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Look back at the classic '80s director's most memorable works

Shaun Harrison
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1 of 11 Warner Bros./The Kobal Collection

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) takes his family for a cross-country road trip to visit Walley World theme park. Unfortunately, things don't go exactly as planned as they get hit with one bout of bad luck after another on the way in this comedy written by Hughes.
2 of 11 Universal/Everett Collection

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Nobody remembers Samantha (Molly Ringwald) is about to turn 16, while her older sister is about to be married. Her life is dominated by her love for Jake (Michael Schoeffling), the high school heartthrob, and she is followed around by the nerdy Ted (Anthony Michael Hall). Simultaneously, Samantha has to be kind and caring to Long Duk Dong (Gedde Watanabe), a loony but sweet Japanese exchange student staying at her home. Hall and Ringwald became part of the Hollywood "Brat Pack" with this film, and Hughes emerged as a hot director.
3 of 11 Universal/The Kobal Collection

Weird Science (1985)

Written and directed by Hughes, this film follows Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan M. Mitchell-Smith), two geeky high school freshmen who devise an elaborate computer program to transform an ordinary Barbie doll into Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) a living, breathing dream. Her magic empowers them to fight for social status and against local bullies Ian (Robert Downey Jr.) and Max (Robert Rusler).
4 of 11 Universal/The Kobal Collection

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Hughes' follow-up to Sixteen Candles was perhaps his most iconic film. Five high school stereotypes — the jock (Emilio Estevez), the popular girl (Molly Ringwald), the bad seed (Judd Nelson), the dork (Anthony Michael Hall) and the off-beat girl (Ally Sheedy) — find common ground after spending their Saturday stuck in detention.
5 of 11 Paramount/The Kobal Collection

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Returning to the high school well, Hughes wrote and produced this look at teenage love and social cliques. Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) is a poor girl who has a crush on rich-kid Blane McDonough (Andrew McCarthy), and both students get flak for pursuing the relationship. Jon Cryer also stars as Ringwald's friend, Duckie.
6 of 11 The Kobal Collection

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

One of the most memorable films written and directed by Hughes, Ferris Bueller stars Matthew Broderick as a high school senior who plays a brilliant game of hooky to enjoy the beautiful day in downtown Chicago while accompanied by his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and best bud Cameron (Alan Ruck). But the Dean of Students Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) has made it his mission to catch the boy in the act.
7 of 11 Paramount/The Kobal Collection

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Written and directed by Hughes, this film follows Neal Page (Steve Martin) as he struggles to get home for Thanksgiving after his fight is canceled. Along for the ride is annoying blabbermouth Del Griffith (John Candy). Hughes and Candy would later team up for The Great Outdoors and Uncle Buck.
8 of 11 Everett Collection

She's Having a Baby (1988)

Written and directed by Hughes, this rom-com follows the lives of newlyweds Jake (Kevin Bacon) and Kristy (Elizabeth McGovern). The two try to cope with married life and expectations from their parents. While Jake struggles with his new life in the mundane suburbs, Kristy gets preggers and everything starts to change.
9 of 11 20th Century Fox/The Kobal Collection

Home Alone (1990)

Scripted by Hughes, this classic blockbuster made a star out of 10-year-old Macaulay Culkin, who played crafty Kevin McCallister, the 8-year-old who stops a break-in at his home after getting accidentally abandoned by his family during Christmastime. Hughes also penned the follow-up Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Home Alone 3, which featured an entirely new cast.
10 of 11 Everett Collection

Beethoven (1992)

A disaster-prone St. Bernard, named after the German composer of course, is adopted by the Newton family after escaping from thieves in this Hughes-penned family comedy (under the pseudonym Edmond Dantès). But it's not all fun and games — the local veterinarian has it out for our beloved pup. The film spawned five sequels, none of which were written by Hughes, however.
11 of 11 Walt Disney/The Kobal Collection

101 Dalmatians (1996)

Hughes traded a St. Bernard for Dalmatians when he wrote this live-action remake of the 1961 animated Disney film. Glenn Close starred as the devilish Cruella de Vil, alongside Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson, but it's safe to say the real stars were the dogs themselves. Yes, real Dalmatians portrayed the 101 dogs.