Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Directed and written by John Hughes, 1986. IMDB

So, way back in my teen years, we had a VHS tape of this, which friends and I played and played and played, probably racking up more rewatches than any other movie in my life. So it was a pleasure to break it out for our 11 year-old, some some 37 years later (!), to see whether it still holds up, and find that it really does.

By chance this was the week after we'd just watched The Blues Brothers, so we got to compare and contrast two movies set in Chicago - a privileged white story, and a poverty stricken, largely colored one, which even share scenes filmed in the very same restaurant.

Back then, I had no idea who Ben Stein was, so it was amusing to see him now and suddenly join the dots. Apparently his infamous "voodoo economics" speech had no script and was ad-libbed.

Reviewing Rooney's comical attempts to break into the Buellers' house made me realize for the first time that this was Hughes' dry-run at what would become Home Alone.

I had always been frustrated that I'd never been able to lay my hands on the "You're not dying" song that Cameron plays while sick in his bedroom (i.e. here's the few seconds of it on Youtube, exactly as it appears in the movie.)

Now we have the Internet, I can see that this failure wasn't exactly my fault - there is no such song. The few bars we hear were whipped up by Ira Newborn specially for the film, based on an old Louis Armstrong song, Let My People Go. Fortunately for us, one man was obsessed about it enough to actually recreate a full length song based on the snippets from the movie. Here is Daniel Simone's Let My Cameron Go, is full of a lush Pink Floyd sound, and ripe with the sort of ecstatic anticipation that even Roger Waters would be proud of.

Duly added to my rotation for next time I'm sick.