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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (4K SteelBook Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


Popular high school student Ferris Bueller decides to take a day off from school with his girlfriend and his best friend, concocting multiple schemes to help his plan for a day of adventure in the city succeed.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

John Hughes’ 1986 teen comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is right in line with the other films of the era he had directed to that point, which included teen romantic comedies like Sixteen Candles (1984), the teenage coming of age comedy/drama The Breakfast Club (1985), and the sci-fi teen sci-fi fantasy Weird Science (1985). Bueller takes a slightly different tack – very slightly – leaning less into some of the romance but less zany than Weird Science.

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick, Election, War Games) is a senior at a Chicago suburban high school, and he is not about to go to school on a beautiful day like today. He concocts an elaborate scheme to dupe his parents into believing he is ill, which includes literally feigning a mystery illness as his mom and dad head off to work. He rigs his room with his expensive gadgets including a keyboard synthesizer and sampler so anyone entering his room while he is gone will hear him “coughing.” Roping his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), a neurotic teenager with a cold and uncaring father, into his plans, Ferris convinces him to take out his father’s beloved classic Ferrari for an adventure in the city. After picking up Ferris’ girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) from school, which involves tricking the clueless Dean of Students Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), the three head off and hit the town, taking in the sights and sounds of the big city. Meanwhile, Rooney sets out to catch Ferris in the act, while Ferris’ sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) is also out to expose his ruse. At the same time, Ferris becomes a local hero, with the entire town rooting for his ‘recovery.’

Ferris Bueller is every teenager who ever wanted to break away from authority, experience a fleeting moment of freedom and independence, and escape from the conveyor belt that is high school. Hughes’ direction and screenplay are perfect at keeping the atmosphere lighthearted, the protagonist just shy of bratty and annoying, and delving into the usual teenage issues like first love (Ferris and Sloane), sibling rivalry (Ferris and Jeanie), and family dysfunction (Cameron and his father). While all these subtle moments are taking place, Hughes’ takes us on a wonderful tour of his beloved Chicago, with the trio taking in so may activities in one day, suspension of disbelief will surely be required.

  • Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, and Alan Ruck in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Jeffrey Jones in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off 4K Ultra HD SteelBook (Paramount)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off 4K Ultra HD SteelBook (Paramount)

The Video

Paramount simply lists this as a “remastered 4K Ultra HD release.” The film was originally shot on Super 35 (3-perf common-top) film stock for a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The restoration from Paramount does incredible things with this 1980s comedy production. The last time this was released on Blu-ray, it looked okay, but nothing like it looks now. This 2.39:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement maintains the look of the film, but it sparkles like never before, looking clean but not smooth. There is natural grain present, lots of texture and detail (you can see Broderick’s stubble on his chin quite clearly), and colors that are very vibrant. The reds, yellows, and greens of the suburban landscape all look gorgeous. Only some scenes where the image softens and granularity becomes a bit coarser, mostly due to the filming techniques and some in-camera effects, interrupt the nearly flawless clarity.  

The Audio

Paramount has remixed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off into lossless Dolby Atmos for this 4K Ultra HD release. The mix is nicely balanced with a good sense of height awareness, but do not expect an aggressive mix with lots of movement here. This basically opens up the soundstage for a more natural soundscape. For instance, the famous parade float scenes with “Twist and Shout” places some sound floating between the three front base channels and the front height channels. The surrounds have a good amount of ambience and atmospherics, with dialogue being very clean, full, and weighted to the center channel.

The Supplements

This release brings back the original John Hughes audio commentary, which has not appeared on home video since the film’s first DVD release. All the features have been previously released but are upscaled for this release.

  • Digital Copy Code
  • Commentary with Director John Hughes
  • Getting the Class Together – The Cast of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1080/60p; 00:27:45)
  • The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1080/60p; 00:15:29)
  • Who is Ferris Bueller? (1080/60p; 00:09:12)
  • The World According to Ben Stein (1080/60p; 00:10:51)
  • Vintage Ferris Bueller: The Lost Tapes (1080/60p; 00:10:16)

The Final Assessment

This is a classic, nearly perfect, teen comedy that avoids the crudeness and puerility of so many other films in the genre, has likable characters, and stands up all these years later due to its universal themes. Here the film looks and sounds better than ever. Highly recommended.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is out on 4K Ultra HD SteelBook August 1, 2023, from Paramount

  • Rating Certificate: PG-13
  • Studios & Distributors: Paramount Pictures | Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Director: John Hughes
  • Written By: John Hughes
  • Run Time: 102 Mins.
  • Street Date: 1 August 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 1907 nits
    • MaxFALL: 133 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: English Audio Description | German DD 2.0 | Spanish (Castilian) DD 2.0 | French DD 2.0 | Italian DD 2.0
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH | German | Spanish (Castilian) | French | Italian | Japanese

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Popular high school student Ferris Bueller decides to take a day off from school with his girlfriend and his best friend, concocting multiple schemes to help his plan for a day of adventure in the city succeed. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (4K SteelBook Review)