‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ is director John Hughes’ classic comedy about rebellion and slacking off. It follows a notorious high school student named Ferris Bueller who ditches a day of school and embarks on an adventure trip with his best friend and girlfriend. What he doesn’t know is they’re being followed by the principal hell-bent on catching them by surprise. Throughout his journey, Ferris is in constant conversation with the audience.
The movie acts as an anthem for standing up to authority, shrugging off the problems of life, and just plainly taking a break. The 1986 movie is filled to the brim with iconic moments and quotes that have been lodged in pop culture. Featuring a bevy of landmarks in the city, it is also a quintessential Chicago movie. Thus, it is natural for many to wonder whether the meta-comedy was also shot in the Windy City. If you are one of them, fret not, for we got your back. Here’s everything you need to know.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Filming Locations
Being set in Chicago, ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ prominently features the city. Thus, you get no points for guessing that the movie was filmed extensively in Chicago and other parts of Illinois. Interestingly, a portion of the filming also took place in California. Principal photography commenced in September 1985 and ended in November of the same year. Let’s go through the specific filming locations in detail!
Hughes described ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ as a tribute to Chicago. Accordingly, many of the city’s landmarks were used as filming sites for the movie. Wrigley Field, located on West Addison Street and the home of the Chicago Cubs, the Art Institute of Chicago on South Michigan Avenue, and Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) are all downtown Chicago landmarks that find prominence in the movie.
Dearborn Street and Adams Street in the Loop area of downtown Chicago were also used for filming a few scenes. Filming in The Loop area was also conducted on West Jackson Boulevard at the Chicago Board of Trade. The other locations in downtown Chicago that served as shooting sites are Chicago Mercantile Exchange and 300 block South Financial Palace, both on Wacker Drive and close to the then Sears Tower.
The scenes set in the exterior of the Chez Quis restaurant were actually shot at 22 West Schiller Street. Moving on to Near North Side, taping was particularly done in the historic district of Gold Coast, while North Side saw filming in the Lake View neighborhood. 1549 South Clark Street is where the famous Ferrari jumping scene was shot.
Hughes partly grew up in Northbrook, a suburb of Chicago, where he attended Glenbrook North High School on Shermer Road. The production team used the school for filming the exterior scenes of Ferris’ school in the movie. Butternut Lane is where the scenes involving Ferris running home near the end of the movie were filmed. While the movie is considered overall a love letter to Chicago, Hughes shooting a few scenes in Northbrook adds a specific personal touch to proceedings.
Other locations in Illinois
The Ben Rose House AKA the Ben Rose Auto Museum on Beach Street in Highland Park doubled as Cameron’s house and the garage where his father’s Ferrari is stored. The modernist residence is also where Cameron trashes the beloved Ferrari of his authoritarian father straight out the glass to the ground.
The office of Katie Bueller is actually the Koenig & Strey Office on Chestnut Street in Winnetka. A portion of the scenes set in the high school were taped at Maine North High School on Harrison Street in Des Plaines. The cast and crew also filmed a few scenes at Glencoe Beach.
Long Beach, California
Bueller ? Bueller ? The house that Ferris Bueller lived in in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is not in Chicago but in Long Beach, CA. pic.twitter.com/HdztX6SP9k
— Wanderlust Heart (@HeartWanderlust) May 31, 2020
While unabashedly about Chicago, Hughes’ movie was also filmed outside of Illinois. The exterior of the Bueller home is 4160 Country Club Drive. The Virginia Country Club House also doubled for the Bueller residence. The final scene of the movie, where principal Rooney is picked up by the school bus, was filmed at Los Cerritos Park. While the school exteriors were filmed around Illinois, the interior scenes were taped at California State University, located on North Bellflower Boulevard.
Los Angeles, California
Following the wrap-up of filming in Chicago, the cast and crew moved to the city of Los Angeles in Southern California to lens a few sequences for ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ The French Restaurant L’Orangerie, located on North La Cienaga Boulevard, doubled up as the interior of the Ches Luiz Restaurant.
The police station shown in the film is actually located at 635 Mateo Street; it is also where a number of other movies, such as ‘The Divergent’ and ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ were shot. Filming also took place in Brentwood and El Camino Real Charter High School on Valley Circle Road in Woodland Hills.
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