Rewatching 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'

"I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind." -- Dean of Students Ed Rooney

In 1965, an outdoor amphitheater was built in Anastasia Island, Florida, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of St. Augustine. The site, which was part of a state park, had been a coquina quarry used centuries earlier to build the city. The amphitheater was open 10 weeks each summer for performances of Florida's official state play, Cross and Sword, which lasted 31 years until the state decided it wasn't worth $27,000 to keep going.

Since that closed, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre has been upgraded into a 4,500 seat outdoor concert venue that occasionally hosts free showings of classic movies. We took the kids last night to see Ferris Bueller's Day Off at the amphitheater, figuring they were now old enough to appreciate the angst-ridden teen comedies of John Hughes.

Ferris holds up pretty well after 23 years and is still funny, particularly the scenes involving Jeffrey Jones as Dean Rooney. I loved the film as a 19-year-old in Hughes' target market, but now that my struggles of adolescence are old enough to have adolescents of their own, I thought the story held up. Hughes was the poet laureate of the 'burbs.

I noticed a few new things this time around. Near the end, Ferris recaps the marvels of their day by telling his friends, "We ate pancreas." This line, which refers to their lunch at the snooty French restaurant, is about a deleted scene, according to IMDB:

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 ...

Also, Ferris complains repeatedly about not owning a car, but he has an expensive music synthesizer in his room he uses to simulate coughing. IMDB states that it's a E-MU Emulator II that cost around $8,000 in 1984. That buys a lot of crappy first cars -- my 1966 Dodge Dart cost me $500.

The crowd loved the movie, applauding the last scenes of Cameron, Sloane and Ferris. They also applauded enthusiastically at the cameo by Charlie Sheen as the teen druggie at the police station. The popularity of Two and a Half Men has turned Sheen from being a former drug- and sex-addicted manwhore to America's most beloved former drug- and sex-addicted manwhore.


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I liked the movie, but I hated Ferris Bueller.

I wanted Dean Rooney to catch and expel him.

I love the movie, and the character Ferris Bueller. Only if real life were that way. Dean Rooney played his role to a tee. This was a totally fun movie to watch and rewatch.

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