Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where are they now? Shermer, Illinois

Last week’s “Where are they now?” Walley World post was so popular and we got so many e-mails we are showcasing another Griswold location!

This week we are profiling the Griswold’s home and John Hughes’s fictional town of Shermer, Illinois!

John Hughes fans already know that his films, including the Vacation films are set in the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois a suburb of the Chicago metropolitan area.

The original Griswold House used in National Lampoon’s Vacation was filmed in Chicago, where as, the other Griswold houses used in European, Christmas and Vegas were all filmed on the Warner Brother’s backlot.  As a reference to the Griswold’s home state Chevy Chase wears a black Chicago Bears hat in all four Vacation films.

Shermer, Illinois is home to not only the Griswold’s but the Bueller’s (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), the Baker’s (Sixteen Candles) the gang from the Breakfast Club and many more!  Shermer is said to be based on the hometown of John Hughes, Northbrook, Illinois which was originally named Shermerville.  John Hughes’ high school, Glenbrook North High School and some surrounding High Schools were often used as the high schools in his films including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Shermer also borrows the real life Northbrook zip code 60062

The Breakfast Clubs school interiors and football field were filmed at Hughes High School, Glenbrook North High School which in real life is located on Shermer Rd. in Northbrook Illinois.  The exteriors of the school and Library were filmed at Maine North High School Located in Des Plaines, IllinoisMaine North High SchoolGlenbrook North High SchoolNew Trier High School (West Campus), and Niles East High School have all been filmed as Shermer High School.

An ongoing theme in Hughes depiction of Shermer is the contrast of its resident’s wealth.  Films like The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Career Opportunities and Some Kind Of Wonderful all show rich and poor kids living and attending the same schools, something which Hughes has spoken about when talking about his own experiences growing up in Northbrook, Illinois.

With the death of John Hughes the days of Shermer are gone but are far from forgotten.  With films like Dogma where two characters “Jay and Silent Bob” travel to Illinois looking for Shermer only to find that it is fictional town and shows like NBC’s Community making almost weekly references to the Hughes films and it’s Shermer residents it looks like the dream of Shermer lives on.

Check out these links for more on Shermer:
The official Northbrook Website: http://www.northbrook.il.us/
Pictures from then and now: http://home.xnet.com/~madman/index.html
A complete list of John Hughes films: http://www.riverblue.com/hughes/films.html

Griswold house: thanks to Braden
Ferris and sixteen pictures from: http://home.xnet.com/~madman/index.html

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