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Highland Park was backdrop for iconic 1980s movies, from ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ to ‘Home Alone’

July 5, 2022 Updated Tue., July 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m.

The original house used in the "Home Alone" movies is decorated to reflect film scenes, on Nov. 8, 2021, in Winnetka, Illinois. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS)  (Erin Hooley/TNS)
The original house used in the "Home Alone" movies is decorated to reflect film scenes, on Nov. 8, 2021, in Winnetka, Illinois. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS) (Erin Hooley/TNS)
By Theresa Braine New York Daily News

Before Monday’s mass shooting, affluent Highland Park, Illinois, had another claim to fame – as the film set for several iconic 1980s movies.

One was “The Color of Money,” starring Paul Newman, Tom Cruise and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, in which Fast Eddie Felson teaches pool hustling to a mentee.

The tony neighborhood also formed the backdrop for family tension in “Ordinary People,” the 1980 drama starring Robert Redford, Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton, about a family being ripped apart after the death of a son.

There was also the 1992 “Prelude to a Kiss,” a rom-com with Meg Ryan, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Bates and Ned Beatty.

Classic holiday movie “Home Alone” was also filmed there, as was John Hughes’ cult favorite “Sixteen Candles.”

The Chicago suburb, population 30,176, also played roles in “Risky Business” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Many of the films were directed by Hughes, who favored Glencoe Beach (“Ferris Bueller”), used an outside shot of Glencoe Union Church at the end of “Sixteen Candles,” a corner store that Macaulay Culkin’s “Home Alone” character shoplifts a toothbrush from, and Northbrook Court mall, which made a cameo in “Weird Science,” according to Visit Chicago North Shore.

“It’s a place of movie magic and one of the 100 wealthiest cities in America,” tweeted Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper at the end of the day in which seven people died and dozens were wounded by a shooter who let loose into a parade in yet another gun massacre. “No place is safe. No place,” Roeper said.

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