Stein should shush on Hughes’ politics

Stein should shush on Hughes’ politics

Ben Stein – he of “Bueller, Bueller” infamy, is speaking out about the late director John Hughes’ politics.

Turns out the man behind “Sixteen Candles” and “Pretty in Pink” was a conservative.

Or so Stein says.

WWTW isn’t about to challenge that fact. Stein knew him better than I did, and it seems odd that he would make up such a position.

But why divulge that information now?

It’s crystal clear Hughes was a deeply private man, someone who granted no interviews after leaving Hollywood and pursued a life outside the La-La-Land bubble.

So why should Stein out his political beliefs now? If Hughes wanted to make said beliefs known, he would have inserted some conservative messages in his movies, or perhaps shared his thoughts to the press.

He did neither, and while conservatives might take comfort in the fact that the king of ’80s teen comedy leaned right, in respect to Hughes’ memory it’s best to leave that part of his life private.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

James FrazierNo Gravatar August 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Unless Hughes would have preferred the knowledge to remain secret, I don’t see anything wrong with it if that’s a big part of the way Stein thought of him. If true, it offers an interesting contradiction to the notion that conservatives are all unplugged from the youth culture.

What was your favorite Hughes flick?

JohnFNWayneNo Gravatar August 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm

If true, it offers an interesting contradiction to the notion that conservatives are all unplugged from the youth culture.

It not just contradicts that notion, it blows it out of the water. I argue to find anyone on the left or right since the 60s that connected as well with the teenage audience as John Hughes with the same longevity.

Should be noted that Hughes was fermented at the Lampoon alongside P.J. O’Rourke, who became his own pop culture legend at Rolling Stone. A lesson to conservatives – be funny, it’s the new, or rather the old, subversive.

That said, while it’s much better than hearing he was secretly filming YouTube movies for Hugo Chavez, knowing he was a conservative did little to change my impression of him, whether positively or negatively. I think his work speaks for itself. Maybe it helps explain where he was coming from in his films. No modern Hollywood A-lister has ever showed love or the connection for the Midwest middle class like Hughes. The genre died once he disappeared.

cftotoNo Gravatar August 9, 2009 at 1:34 am

Fave Hughes film? Ferris. No question. Watched it anew recently and was floored by its ingenuity.

Overall, I think people should respect the wishes of those who just passed. I don’t care about Michael Jackson, but I know it was important to him to keep his kids’ images out of the papers. Once he died, all you saw were pics of his kids. Made me sad.

anneNo Gravatar August 10, 2009 at 3:27 am

Have read much this week that leaves John Hughes’ politics in little doubt.

Also, a scene from Ferris that didn’t make it to the big screen:

My uncle went to Canada to protest
the war, right? On the Fourth of
July he was down with my aunt and he
got drunk and told my Dad he felt
guilty he didn’t fight in Viet Nam.
So I said, “What’s the deal, Uncle
Jeff? In wartime you want to be a
pacifist and in peacetime you want
to be a soldier. It took you twenty
years to find out you don’t believe
in anything?”
(snaps his fingers)
Grounded. Just like that. Two weeks.
Be careful when you deal with old
hippies. They can be real touchy.

opusNo Gravatar August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am

On the one hand I agree that his politics really shouldn’t be on the table as his films weren’t political. But the conservative side of me would love to have it promoted lound and proud and everywhere, (assuming it’s true), that Hughes was a staunch conservative, if for no other reason than to see if during the next Oscar telecast see if

A: His picture is shown when they honor people who have died
B: Would his picture be greeted with applause or silence like Heston

cftotoNo Gravatar August 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Was Heston greeted with silence during the Oscar flash card tribute? I must have blocked that out of my mind so I can keep respecting Hollywood actors to a certain degree. Shameful.

opusNo Gravatar August 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Although this post is a few days old I came across something about Hughes that I think deserves a new post of it’s own.

This woman wrote to John Hughes when she was a teenager and they became pen pals. Years later she contacted him again and he told her the reason he left Hollywood. His letters to the woman shows what a nice man he really was. I hope you’ll give your thoughts on it.

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