Study Guide

Sixteen Candles Director

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John Hughes

John of All Trades

If we were to rank John Hughes on a list of writer/directors, we would put him somewhere below Wes Anderson and above that dude who wrote The Room. Yes, we know that's a huge spread. We don't want to start any Tumblr beef with die-hard Hughes fans.

(To be fair, though, John Hughes is known as a better screenwriter than director, so check out our screenwriter section for more of our study in all things Hughes.)

Although John Hughes was a prolific screenwriter, he only directed eight of his films. Sixteen Candles was his debut, and he allowed his muse, Molly Ringwald, and other teen actors to improvise some of their lines on the set.

According to Anthony Michael Hall, the Geek,

"He would always encourage you to come up with some stuff and make it even funnier if you could." (Source)

What sets Hughes apart as a director is his skill at selecting music to set the mood. Almost forty years later, people still talk about his soundtracks. In fact, British band English Beat tweeted (all the way in 2016) about how grateful they were to be included in multiple John Hughes films. (Source)

John Hughes: he's got the beat.

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