Ferris Bueller Cubs Game Mystery Definitively Solved!

Earlier today, I wrote this post in response to Larry Granillo's Baseball Prospectus post in which he posited that Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck and Mia Sara were at Wrigley Field on June 5, 1985, attending a game between the Cubs and Braves as part of the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". I wrote that while that was clearly the game shown on a TV in a pizza place, the actors could not have been there that day because the film did not begin Chicago shooting until September 1985.

The mystery has been definitively solved. I received an email from Ken Collins, who was the second assistant director on "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", and he confirms that the shoot was done during an actual game, on Sept. 24, 1985, between the Cubs and Montreal Expos -- a memorable game in recent Cubs history, because the Expos had a 12-run inning (an inning in which future Cub Andre Dawson hit two home runs; Andre drove in eight for the game) and nearly blew a 15-2 lead before defeating the Cubs 17-15.

In any case, after the jump, Ken Collins explains all.

Here is the full story as told to me in an e-mail from Ken Collins:

I was the second assistant director on the movie. That's me sitting in front of Ferris and Cameron wearing Raybans and a Cub cap. I put myself into the scene as an extra. Being an L.A. guy, I had wanted to wear a Dodger cap but John Hughes said no way! We started our shooting in Chicago on September 9, 1985. We definitely were at Wrigley on a game day. We started around 10am filming actor closeups and dialogue with a bunch of our extras in a specially designated part of the bleachers. When the game started, we grabbed some shots over the actors connecting them to the game and then we pulled out and moved up the street a couple of blocks to continue filming another scene. We left a camera behind to pick up some miscellaneous shots. We were close enough to the stadium to hear the crowd roaring and a lot of us continued to listen to Harry call the game. It got colder and windier and the game turned into a typical Wrigley slugfest where over 30 runs were scored. I'm pretty sure that the game was played on Sept. 24, 1985 and the Cubs lost to the Expos 17-15. We filmed the famous Danke Shoen-Twist and Shout sequence at the Von Steuben's Day parade on the following Saturday.

Ken Collins is a longtime assistant director in film and TV whose credits include the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Remington Steele" and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer."

Thanks, Ken, for clearing up this 25-year-old mystery!

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