After a wildly prolific decade of screenwriting and directing that made him the king of teen comedy, John Hughes receded from the cinematic landscape, his legend preserved by the classic 80s trilogy of . He last directed a movie in 1991—the forgettable —and by the dawn of this century he was no longer sending new screenplays to the studios, though any studio would have been glad to have him.Following Hughes’s sudden death, at age 59, last summer, the author delves into his intense connections and sudden breaks with his Brat Pack actors, as well as the essential anomaly of his brief Hollywood reign. Yet, in his absence, Hughes’s cultural stock only appreciated.Writing was, for Hughes, not so much a profession as a condition of life. His best movies, the teen trilogy in particular, transcended their origins as light 1980s entertainments to become, first, lodestars for such developing talents as Judd Apatow and Wes Anderson, and then, as these pictures proved their durability on TV broadcasts and DVD, outright classics.
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