Ferris Bueller's Day Off: 15 Fun Facts

By Stacy Brown



If Ferris Bueller can have a day off, you can take 5 minutes to enjoy this article of fun facts about the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"! 

And make sure to grab a pair of our most popular matching sunglasses in all sizes: Baby Bueller, Toddler BuellerKids Bueller, Adult Bueller!

1. June 5, 1985 was Ferris' actual day off.

Perhaps the most fun fact is that Ferris Bueller's actual day off was June 5, 1985. A few blogs have done the research including Baseball Prospectus, who say that the game Ferris, his girlfriend Sloane Peterson and his best friend Cameron Frye attended during their infamous day off in was the June 5, 1985 clash between the Cubs and the Atlanta Braves (the Braves won, 4-2.). However, production on the flick ran during the fall, so the game they filmed at was actually in September when the Cubs played the Expos.

2. The script was written in 6 days.

In the face of a looming mid-1980s writers strike, John Hughes presented Paramount executive Ned Tanen a one-sentence pitch: "I want to do this movie about a kid who takes a day off from school and ... that's all I know so far." Hughes wrote the script in six days. The result was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, another classic teen movie set in Hughes’ favorite fictional town of Shermer, Illinois, which was released on June 11, 1986.

3. The infamous Shermer High School.

The fictional Shermer High School is a pivotal location in Ferris Bueller’s Day OffBreakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. But Ferris Bueller’s Day Off actually features an exterior shot of Hughes’s own high school, Glenbrook North High School.

4. Ruck's impersonation of Sloane's father was designed to make Broderick crack.

Great improv! Ruck was doing Broderick’s impression of their Biloxi Blues director Gene Saks, who would at times get “flabbergasted.” As soon as Saks would walk away, Broderick would do an impression of Saks’s rants.

Alan Ruck was 29 at the time, the character of Cameron was supposed to be 17. 

5. Big names considered for Ferris Bueller.

Everyone wanted to be Ferris! Rob Lowe, John Cusack, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., and Michael J. Fox were all considered for the role of Ferris Bueller.

6. Most of the license plates in the film are abbreviations for titles of movies by John Hughes.

Katie’s = VCTN (National Lampoon’s Vacation)
Jeannie’s = TBC (The Breakfast Club)
Tom’s = MMOM (Mr. Mom)
Rooney’s = 4FBDO (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

The exception is Cameron’s Ferrari, with a license plate that tellingly reads NRVOUS.


7. Molly Ringwald wanted to play Sloane.

Hughes allegedly told Molly Ringwald that the part wasn't big enough for her. Hughes wanted an older actress to play Ferris’s girlfriend, and was surprised to discover that Mia Sara was only 18 years old.

8. Love was in the air.

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey (who played Jeanie, Ferris’s sister) got engaged just before the movie's release. Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, who played Ferris's parents, met on the set of the movie and eventually got married and had two children. Whoa!

9. Ben Stein's scene was improvised.

Ben Stein's was originally set to speak his lines off camera but the student extras laughed so hard that Hughes decided to put him in front of the camera for his speech on supply-side economics. Stein himself picked the topic after Hughes asked him to speak about something he knew a lot about. 

The cast and crew applauded after Stein was finished, but not because they learned anything but because he successfully pulled off being boring! The only part of Stein’s scene that was scripted was when he took attendance. Bueller… Bueller. Another fun fact: before he became a familiar movie and television presence, Stein—who is also a lawyer—was a speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford.

10. The Ferrari wasn't real.

Though it was a Ferrari that Ferris and his friends "borrowed" from Cameron's dad, they weren't cruising around in the real thing. Three replicas of a 1961 Ferrari GT California Spyder manufactured by Modena were used instead. In real life, the actual car is one of the most expensive in the world, with one being sold at auction in 2008 for just under $11 million!

11. Charlie Sheen really got into character.

To produce the desired drugged-out effect for his role as the drug addict in the police station, Charlie Sheen reportedly stayed awake for more than 48 hours before the scene was shot. Are you surprised?

12. Cameron’s Red Wings jersey actually belonged to Gordie Howe.



You’d think since the film is set in Chicago, Cameron would be wearing a Blackhawks jersey. But Hughes was born in Michigan and decided to put Cameron in a Detroit jersey to celebrate that. Then Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe, sent one of his jerseys to be used in the film. Howe later told Sports Illustrated that, “it was nice seeing the No. 9 on the big screen.”

13. The Bueller house was a real house.

One day producers knocked on the front door of the Balkman family house and the Bueller house was found. Producers made a few changes to the place including drilling a hole in the fence for Principal Rooney to peer through, the doggie door for him to climb through, and fake intercom for him to yell through. They gave the Balkman family an extra $1,000 for spoiling their food after they unplugged the refrigerator because it was making too much noise during shooting.

14. Hughes was making bank.

Pretty In Pink also came out in 1986. Together, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off grossed more than $110 million that year.

15. The perfect garage scene.

The Ferrari was originally supposed to smash through the window of the garage and land in the backyard. Unfortunately, it over-shot its mark and hit a fence that was dividing the house from the yard next door. Yikes!  Also the garage scene was shot in early fall, so to make it look like summer each of the leaves on all the trees outside had to be hand-painted green every morning before shooting. 

 

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Thanks to the following blogs for the awesome info!  

15 Fun Facts About Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Happy 30th, Ferris Bueller! 30 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’

Wezen-Ball: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at Wrigley Field

30 lesser-known facts about “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Thanks @jordan.wasdin for the picture!