Why John Hughes left Hollywood

One of the endearing mysteries as to why John Hughes never directed a movie after Curly Sue in 1991 was always inexplicably tied to that movie’s poor performance. 

But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as this tribute — which is making the rounds immensely today — illustrates, Hughes loved writing, but he didn’t love Hollywood or the business of it.  Which is why he wrote like 20 or so produced screenplays in during the last two decades, but dropped out of the limelight completely. 

“He was terrified of the impact it was having on his sons; he was scared it was going to cause them to lose perspective on what was important and what happiness meant,” writes Alison Byrne, who corresponded with Hughes over a period of several years.  “And he told me a sad story about how, a big reason behind his decision to give it all up was that “they” (Hollywood) had “killed” his friend, John Candy, by greedily working him too hard.”

For some reason, even though I’m saddened by the passing of John Hughes, it’s comforting to know he found happiness on his own terms, eschewing the very thing that made him rich but unhappy.

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