I saw Blues Brothers (1980) for the first time last night and I couldn't help but see many parallels between it and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).

Both plots feature an adventure in the city of Chicago. There are some similar scenes such as the scene at the French restaurant and over-the-top musical numbers. The two movies had a very similar feel in many places and I can't help but compare them.

Were the creators of Ferris Bueller's Day Off inspired by Blues Brothers? Were specific parallels drawn intentionally?

  • I only watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off one time some time ago (while waching the Blues Brothers occasionally) and it didn't occur to me, interresting question, though. I guess it's just the slightly chaotic adventure/odyssey feel, mixed with impressions from Chicago.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Apr 25, 2012 at 22:45
  • There is no doubt that Hughes stole a bunch from.Landis' Blues Brothers. But as the saying goes "Good artists borrow. Great artists steal."
    – user8596
    Mar 16, 2014 at 19:05
  • In that The Blues Brothers was a monumental film, one could argue plenty of directors were influenced by it.
    – DA.
    Jul 6, 2015 at 16:20

3 Answers 3


I don't believe it was.

Wikipedia says this about the location of the movie:

"Chicago is what I am," said Hughes. "A lot of Ferris is sort of my love letter to the city. And the more people who get upset with the fact that I film there, the more I'll make sure that's exactly where I film. It's funny—nobody ever says anything to Woody Allen about always filming in New York. America has this great reverence for New York. I look at it as this decaying horror pit. So let the people in Chicago enjoy Ferris Bueller."

So there doesn't' seem to be any indication that the location was inspired by Blues Brothers, but rather it was Hughes' fascination with the city that inspired him to shoot there.

I think they just happened to have some similar characteristics.

  • Going by this answer, The Blues Brothers is a love letter to Chicago as well: "'Chicago is one of the stars of the movie. We wrote it as a tribute,' Dan Aykroyd told the Chicago Sun-Times in an article written to mark the film's 25th-anniversary DVD release."
    – SQB
    Feb 9, 2023 at 13:54

I'm from Chicago and love both movies and prolly watch both of them at least once a year. I think it def pays homage but also because Hughes loves Chicago and Blues Brothers IS Chicago. Check out this link of when Cam freaks out about the car's mileage. There is a quick shot of the statues when Elwood has the mini funeral for the Dodge in Blues Brothers. They are very similar.


The restaurant scene is extremely similar in both moves. The parade scene in Ferris brings to thought the dancing scene in Blues Brothers, especially the song and the dancing group. Watch them closely, they mimic the Blues Brothers movie on every level, including the church dancing number where they flip in the air. I'd say it was an homage.

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