Movies You Missed: 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'

Aug 12, 2017
Originally published on August 14, 2017 2:21 am
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

They're classics.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "CASABLANCA")

HUMPHREY BOGART: (As Rick Blaine) Here's looking at you, kid.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GONE WITH THE WIND")

CLARK GABLE: (As Rhett Butler) Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ON THE WATERFRONT")

MARLON BRANDO: (As Terry Malloy) I could've been a contender.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ALL ABOUT EVE")

BETTE DAVIS: (As Margo) Fasten your seat belts.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JERRY MAGUIRE")

CUBA GOODING JR: (As Rod Tidwell) Show me the money.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TAXI DRIVER")

ROBERT DE NIRO: (As Travis Bickle) You talking to me?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "WHEN HARRY MET SALLY")

ESTELLE REINER: (As Older Woman Customer) I'll have what she's having.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE COLOR PURPLE")

OPRAH WINFREY: (As Sofia) I ain't never thought I'd have to fight in my own house.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE LION KING")

JEREMY IRONS: (As Scar) Long live the king.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE SHINING")

JACK NICHOLSON: (As Jack Torrance) Here's Johnny.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STAR WARS: EPISODE V - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

DAVID PROWSE: (As Darth Vader) I am your father.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE WIZARD OF OZ")

MARGARET HAMILTON: (As The Wicked Witch of the West) I'll get you, my pretty.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS")

ANDY SERKIS: (As Gollum) Precious.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE DARK KNIGHT")

HEATH LEDGER: (As Joker) Why so serious?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY")

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: (As The Terminator) Hasta la vista, baby.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE GODFATHER")

RICHARD S CASTELLANO: (As Clemenza) Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

SIMON: But what happens when these movies are so much a part of our culture that you don't, you know, ever really get around to seeing them? Friends make fun of you. Endings are spoiled. You know that you don't put baby in a corner. But, I mean, why?

In today's installment of Movies You Missed, we're joined by Rachael Copeland. She's 25 years old and works for NASA. And she has never seen one of the greatest coming-of-age films of all time - John Hughes' "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Rachael Copeland joins us from the studios of KUHF in Houston. Thanks so much for being with us.

RACHAEL COPELAND: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: You've seen the movie for us. Thank you very much. How would you summarize what this film is about?

COPELAND: All I knew about the movie before seeing it was that this kid plays hooky and that a car was driven through a glass window. That's all I knew.

SIMON: Well, those are two important plot points. Maybe we should explain. Ferris feigns illness to essentially take the day off from school with his best friend Cameron and his girlfriend. And they go into Chicago's Loop and have just a fabulous time and get back just in time. Spoiler alert - go ahead.

COPELAND: So really, I see it in two different ways. One was it being very grandiose, right? He has all the things figured out for how to be just sick enough for his parents to leave him alone but not so sick that they take him to the doctor.

SIMON: You mean Ferris?

COPELAND: Yes, Ferris. The other part of the movie which really stuck with me was when Cameron, who is Ferris's best friend, kind of realizes that his parents aren't quite all that he thought they were. I think that's really the coming-of-age part of this story is when he realizes that his father is very unloving and abrasive. And to me, the story is more about Ferris helping Cameron move past that and accept that he has his own identity.

SIMON: John Hughes, we'll note - little bit of history - wrote the screenplay in 10 days, said it was - it was a love letter to to his city, Chicago. Ferris's biggest line...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF")

MATTHEW BRODERICK: (As Ferris Bueller) Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

SIMON: Did you go, oh?

COPELAND: I do. I think - I'm 25. So I'm, you know, getting out of the college phase and moving towards my 30s. So I think when I watch the movie, I had the thought in my mind like, what does it feel like to just take off work one day, play hooky, call in sick? And now I'm doing this publicly so my boss would know. But I think there are so many more consequences when you play hooky as an adult, but the urge to do so never goes away. Even driving here to the studio, I saw an airplane fly over and I thought, oh, how cool would it be to just hop on a plane going anywhere and just spend a day in Chicago or New York City?

SIMON: Yeah, you're right. You know what line from "Ferris Bueller" I've been thinking about in recent days? Ferris says at one point, isms are not good. A person should not believe in isms.

COPELAND: I really like that. I think, especially today, there's a lot that we can do to just kind of step back from culture. As a millennial, especially, we get so inundated with social media and news. And sometimes it's good to step back and say - maybe question the isms sometimes.

SIMON: We've been asking listeners to take a look at a classic movie they've missed and tweet us their 140 character reviews. What's your tweet review of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"?

COPELAND: "Ferris Bueller" is a film about coming of age that really supersedes generational lines.

SIMON: Rachael Copeland is a contract specialist at NASA. And she lives in Houston. And she's just reviewed a movie for National Public Radio. Thanks so much.

COPELAND: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE ENGLISH BEAT'S, "MARCH OF THE SWIVEL HEADS (EXTENDED)") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.