The content below is just for people who have seen the movie.
If you haven't, don't ruin it for yourself.
-During the parade several of the people seen dancing (including the construction worker and the window washer) originally had nothing to do with the film. They were simply dancing to the music being played and John Hughes found it so humorous that he told the camera operators to record it.
-Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, who played Ferris's parents, married in real life after filming this movie.
-John Hughes wrote the script in six days.
-The shot of Ferris playing the clarinet was done on the spot. Someone spotted the instrument as part of the set and Broderick said he could play it, which of course he couldn't.
-John Hughes told Ben Stein, who had a degree in Economics, to present an actual Economics lecture in his scenes. Hence nothing Ben Stein says (aside from the roll call) is scripted.
-To produce the desired drugged-out effect for his role as the drug addict in the police station, Charlie Sheen stayed awake for more than 48 hours before the scene was shot.
-In 2010, Edie McClurg told Vanity Fair magazine that her character's hairdo should be from the 1960s, "because Grace felt she looked best in the 60s and kept her look from that era." But the women's hairdresser on the set had mainly been hired to blow out Mia Sara's long, straight hair and didn't know how to set the big, dated '60s hairstyles - so McClurg teased, set, and styled her own character's hair. Once McClurg arrived on the set, John Hughes looked at her hairstyle, and the first thing he said was, "How many pencils do you think you can fit in that hair?" They tested it with one pencil, then two and three, but the fourth one fell out--so that was the origin of Grace's first scene in the movie, in which she pulls several lost pencils out of her hair.
-The hand that presses the speaker button on Cameron's phone belongs to John Hughes. When the crew left, Hughes took the camera and shot it himself since no one else was getting it right.
-Grace the Secretary pretending to be Ed Rooney during the phone call from Cameron was improvised.
-The idea of a sequel had gone around for years with Ferris in college or on the job somewhere, but the idea was dropped. Matthew Broderick felt that the film didn't need a sequel, that this film was about a specific time and place that we'd all like to revisit and didn't need updating.
-Rooney's line about leaving 'my cheese in the wind' was ad-libbed. John Hughes wanted a comment that was complete nonsense.
-Whenever Mr. Rooney and Ferris have a conversation with each other, only one of them speaks throughout the entire conversation; the other is completely silent.
-Most of the license plates are all abbreviations for titles of films by John Hughes. Katie's = VCTN (National Lampoon's National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)); Jeannie's = TBC (The Breakfast Club (1985)); Tom's = MMOM (Mr. Mom (1983)); Rooney's = 4FBDO (Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)). The exception is Cameron's Ferrari (seen when Ferris first pulls out of the garage), the license plate of which reads NRVOUS.
-After working together on Weird Science (1985), John Hughes offered Bill Paxton the role of the garage attendant. But Paxton turned it down because he felt the role was too small. He admits that he regrets turning it down because Hughes never offered him a role again.
-According to the Inside Story documentary, Charlie Sheen's character's name is actually Garth Volbeck. There was going to be a whole back story to his character and family. It was also revealed that the Volbeck's was the family that Ferris's mom was showing the house for sale as her job as a realtor. If you look closely, the tow truck that towed Rooney's car was from the Volbeck's Wrecking Service.
-Mia Sara beat Molly Ringwald to the role of Sloane Peterson, because according to Hughes she had elegance.
-The painting that Cameron admires is called "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte", by Georges Seurat. It is still on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.
-When Grace says "He's a righteous dude", it was not in the original script. 'Edie McClurg (I)' ad-libbed it in her best Chicago accent.
-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.
-The Parade sequence (Twist and Shout scene) was filmed during the Von Steuben Day Parade. An annual event in the Chicagoland area.
-The line Ferris says in the bathroom at the French restaurant about Cameron's house being very pretty and very cold was originally supposed to be said by Allison in The Breakfast Club (1985) regarding her home life.
-The hall scenes in which you see Jeanie walking down the hall and kid collecting money to save Ferris are the halls from The Breakfast Club (1985).
-When Ferris hacks into the school's computer to change the number of absences he had, it is a subtle reference to a scene in WarGames (1983) when 'Matthew Broderick' hacks into the school's computer to change his grades.
-The movie was named after John Hughes' life long friend Bert Bueller.
-Charlie Sheen was recommended by Jennifer Grey after they did Red Dawn (1984) together.
-The 1961 Ferrari GT250 was a modified MG sports car. The producers received several angry letters from car enthusiasts who believed the car shown was a *real* Ferrari and that it was actually wrecked in the film.
-The movie was named after John Hughes' life long friend Bert Bueller.
-John Hughes refused to release a soundtrack album; he felt the mix of songs was too uneven and didn't flow together, and wouldn't work well as an album.
-The yellow and red insignia on Ferris's beret is that of the 32nd armored regiment; the motto at the bottom [illegible in the film] reads "Victory or Death". This was Elvis Presley's regiment when he was in the army and in "G.I. Blues".
-The dance sequence by the group on the stairs during Ferris's lip-synch performance of Twist and Shout is taken directly out of Michael Jackson's Thriller video.
-John Hughes personally designed Ferris's bedroom, mirrored mostly on his own bedroom when he was in high school. Hughes said that the room was a disorganized series of pop references and other things because it would represent Ferris's mind.
-The first edit of the film had a running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes.
-The outfit Ferris is wearing (hat, sunglasses and trench-coat) when he picks up Sloane from school can be seen on a mannequin in his room behind his door as his parents leave his room at the beginning of the movie to go to work.
-Anthony Michael Hall turned down the role of Cameron to avoid being typecast.
-The short scene with the coughing keyboard was actually improvised by Matthew Broderick. This is explained in the commentary on the DVD.
-Polly Noonan who plays the girl that Rooney sits next to on the bus wore glasses that were specially made by the prop department. The lenses distorted her vision so much that they made her nauseous. Also, the glasses were so heavy that she had to hold her head in a certain position to keep them from falling down.
-The shot of the street looking down from The Sears Tower was done by the 2nd unit crew. The camera person who operated the camera got sick because he had to be held over the side to get the shot.
-Deleted scenes: - Ferris asks his dad on the phone about bonds his father purchased when he was born, he then takes one of them from a shoebox in his father's closet, cashes it at the bank with his girlfriend (telling the hard-of-hearing teller they are pregnant with a jeep), and uses the money to pay for his day off. It was removed because it made Ferris look like a thief rather than a lovable rogue - Ferris orders something in French on the menu, and after everyone at the table tastes it, he is informed by the snooty waiter that he ordered "sweetbreads", which is a French dish made from the thymus gland. It was removed because it showed the waiter getting the better of Ferris, but later in the movie when Ferris is recounting the day to Cameron, he remarks "we ate pancreas".
-There is a poster for Simple Minds song "Don't You Forget About Me" on Ferris' wall. This song was featured prominently in director John Hughes' earlier film The Breakfast Club(1985).
-The bus scene that plays during the ending credits was a scene cut from the movie. It was meant to take place after Jeanie announced that she called the police, and Roonie had to find a place to hide. This explains why the sky isn't dark, and why a bus is taking students home at six o'clock in the evening.
-The scene in which Sloane and Ed Rooney are standing outside, waiting for Mr. Peterson, the school in the background was John Hughes's old high school.
-The song "Danke Schoen" is heard four times in the movie; When Ferris sings it in the shower, when Ed Rooney sings it after ringing the Buellers' doorbell, when Ferris lip syncs the Wayne Newton version during the parade, and when Jeanie sings it while walking down the stairs at the police station.
-The Cubs game depicted in the movie that Ferris and his friends attend was the actual game played versus the Braves on June 5, 1985, based on research by Larry Granillo published in his Wezen-ball column at baseballprospectus.com on February 6, 2011.
-Cameron was based on someone that John Hughes knew in high school.
-A number of key moments in the movie were created in the editing room: Jeannie kicking Roonie three times in the face (when there was in fact only one kick filmed); Ferris and Sloane's kiss in front of Roonie was originally just a brief kiss, but was later edited into the long kiss seen on film.
-The final scene in the garage was shot in early Fall, so each of the leaves on all the trees outside had to be hand-painted green every morning before shooting. In the shot looking up from the wreck at the three friends, the yellow tree with most of its upper leaves gone can be seen reflected in the window.
-The text that appears on the screen when Ferris is explaining how to fake being sick to his parents was added later because John Hughes thought the scene was too flat and not funny enough (according to him in the DVD Commentary).
-When the Ferrari crashed, the fiberglass hood ripped, but branches were put over the rip to make sure the camera didn't record it.
-The French restaurant Bueller crashes is "Chez Quis" which is a pun, as said aloud it would be "Shakeys", the pizza chain. "Chez Qui" means 'the house of whom' in French.
-Although one of the key scenes in the film has Ferris, Sloane and Cameron enjoying a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, John Hughes stated on the DVD commentary that he was not a Cubs fan. -The scene was set there because of its iconic status and due to the Chicago White Sox rarely playing day games in 1985 during production.
-The Ferrari was originally supposed to smash through the window of the garage and land in the backyard. It over-shot its mark though and hit a fence that was dividing the house from the yard next door.
-The two men in the funny hats that can be seen when Ferris and his friends are at The Sears Tower were in town on the day of shooting to watch the German Day parade that Ferris goes to later in the film.
-Ferris wears a different outfit in each scene before he and Cameron go to pick up Sloane.
-Early drafts had the Ferris family having younger siblings. When it came time to edit, the final draft actually has evidence that Ferris in fact does have younger siblings, such as drawings on the fridge and a family photo seen in his dad's office.
-The school nurse who informs Sloane that her grandmother died is named Florence Sparrow, an obvious play on the name of the famous nurse, Florence Nightingale.
-Ferris uses the term 'finski' when referring to what he gave the parking lot attendant. Finski is regional dialect for a five dollar bill.
-During the scene where Rooney fights with the intercom at Ferris' house, there is a shot of the kitchen. On the refrigerator in that shot is a drawing of John Hughes, done by his son who was six at the time.
-The number 9 was chosen for the number of Ferris' absences because it sounded harsh when spoken by Rooney.
-Despite the movie being set during the spring, this movie was really shot during the fall of 1985. There are several scenes in the film where you can see the trees are changing colors.
-John Candy auditioned for the role of Cameron Frye, but producers turned him down fearing he was too old for the part.
-When Ferris picks up Sloan from school, they are standing in front of the entrance to the theater of Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook IL, Hughes' Alma Matter. They then drive the car past the high school's soccer and baseball fields.
-In the scene where Sloane is sitting in the taxi with Ferris and Cameron in the floor, Ferris' dad is in a taxi next to them reading the newspaper. As the scene ends you can see the headline 'Community rallies around sick youth,' however wording in the actual article indicate it is an article about a Chicago policeman killing himself.
-There is a theory that circulates the internet, that Ferris is just a figment of Cameron's mind. The theory states that although Cameron wants to be more adventurous and rebellious, he is afraid to, and so he creates Ferris. Ferris is all the things that Cameron is not. The theory also states that Ferris becomes a creation Cameron uses to finally assert himself against his father's cruelty and more importantly, his own hypercritical conscience.
-Emilio Estevez turned down the role of Cameron.
-Paul Gleason was considered for the role of Ed Rooney. Gleason had previously played the role of an assistant principal in The Breakfast Club (1985).
-A scene that was filmed but never used involved Ferris going on a radio talk show and talking about being the first teenager to go into space. Bits of the scene were in the movie's trailer.
Ben Stein, who plays the economics teacher in this movie, actually graduated from Columbia University in 1966 with honors in economics.
-The voice that Alan Ruck uses to imitate Sloan's father on the phone is an impression of a director that he had worked with on the stage.
-The house used as Cameron's home has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and is 4,000 square feet. Designed in 1953 by A. James Speyer and David Haid.
-Shooting for Ferris Bueller's Day Off began in Chicago just after the Labor Day weekend, on Monday, September 9, 1985. In late October of 1985, the production would move to Los Angeles.
-In an early draft of the script Ferris had two additional younger siblings and Jeanne was to be the middle child.
-The scene in which Ferris is drawing the nude woman on his computer was going to be broadcast onto a jumbotron in Chicago but the scene was later cut.
-The brief scene of the valets driving the car to the Star Wars theme was done in post-production.
-After the girl in the arcade spits her soda on Ed Rooney, a video game sound effect is heard in the background. Appropriately enough, it's the sound effect that denotes when a player has lost a life in the game Pac-Man.
-Mia Sara was a teenager during filming.
-This entire movie takes place in one day with no flashbacks and most of the characters wear the same clothes throughout the whole movie.
-John Hughes personally selected the songs for the film. He wanted them to be somewhat obscure to the typical movie going audience, feeling that he wanted everything about the film to feel new.
-The woman playing the accordion on the parade float was a local woman named Vlasta Krsek. She gained a degree of notoriety from the film even appearing on The Tonight Show Starring -Johnny Carson (1962). On the show she played and sang the song Twist and Shout which was one of the songs from that famous scene.
-Sloane was originally named 'Tandy' in earlier drafts of the script.
-The address of Ferris' house is the address that was on John Hughes' house when he was a kid.
-Cameron is wearing a Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings jersey. Howe was famous for playing professionally until he was in his early 50s, from 1946 until his retirement in 1980.
-According to John Hughes in the DVD Commentary (original DVD release), the voice Cameron uses while talking to Rooney pretending to be Slone's father was modeled after a stage director both Alan Ruck and 'Matthew Broderick' had worked for.
-During the downtown parade scene they pass a theater playing the movie "Godzilla 85".Matthew Broderick would go on to star in the movie Godzilla (1998) in 1998.
-Sloane is named for Sloane Tanen, daughter of then-Paramount head Ned Tanen.
-The baseball game that was depicted in the film at Wrigley Field was filmed at an actual Cubs game and took place on June 5, 1985 between the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs ended up loosing the game 4-2 in 11 innings.
-John Hughes: [Shermer] When Jeannie is in the police station, you see a quick shot of the chest of a police officer including his badge which identifies him as a Police Officer in the town of Shermer.
-The car parked to the left of the Ferrari in the garage is also an MG, in this case an MG J2.
-"The Car" in the movie was a Ferrari 250GT California Spyder, of which 104 were produced. This version of Ferrari's already famous 250 series was designed specifically for the American market, featuring only two seats, a convertible top, and more horsepower than in its standard European trim.
-Tom Skerritt was considered for the role of Ed Rooney.
-Linda Blair, Goldie Hawn, Meg Ryan, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ally Sheedy, Geena Davis, Robin Duke, Carrie Fisher, Melanie Griffith, Mary Gross, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Barbara Hershey, Holly Hunter, Anjelica Huston, Jessica Lange,Kelly LeBrock, Kay Lenz, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine O'Hara, Madonna, Kelly McGillis,Michelle Pfeiffer, Cybill Shepherd, Meg Tilly, Sigourney Weaver, Jodie Foster, Sharon Stone and Debra Winger were all considered for the role of Jeanie Bueller.
-The name of the Detective that Ferris' mother talks to when picking up Jeanie is Stephen Lim (the name can be seen on door when mother exits office.) This is also the name of the First Assistant Director.
-Originally, the Modigliani that Ferris is tinkering with on his computer was wired to a Jumbotron downtown.
-Ferris laments not having his own car, but does at least own a synthesizer which cost $8,000 in 1984. Ferris's sampler/synthesizer is an E-MU Emulator II.
-The passage that Ed Rooney quotes when he is trying to console Sloane ("man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live...") is the "First Anthem" for the Burial of the Dead from the Book of Common Prayer produced by the Anglican church. The anthem is based on Job 14:1-2.
Louie Anderson had a small role as a flower deliveryman in this film. One of the episodes of his 1995 television show, Life with Louie (1995) was titled "Pains, Grains and Allergy Shots," a reference to the John Hughes film Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). Anderson's TV show also featured the voice talents of Edie McClurg, who is notable for appearing in many of Hughes' films, including Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).
-John Hughes can be seen in a tiny cameo in one of the early Chicago downtown montage sequences, climbing literally across traffic, from right to left of screen, wearing a light blue jacket and big 'eighties hairdo' (from DVD director's commentary.)
-Director John Hughes didn't like Ferris' beret when he is driving the Ferrari, but he really liked Cameron's flat cap.
-The detective's name is Steven Lim. The film's first assistant director is also namedStephen Lim.
-Eric Stoltz auditioned for the role of Ferris.'
-Ferris lip-syncs the Beatles' cover of "Twist and Shout". Ferris quotes John Lennon's song "God" ("I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.") Cameron's Detroit Red Wings jersey references Paul McCartney and Wings, as his Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar (which he played on The Beatles' "Yesterday") sported a Detroit Red Wings sticker from the mid-1970s onward.
-The cars who appear in the films are in building modernist minimalism of famous architect Mies van der Rohe.
-The bus scene at the end of the movie where Dean Rooney is picked up was shot in Long Beach, California at Los Cerritos Park.
In the scene where Ed Rooney is at Ferris' house, before he rings the doorbell he is humming the same song that Ferris sings in the shower at the beginning of the movie.
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