaveney writes that some "of the finest moments in later teen film draw on Ferris's blythe Dionysian fervour - the elaborate courtship by song in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) draws usefully on the 'Twist and Shout' sequence in Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

The bands Save Ferris and Rooney were named in allusion to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Academic analysis

Janet Staiger asks, "How can we use a film such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off to consider and reconsider Louis Althusser's theories of ideology, aesthetics, institutions such as schools and families, and mass culture?" Scholars have identified different aspects of how the film depicts or does not depict teachers and the role of these depictions in popular culture. The authors of Education in Popular Culture write that in "the 1980s, Bauer argues films such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off...represented 'disciplinary intimacy' - the teacher imposes his/her authority, even if...this is masked by an eccentric individualistic persona." For Martin Morse Wooster, the film simply "portrayed teachers as humorless buffoons." Tara Brabazon writes that the "impact of...Ferris Bueller's Day Off serves to render invisible the female teacher from popular culture."

Regarding not specifically teachers, but rather a type of adult characterization in general, Art Silverblatt asserts that the "adults in Ferris Bueller's Day Off are irrelevant and impotent. Ferris's nemesis, the school disciplinarian, Mr. Rooney, is obsessed with 'getting Bueller.' His obsession emerges from envy. Strangely, Ferris serves as Rooney's role model, as he clearly possesses the imagination and power that Rooney lacks....By capturing and disempowering Ferris, Rooney hopes to...reduce Ferris's influence over other students, which would reestablish adults, that is, Rooney, as traditional authority figures." Nevertheless, Silverblatt concludes that "Rooney is essentially a comedic figure, whose bumbling attempts to discipline Ferris are a primary source of humor in the film." Indeed, as Thomas Patrick Doherty writes that "the adult villains in teenpics such as...Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) are overdrawn caricatures, no real threat; they're played for laughs." Yet, Silverblatt also remarks that casting "the principal as a comic figure questions the competence of adults to provide young people with effective direction--indeed, the value of adulthood itself."

Of course, adults are not the stars or main characters of the film, and as such Roz Kaveney notes that what "Ferris Bueller brings to the teen genre, ultimately, is a sense of how it is possible to be cool and popular without being rich or a sports hero. Unlike the heroes of Weird Science, Ferris is a computer savvy without being a nerd or a geek - it is a skill he has taken the trouble to learn."

DVD releases

The film has been released on DVD three times; including the original DVD release, the "Bueller... Bueller" edition, and the "I Love the '80s" edition. The original DVD, like most Paramount films released on DVD for the first time, had very few bonus features. It did, however, feature a commentary by Hughes. The "Bueller... Bueller" release has several more bonus features, but does not contain the commentary track the earlier DVD release had. The "I Love the '80s" edition is identical to the first DVD release (no features aside from commentary), but includes a bonus CD with songs from the 1980s. The songs are not featured in the film. The "Bueller... Bueller" edition, however, has multiple special features such as interviews with the cast and crew, along with a clip of Ben Stein's commentaries on the film's philosophy and impact. The Blu-ray Disc release (which is a part of the Bueller Bueller Edition, with the same bonus material) was released on May 5, 2009.

Television series

In 1990, a series called Ferris Bueller started for NBC, starring Charlie Schlatter as Ferris Bueller, Jennifer Aniston as Jeanie Bueller and Ami Dolenz as Sloane Peterson. The series served as a prequel to the film. In the pilot episode, the audience sees Schlatter cutting up a carton board of Matthew Broderick, saying that he hated Broderick's performance as him. It was produced by Maysh, Ltd. Productions in association with Paramount Television. The series was canceled after the first thirteen episodes aired. Both Schlatter and Aniston later had success on other TV shows, Schlatter on Diagnosis Murder and Aniston on Friends.

See also


  1. Paul Hirsch, Public speaking engagement in Los Angeles, (September 2, 2009).
  2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Rotten Tomatoes.
  3. Ebert, Roger. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. June 11, 1986.
  4. Box Office Mojo
  5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Bueller Bueller Edition
  6. 50 Best High School Movies. Entertainment Weekly.
  7. Barbara Pierce Bush, Commencement Address at Wellesley College (June 1, 1990) [1].
  8. Jonathan Bernstein, Pretty in pink: the golden age of teenage movies (Macmillan, 1997), 198.
  9. Roz Kaveney, Teen dreams: reading teen film from Heathers to Veronica Mars (I.B.Tauris, 2006), 45.
  10. Janet Staiger, Perverse Spectators: The Practices of Film Reception (NYU Press, 2000), 115.
  11. Alma Harris, Roy Fisher, Ann Harris, Christine Jarvis, Education in Popular Culture: Telling Tales on Teachers and Learners (Routledge, 2008), 89.
  12. Martin Morse Wooster, Angry classrooms, vacant minds: what's happened to our high schools? (Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1993), 75.
  13. Tara Brabazon, Ladies who lunge: celebrating difficult women (UNSW Press, 2002), 156.
  14. Art Silverblatt, Genre Studies in Mass Media: A Handbook (M.E. Sharpe, 2007), 105.
  15. Thomas Patrick Doherty, Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s (Temple University Press, 2002) 196.
  16. Roz Kaveney, Teen dreams: reading teen film from Heathers to Veronica Mars (I.B.Tauris, 2006) 44.

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