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Blu-ray Review: John Hughes 5-Movie Collection

February 24, 2021

By John Corrado

This week, Paramount is releasing the John Hughes 5-Movie Collection on Blu-ray, a five disc set that includes two of his best films (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Planes, Trains and Automobiles), two of his most underrated (Some Kind of Wonderful and She’s Having a Baby), and one of his most popular (Pretty in Pink).

I’m a huge fan of the writer-director’s work, and this set includes a good cross-section of some of his teen and adult films. This is also the first time that Some Kind of Wonderful and She’s Having a Baby are available on Blu-ray, so that’s nice as well since I previously only had them on DVD.

Below is a brief rundown of all five films included in the set, which are compactly packaged in a single case.

Pretty in Pink (1986): This classic high school romantic comedy, which was written by Hughes and directed by Howard Deutch and is celebrating it’s 35th anniversary this year, remains an enduring staple of the teen film genre. The film stars Hughes’s frequent muse Molly Ringwald in a likeable performance as Andie, a poor girl who falls for a rich guy named Blane (Andrew McCarthy), causing her friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) to become jealous. I’ve seen Pretty in Pink a couple of times, and it has good replay value, showcasing Hughes’s ear for teenage dialogue, while also featuring a great soundtrack.

This is the same disc that was released as a standalone edition last year, which you can read my full review of right here.

Pretty in Pink is 96 minutes and rated PG.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986): The title character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a loveable slacker played by Matthew Broderick, is surely one of the most iconic teen characters ever put on screen. The film, of course, follows Ferris over a single day as he goes to elaborate lengths to skip school and spend the day living it up in Chicago, roping his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and his depressive best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) into the plan as well. At the same time, we delight in watching Principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) have one of the worst days of his life as he tries to catch Ferris playing hooky, in a great example of schadenfreude.

I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off again for the first time in ages the other night, and it’s still one of the greatest teen comedies of all time. Watching it as an adult also really makes you appreciate how much of a “righteous dude” Ferris really is, planning this whole day off just to pull his best friend out of a depressive funk. Between the comic hijinks and parade singalong (a sequence that remains incredibly joyous), lies some of Hughes’ wisest and most perceptive observations on life and growing up. It’s a wildly enjoyable ode to living in the moment and embracing life as it comes at you.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is 102 minutes and rated PG.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987): What more can I really say about Planes, Trains and Automobiles that hasn’t already been said? It’s the best film Hughes made for adults, and one of his best movies, period. Steve Martin and John Candy deliver two of the finest comic performances of all time as uptight ad executive Neal Page and loveable if overbearing shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith, who get stuck travelling together in a snowstorm, trying to get home for Thanksgiving.

Hughes has crafted a very funny film that has stood the test of time, and those dramatic moments (including that bittersweet ending), which are brilliantly allowed to play off of Candy’s deeply expressive face, still get me choked up every time I watch it. It’s a great buddy comedy, a great holiday movie, and a very touching and poignant film as well.

This is the same disc that was released for the film’s 30th anniversary in 2017, which you can read my full review of right here.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is 92 minutes and rated PG.

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987): A year after Pretty in Pink, Hughes collaborated again with director Deutch on Some Kind of Wonderful, which takes the basic love triangle setup to even deeper places. The film plays out like a gender-swapped version of Pretty in Pink, and in some ways it’s the more grounded of the two. Keith (Eric Stoltz) is an artsy kid who falls head over heals for popular girl Amanda (Lea Thompson), leaving his tomboyish best friend Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) on the sidelines, as she pines after her friend while also helping him get the girl.

While Pretty in Pink is probably the more famous of the two, Some Kind of Wonderful has held up quite well. It’s heightened by strong character work and a more dramatic story, which partially seems crafted as a response to the studio interference on Pretty in Pink. It boasts good performances from its cast, including John Ashton as Keith’s stern but caring father. Masterson does particularly memorable work as drummer girl Watts, whose short hair and punk rock attire have made her a queer icon.

Some Kind of Wonderful is 94 minutes and rated PG.

She’s Having a Baby (1988): The second-last film that Hughes himself directed, She’s Having a Baby follows Planes, Trains and Automobiles as another one of his films about adults. The film charts several years in the life of a young couple, Jake (Kevin Bacon) and Kristi (Elizabeth McGovern), as they go through the life stages of getting married, buying a house and, yes, having a baby. While the film is literally called She’s Having a Baby, the pregnancy plot itself doesn’t come in until the film’s second half. Prior to that, the film functions as many things, including a satire of 1980s suburban life, and sly commentary on corporate drudgery.

While She’s Having a Baby has never enjoyed the same level of praise as many of the other films that Hughes put out in the ’80s, and does has a few tonal inconsistencies, it’s still a good movie and one that I think is worth seeing. It offers a fine look at growing up without really knowing what the hell you’re doing, and a touching look at the trials and tribulations on the way to parenthood. I had seen the film before, and the poignant ending still hit me pretty hard on second viewing. This is also one of Hughes’s most personal films. Bacon’s character, an ad executive and aspiring novelist, seems inspired by the writer-director himself, and the film is dedicated to Nancy Hughes, his wife of many years.

She’s Having a Baby is 105 minutes and rated 14A.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray):

Each of the five individual discs in this set include a selection of previously released bonus features, along with the new featurette Back to Wonderful: A Conversation with Howard Deutch on Some Kind of Wonderful. Digital copy codes for all five movies are also included in the package, which increases its value significantly.

Pretty in Pink

• Filmmaker Focus: Pretty in Pink (7 minutes, 38 seconds)

• The Lost Dance: The Original Ending (12 minutes, 15 seconds)

• Original Theatrical Trailer (1 minute, 27 seconds)

• Isolated Score Track

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Getting the Class Together – The Cast of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (27 minutes, 45 seconds)

The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (15 minutes, 29 seconds)

Who is Ferris Bueller? (9 minutes, 12 seconds)

The World According to Ben Stein (10 minutes, 51 seconds)

Vintage Ferris Bueller: The Lost Tapes (10 minutes, 16 seconds)

Class Album

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (16 minutes, 38 seconds)

John Hughes: The Voice of a Generation (27 minutes, 39 seconds)

Heartbreak and Triumph: The Legacy of John Hughes (25 minutes, 52 seconds)

John Hughes for Adults (4 minutes, 2 seconds)

A Tribute to John Candy (3 minutes, 1 second)

Deleted Scene – “Airplane Food” (3 minutes, 24 seconds)

Some Kind of Wonderful

Back to Wonderful: A Conversation with Howard Deutch (6 minutes, 46 seconds)

The Making of Some Kind of Wonderful (7 minutes, 46 seconds)

Meet the Cast of Some Kind of Wonderful (13 minutes, 27 seconds)

John Hughes Time Capsule (10 minutes, 50 seconds)

She’s Having a Baby

From the Archives: Kevin Bacon Interviews John Hughes (24 minutes, 10 seconds)

Theatrical Trailer (2 minutes, 14 seconds)

The John Hughes 5-Movie Collection is a Paramount Home Entertainment release.

Street Date: February 23rd, 2021

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