A Brief History is a recurring feature that offers a crash course on some sliver of music or film history. Today, our staff revisit the many films of John Hughes that sent us home for the holidays.
It’s now been a proper quarter-century since Home Alone turned the nightmare scenario of an abandoned child accosted by sinister thieving types into a heartwarming and off-kilter Christmas staple. One of the better reflections of writer John Hughes’ comic sensibilities, the film turned Macaulay Culkin into a superstar and a house full of Rube Goldberg death traps into so many children’s fanciful daydreams. It, along with fellow Hughes creation National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, ushered in a new era of less reverent, less Rockwellian visions of what the holiday season can and should be.
They’re also distinctly locational films, Hughes’ numerous holiday-minded productions. And with the anniversary here, and the holidays more or less upon us (if the overzealous local Target is any indication), we decided to take a quick road trip through some of the local, fake-local, and farther-flung locations traveled to, from, and through in just a few of the filmmaker’s classic movies for the colder, more festive time of year. Come along, and remember, keep your calm when you’re talking to the rental car guy.