Uncle Buck

Uncle Buck

Infobox Film
name = Uncle Buck

caption = The movie poster for "Uncle Buck".
director = John Hughes
producer = John Hughes
Tom Jacobson
writer = John Hughes
starring = John Candy
Jean Louisa Kelly
Macaulay Culkin
music = Ira Newborn
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = flagicon|USA August 16, 1989
runtime = 95 min.
country = flagicon|United States United States
language = English
budget = $15,000,000 (estimated)
amg_id = 1:51682
imdb_id = 0098554

"Uncle Buck" is a 1989 comedy-drama starring John Candy, Amy Madigan, Jean Louisa Kelly and Gaby Hoffmann, and co-stars Macaulay Culkin, Jay Underwood, Laurie Metcalf, William Windom, Mike Starr and Anna Chlumsky have cameo roles. The movie was written and directed by John Hughes. It received a PG rating from the MPAA and a 12 rating from the BBFC.


Bob Russell (Garrett M. Brown), his wife Cindy (Elaine Bromka), and their three kids, 8-year old Miles (Macaulay Culkin), 6-year old Maizy (Gaby Hoffman) and 15-year-old Tia (Jean Kelly), recently moved from Indianapolis to Chicago. Tia resents Bob and Cindy for the move.

Bob and Cindy are in bed one night when Cindy's aunt calls and tells them that Cindy's father has had a heart attack. Bob and Cindy immediately make plans to go to Indianapolis to visit Cindy's father. After hearing this, Tia angrily tells Cindy that she would have a heart attack too if her family moved away from her [away from Indianapolis] ; Tia really wanted to go back to Indianapolis. And then Tia's bedroom door is slammed in Cindy's face.

With Cindy and Bob going to Indianapolis, the problem is who the babysitter will be. They choose Bob's brother Buck (John Candy) to babysit Tia, Miles, and Maizy, even though Cindy doesn't like that idea. Cindy thinks Buck is a sloppy guy who doesn't know how to do anything.

While Cindy and Bob are in Indianapolis, Buck takes over the house, and Buck tries to do the best he can with the kids while he's having problems with Chanice Kobolowski (Amy Madigan), who has been his girlfriend for the past 8 years. Buck entertains Miles and Maizy, who come to love him, but Buck has problems with Tia. Tia doesn't like how overprotective of her Buck is.

Buck meets Tia's boyfriend, Bug (Jay Underwood). When Buck scares Bug away from her with a hatchet he claimed he wanted to show him (proclaiming to be so proficient with the weapon he's been known to "circumsize a gnat"), an infuriated Tia gets revenge on Buck by making Chanice think Buck is flirting with Marcie Dahlgren-Frost (Laurie Metcalf), the woman who lives across the street from the Russells, and Chanice leaves Buck.

After that, Tia goes out to see Bug, who only wants to make out with her, and that's the only reason why he wants her. Tia refuses it, and leaves Bug. After paying a visit to Bug, and scaring him again by drilling a hole in the door knob, Buck finds Tia, and Tia admits that Buck was right about Bug. Buck opens the trunk of his car to show Tia that he has tied Bug up and put Bug in the trunk.

Buck makes Bug apologize to Tia with subtle threats of drilling his teeth out, and then Buck gets Bug out of the trunk, and while Bug is still tied up, Buck gets out a club and a golf ball and hits the ball, which hits Bug on the head as Bug is hopping away instead of running because he's still tied up.

Buck and Tia then leave Bug, who is still tied up. By this time, Buck has finally earned Tia's love and respect. Tia talks to Chanice, and admits that she set Buck up to look like he was flirting with Marcie. Chanice reunites with Buck.

Later, Cindy and Bob return home because Cindy's father is doing just fine. After Tia lovingly embraces Cindy, Cindy says that things will change so Tia won't be so resentful of Cindy and Bob anymore.


*John Candy as Buck Russell, the main character. He is a very clumsy but caring person, and he wins the heart of Miles and Maizy, his nephew and niece. He loves bowling, and has a personalised gold bowling ball. Tia often hates him for scaring her boyfriend, Bug, whom he thinks only wants to have sex with Tia.
*Jean Louisa Kelly as Tia Russell, the oldest child. Tia has a rebellious personality, and gets revenge on her family for moving to Chicago, while she wanted to stay in Indianapolis. Her boyfriend is Bug.
*Gaby Hoffmann as Maizy Russell, the youngest of the Russell children. She is rumored to be a troublemaker like Tia, but Buck disgraces this rumor. She is the sister of Miles Russell.
*Macaulay Culkin as Miles Russell, the middle and only male child. Because he is new, he claims that a 6th grade bully chased him out. He is the older brother of Maizy.
*Amy Madigan as Chanice Kobolowski, Buck's girlfriend. She runs Kobolowski Tires where Buck was supposed to begin working when his brother asked him to watch his kids.
*Elaine Bromka as Cindy Russell, the mother of Maizy, Miles, and Tia. She does not like her brother in law, Buck, and is the neighbor of Marcie.
*Garrett M. Brown as Bob Russell, the father. He is the brother of Buck, and moved to Chicago, where Buck lives.
*Laurie Metcalf as Marcie Dahlgren-Frost, the Russells' neighbor. She has married at least twice, and doesn't want her married name, Frost, to be lost in marriage.
*Jay Underwood as Bug, Tia's boyfriend. Bug made a joke with Buck, who in turn threatened him with a ritual killing.


John Hughes claims that the scene wherein Macaulay Culkin speaks with Amy Madigan through the mail slot in the front door was what gave him the idea for "Home Alone". The film was shot almost entirely on the campus of New Trier West High School in Northfield, Illinois. The house set was constructed in the gymnasium. The piano music at the beginning of the film is by Hugh Harris, it is taken from his 1989 song "Rhythm of Life"; the full song is played at the end of the film.

Towards the end of the film when Buck gets a golf club and ball from the trunk of the car, places it on the grass to fire a shot at the fleeing Bug, the "club swing" shot was filmed on the grassy school bus turn around on the NTW school campus, but Bug fleeing shot was filmed in the parking lot of a small grocery store in Glencoe, IL, where other segments of the movie were filmed but never used in the final version. These two perspectives of the same scene were more than 3 miles apart. For the scene in which Miles rapidly interrogates Buck about the fine details of his life, John Candy had the prompter set up on his back so that Macaulay Culkin could maintain the scene's breakneck pace.

Box office performance

During its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, "Uncle Buck" grossed $8.7 million in 1,804 theaters, ranking #1 at the box office.cite web|url=Uncle Buck (1989) - Weekend Box Office Results |title=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=unclebuck.htm |accessdate=2007-11-21 |publisher=Box Office Mojo] It stayed the #1 film for a total of 4 weeks in a row.

The film grossed a total of $66.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $12.5 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $79.2 million. In 1989 it was the 18th top grossing film in the United States and Canada, and the 20th top grossing film worldwide. [cite web|url=Uncle Buck (1989) |title=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=unclebuck.htm |accessdate=2007-11-21 |publisher=Box Office Mojo]

As of November 2007, "Uncle Buck" is Macaulay Culkin's highest grossing film outside of the "Home Alone" series. [cite web|url=Macaulay Culkin Movie Box Office Results |title=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/people/chart/?view=Actor&id=macaulayculkin.htm |accessdate=2007-11-21 |publisher=Box Office Mojo]

The TV Show

In 1990, a television show named "Uncle Buck" was broadcast on CBS. It starred Kevin Meaney as Buck, a slob who drinks and smokes. When his brother and sister-in-law die in a car accident, Buck is named as the guardian of Tia, Miles, and Maizy. The show while not received well by TV critics, did quite well on Monday nights. However when the show was moved to Friday, in an attempt by CBS to establish a comedy night there, the shows ratings quickly fell and it was canceled.


A short biography about Macaulay Culkin claims that, upon the film's release, a child asked Culkin if he really lived with actor John Candy, to which Culkin replied, "Yes I do. He's upstairs microwaving my socks right now." On the back of the DVD cover for the 1998 DVD release, Jean Louisa Kelly was referred to as "Jean Kelly" (not to be confused with the actor, Gene Kelly), although Jean Louisa Kelly's given name is a two-word name.


External links

*imdb title|id=0098554|title=Uncle Buck
* [http://www.fast-rewind.com/unclebuck.htm Uncle Buck at the 80s Movie Gateway]
*amg movie|id=1:51682|title=Uncle Buck
*rotten-tomatoes|id=uncle_buck|title=Uncle Buck
*mojo title|id=unclebuck|title=Uncle Buck
*imdb title|id=0098937|title=Uncle Buck (TV series)

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