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Hughes for the Holidays: The Seasonal Trips of John Hughes

on November 17, 2015, 12:00am

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.

–Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Film Editor