The Real Places Where John Hughes’ Movies Were Shot


Anyone familiar with the filmography of the late John Hughes has heard and seen quite a bit of Shermer, Illinois, the North Shore suburb of Chicago where many of his films were set. However, as Jay and Silent Bob found out in Kevin Smith’s Dogma, Shermer isn’t a real place at all — it was a fictional suburb created entirely by the filmmaker. “The whole notion of Shermer came out of that heterogeneous kind of society, very extreme,” Hughes explained in a 1999 interview. “I mean, at one point I went from a school with 1100 students to one with thirty. I remember this one kid, an eighth-grader, who had his teeth rotted out. Eighth grade. It was like Deliverance. But then at the same time, you’d have the richest kid in town in your school as well, so even in this tiny setup, you had both ends of the economic spectrum, real extremes. I’ve always wanted to write a history of Shermer, because it’d be kind of the history of postwar America. Haven’t got around to it yet, though.”

Unfortunately, he never did. But Shermer has remained a point of fascination for Hughes fans and ’80s kids, and recently, film critic and Hughes enthusiast Brian Orndorf took a pilgrimage to the Chicago area to seek out the sights and sounds of Shermer. He’s posted photos of the locations from several Hughes films, as they are today, on his blog (along with stills of comparable shots from the film). After the jump, we’ve collected a few of our favorites; check out all of them here.

Cameron’s house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The lakeside park where Cameron goes comatose in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (aka Glencoe Beach)

Shermer High School from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (aka Glenbrook North High School)

Shermer High School from The Breakfast Club (aka Old Maine North High School)

The Shermer High School parking lot in The Breakfast Club (aka Old Maine North High School)

The Shermer High School football field in The Breakfast Club (aka Glenbrook North High School)

The church where Samantha’s sister gets married in Sixteen Candles (aka Glencoe Union Church)

The park where Jake was waiting for Sam in Sixteen Candles

Tia’s high school from Uncle Buck (aka New Trier West High School)

The McCallister’s house from Home Alone