Heart of the North Shore: A tour of the North Shore on film
Alan Ruck and Mathew Broderick (right) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Credit Paramount Home Entertainment
Updated: March 7, 2013 11:48AM
I must drive by Glenbrook North High School at least five times a week, and every single time I pass by, I can’t help but picture Judd Nelson walking across the football field as he puts a diamond stud earring in his ear. I get a surge of excitement, inspiration and a warm sense of romance as I recall the scene from the John Hughes classic, “The Breakfast Club,” filmed five minutes from my house.
There are many wonderful movies with scenes that took place in spots all over the North Shore. Here’s a list of five great movies, all with at least a few scenes in the 847 area code.
1. “Derailed” (2005): This was a sleeper hit with a huge twist that had my jaw on the ground. The story of two married business executives (Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston) whose love affair turns into a violent game with a criminal, “Derailed” was filmed mostly in Chicago, but the main character lived on Chestnut Street in Wilmette, and there are several shots of the Wilmette train station throughout the movie.
2. “Sixteen Candles” (1984) : I don’t care how old I get, I still love this cute, heartwarming tale of a girl whose 16th birthday couldn’t be going worse. Here’s some trivia — Samantha’s family lived on Payne Street in Evanston, the party at Jake’s house was on Waverly Street in Highland Park, and the church where Jake waits for Samantha after her sister’s wedding is the Glencoe Union Church in Glencoe.
3. “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997): There’s a hilarious scene in this adorable romantic comedy where the bride-to-be is upset and runs off. Her husband-to-be is chasing after her, and the woman who loves the husband-to-be is chasing after him. This is all going on the morning of the wedding. Guess where the scene takes place? The Cuneo Mansion and Gardens in Vernon Hills.
4. “Class” (1983): I have always loved this movie! Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy play best friends and college roommates at an elite prep school (which was filmed at Lake Forest College). McCarthy meets a gorgeous, older woman (Jacqueline Bisset) and starts having an affair with her. When he meets his roommate’s family, he realizes the woman is his roommate’s mom. And when the boys go to buy alcohol with a fake I.D., they go to The Liquor Store in Highwood.
5. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986): OK, so it’s John Hughes again. I couldn’t leave this classic off the list. I could watch this one over and over again: the high-school comedy about a kid, his girlfriend and his best friend who have the time of their lives when they skip school and spend a fun-filled day in Chicago. Cameron’s house was on Beech Street in Highland Park, Ferris’ mom’s office was on Chestnut in Winnetka, Ferris picked up Sloane at Glenbrook North, and the “Save Ferris” water tower was behind the Northbrook Public Library.
Each of these movies offers something different. But the producers of all these films liked our North Shore enough to make it part of their project. I’m not surprised.