Uncle Buck (1989)
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Let’s go back to 1989
ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Directed by John Hughes who had a new deal with Universal, filming began on January 4, 1989 in Chicago. The company decided to keep the production facilities and locations as close as possible.
The vacant New Trier High School in Northfield, Illinois was chosen for the production facility. Three of its gyms were converted into sound stages on which several sets were constructed including the two-leveled interior of the Russell House, Buck’s bedroom, a corridor in the elementary school, the boys’ restroom, the principal’s office, a classroom, and several smaller sets. The school was also equipped to suit the needs of the cast and crew behind-the-scenes, classrooms for the young actors, offices, dressing rooms, wardrobe department, editing facilities, a special effects shop, equipment storage areas, and a projection booth.
Production designer John Corso began designing the sets in October 1988 and within seven weeks his construction crew of twelve carpenters and five painters began work on the two levels of the Russell house. A colonial-style house in Evanston was chosen for the exterior of the Russell house. The exteriors and practical locations were shot in Chicago, Cicero, Skokie, Northbrook, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, and Riverwoods.
Danny DeVito was first offered to play Buck Russell but turned it down. They also offered the role to Tom Cruise but he declined. This was Jean Louisa Kelly’s first feature film.
CBS took a crack at turning it into a TV show starring Kevin Meaney as Buck back in 1990. The storyline was depressing: Bob and Cindy die in a car accident, Buck was named guardian of Tia, Miles, and Maizy. It was a miserable idea, terrible execution and a put out of its misery after a few episodes.
In June 2016 ABC premiered a second television adaptation featuring an African-American cast with Mike Epps in the title role, James Lesure as his brother, and Nia Long as Buck’s sister-in-law. God works in mysterious ways as he took this mess off the air almost as first as the last failed attempt.
Future stars in the movie included Laurie Metcalf, Mike Starr, Amy Madigan.
Not too shabby of a return either for this classic. The movie was budgeted at around 15 million dollars and did almost 80 million dollars at the box office.