Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller) and the Fatal Car Crash of 1987

Matthew Broderick, the actor that played the infamous Ferris Bueller in John Hughes’ 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, was involved in a car crash that claimed two lives.

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While vacationing in Ireland on August 5, 1987, Broderick and his Ferris Bueller’s Day Off co-star and then girlfriend, Jennifer Grey who played Ferris’ sister Jeanie were in a rented BMW when Broderick drove into the wrong lane, colliding with a Volvo, killing two just 80 miles outside of Belfast. Broderick’s car collided head-on with a Volvo driven by Anna Gallagher, 28. She and her mother, Margaret Doherty, 63, were both pronounced dead on arrival at Erne Hospital. Broderick, who was 25 at the time, suffered a fractured leg, fractured ribs, a concussion, and collapsed lung. Grey, who was 27, only suffered severe whiplash and minor cuts and bruises.

Regarding the accident, Broderick had this to say:

“I don’t remember the day. I don’t remember even getting up in the morning. I don’t remember making my bed. What I first remember is waking up in the hospital, with a very strange feeling going on in my leg.”

His leg was badly broken, resulting in him being rushed to the hospital. The paramedics had to tear the car apart in order to administer first aid to Broderick. All Broderick kept asking at the time of the accident was whether or not the people in the other car had been hurt. Broderick could have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which could have ended in a five-year prison sentence, but he was only fined $175, something the family of the diseased was angered by.

Broderick received quite a bit of flack from the Doherty family and others after appearing in a Super Bowl commercial on game day for the 2012 Honda CR-V, intended to replicate him as Ferris Bueller. They suggested he may not be such a suitable driver.

I Love the Smiths

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If you weren’t already into the Smiths or spent your time listening to those sad songs over and over again in your room, the 500 days of Summer brought you out of the twenty first century and threw you right heart break that was the 1980s controlled by the sappy love songs of the Smiths.

The Smiths who were featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off while the three of them visited the art museum have also been featured in numerous other films over the years. One of the most recent coming from the movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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This film in particular focused on “Asleep” which was one of Charlie’s favorite songs off of  Pony Tail Derek’s mixtapes.

Asleep

The Smiths were an English Rock Band formed in Manchester in 1982 and only active for five years when they separated in 1987. Over this brief time together the band put out four albums.

Meat is murder was released in early 1985 and was ranked 295 on Rolling Stones top 500 albums of all time.

The Smiths were also a band who had very influential lyrics. My personal favorite is “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”

Take me out tonight
Where there’s music and there’s people
Who are young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one anymoreTake me out tonight
Because I want to see people
And I want to see life
Driving in your car
Oh please don’t drop me home
Because it’s not my home, it’s their home
And I’m welcome no more

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes in to us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

Take me out tonight
Take me anywhere, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care
And in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
But then a strange fear gripped me
And I just couldn’t ask

Take me out tonight
Oh take me anywhere, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one
No, I haven’t got one

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes in to us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

Oh, there is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out

Even if you do not know the Smiths that well there is no doubt you haven’t herd them and as I mentioned before they are one of those ultimate break up bands.

Is This A Game…Or Is It Real?

Now I understand why Ferris needed to take a day off.

Before he was stealing Ferraris and reservations in Chicago, Matthew Broderick came close to instigating World War Three as teen hacker David Lightman in WarGames (1983). Honestly, the characters start off pretty similar: high school slackers who butt heads with authority figures, and who hack into the school system to make themselves look better. David however does not stop there; he loves his computer (unlike Ferris), and uses it to try to hack into a game company’s system to get information on a revolutionary upcoming game. Instead though, he accidentally stumbles onto a military system and starts a strategy war game with the computer, who is self teaching and who won’t stop playing until the game is over.

Before we are even introduced to David though, a cold open supplies us with exposition that sets up a deeper meaning of the film. We first meet two government employees (one being Michael Madsen in his first film role) who are instructed to deploy missiles, but fail to do so when the commanding officer loses his nerve. Immediately after this incident the department decides to replace the staff with a computer system that would not hesitate to fire the missiles if need be. It is only after this fourteen and a half minute introduction that we meet our hero. After seeing this, and knowing that it was going to backfire, I expected the film to be a commentary about the issues that arise when we rely too heavily on computers.

However, by the film’s end I realized the real message was much greater than that. The computer (WOPR, pronounced Whopper) puts the US military in a frenzy, as they think the game is real and that the Soviets have launched a full scale attack, and then plan to retaliate. World War Three is imminent as David has to try and end the game; the problem being that WOPR doesn’t understand the concept of having a game with no possible winner. Finally (Spoiler Alert) David is able to overload the system, and it lays out every possible war scenario and spits out the same message: Winner – None.

Suddenly the message is much more clear: there are no winners in global thermonuclear war. The message appears time and time again; it is beaten into the audience’s brain. And if that weren’t enough, the computer displays this message saying that “THE ONLY WINNING MOVE IS NOT TO PLAY.” Released at a time when the Cold War was still very prevalent, this anti-war statement turned out to be a huge success.

Still, I had to wonder if the film has a lasting effect. The Cold War has been over over two decades; would it still prove as powerful to today’s generation? Personally, I enjoyed the film, but I don’t know if I would hail it as a great movie. Though, war is still a very real problem in today’s world, so I’d think it could work. With a possible reboot being kicked around Hollywood, we should be able to see first hand how successful WarGames would be in today’s world. It’d surely be an interesting film considering how much technology has grown since 1983, and how the conflicts in the Middle East have become like the modern day Cold War.