Monday, June 17, 2013

Uncle Buck (1989)

He's a good-natured bachelor who smokes cigars, bowls in tournaments, and happens to be a slob.  He's also the last choice to look after his brother's rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister when a family emergency arises and calls for their parents to have to leave unexpectedly.  Is he up to the challenge?  With some luck, perhaps.

"Uncle Buck" wasn't your typical babysitter-for-the-family type of film.  Uncle Buck was a family member that nobody really wanted around.  The kids themselves barely knew him.  But because of a family emergency, he was called upon to look after the kids whilst the parents were away.  His methods were different, he was quirky, his cooking skills were questionable, and his ability to handle the laundry was, well... rather lacking.  And this brought about some comedy.  But what brought about heart-felt moments in the special way that John Hughes could deliver was that of loyalty regardless of the matters at hand.

Written, produced and directed by John Hughes, "Uncle Buck" made its premiere on August 16, 1989 and went on to earn over $66.7 million at the box office.  It would be the second-to-last film he'd direct ("Curly Sue" being his last in 1991).

The cast included John Candy (Uncle Buck Russell), Jean Louisa Kelly (Tia Russell), and Amy Madigan (Chanice Kobolowski).  "Uncle Buck" also co-starred Laurie Metcalf (Marcie Dahlgren-Frost), Gaby Hoffman (Maizy Russell), and Macauley Culkin (Miles Russell).  Oh, and let's not forget about Jay Underwood (Tia's boyfriend, Bug).

Roger Ebert once said of the film: "The movie is filled with good intentions and good feelings."  Here's a few bits of trivia you might appreciate knowing...

1.  Danny DeVito was considered for the role of Uncle Buck. 

2.  The movie was originally intended to be shot in the St. Louis area rather than John Hughes traditional Chicago. Filming was about to begin when the decision was made to move the shoot to Chicago (the reason being that the film was set in winter and the winter of 1988 was unseasonably warm in St. Louis, leading to the change).

3.  The noise that Buck's car makes when it backfires is that of a gun shot and a firecracker.

4.  Buck's car (which he called "The Beast") was a 1975-78 Mercury Marquis coupe.

5.  Almost every set was built in a local high school gymnasium, including the two-story Russell house.

6.  During Miles' interrogation of Uncle Buck (22:36 to 23:01), John Candy wrote out the script's dialog and wore it atop his head so Macauley Culkin could read the lines more quickly and keep the pace of the scene very fast. (Note that this would be the take of the scene when the camera was set for close-ups of Miles.)

7.  When Buck goes to the party to find Tia he hears the Rap music playing and jokingly says "Who's That? The Grass Roots?" The Grass Roots were a popular band in the late 1960's that had a string of hits including "Lets Live For Today", "Midnight Confessions" and "Temptation Eyes" among others.

8.  One night during filming John Candy went to a bar with Tarquin Gotch (the uncredited music supervisor for the film) and spent most of the night there meeting people. The next day John Hughes heard a caller on a radio talk show describe his evening with Candy. Hughes was upset with Candy and despite Candy's assertion that Buck was supposed to appear disheveled, Hughes canceled his scenes for the day and told him to get himself together and get some sleep.

9.  This was Macauley Culkin's third feature film and Gaby Hoffman's second (she played the daughter of Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan in "Field of Dreams" -- this means this is the second pairing of Amy Madigan and Gaby Hoffman in a film together).

10.  "Uncle Buck" was the film premiere and very first acting experience for film or television for actress, Jean Louisa Kelly who played "Tia."  She furthered her career being in various films including "Mr. Holland's Opus" and television shows such as "Law & Order," "Mad About You," "Ally McBeal," "Yes, Dear," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Ghost Whisperer."

11.  The guy who plays "Pooter-the-Clown"... behind the make-up, that's actor Mike Starr.  He's been in Hollywood productions since 1978.  You might recognize him as being in films such as "Good Fellas," "Radio Days," and, of course, the bird-hating tough guy in "Dumb and Dumber."

And now you know.

Full of humor and touching moments, "Uncle Buck" is rated PG and sure to make you and your kids either smile, or laugh, or both.  It's also guaranteed to touch the heart and make one think: Don't always put off a relative just because he or she is different.  That relative may be capable of doing more good things and being a surprise blessing to the family than you think.

Enjoy these picture stills from the film...

Buck: [into the phone] Hey, Bobby we should really get together sometime. I haven't been over at the new house since you moved. By the way, I want to apologize for last year at your old house... about those bushes. I had no idea they all would catch on fire like that. You were right. I should never have put the barbeque grill that close.

No comments:

Post a Comment