CHICAGO – It was an iconic scene in one of the most popular teen comedies of the 1980s, and it took place in the heart of the “Windy City.”
In the fall of 1985, John Hughes brought the production of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” to Chicago. Set inside and outside of the city, the film focuses on high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), who fakes an illness to get out of school and spend the day in Chicago with his girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) and best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck).
Along the way, the trio had a number of adventures at different landmarks in the city.
That included the trio crashing a parade downtown, with Ferris trying to find a way to cheer up Cameron, who wasn’t nearly as enthused about the day as he was. Gerris finds a way to jump on a float, then proceeded to lip sync “Danke Schoen” and “Twist and Shout” to get everyone fired up.
People around the float get in the spirit as they start dancing around while signing the songs themselves. The sequence is considered by some to be the most memorable part of the film.
As this sequence was being put on film, WGN News was there with cameras rolling.
On September 28, 1985, during Chicago’s Von Steuben Day Parade on Dearborn Street, we captured the crew filming some of the scenes that would eventually be used in the movie, which was released in theatres on June 11, 1986.
As part of their work to pay tribute to the 75th anniversary of WGN television, reporter Mike Lowe and photojournalist Kevin Doellman dug into the archives to find the footage of the filming on September 28, 1985 in Chicago.
You can watch that in the video above.