When deciding how to imitate the exasperated voice of a grown man, Alan Ruck thought of Gene Saks, the famed Broadway director who directed him and Broderick in Biloxi Blues. “He’s a great guy,” says Ruck of Saks, “and would just get so flabbergasted with us, we would be afraid that he was going to have a stroke. As soon as our scolding was over, Broderick would immediately do an imitation of him, because Broderick had worked with him before. So when I did [Sloane’s dad’s] voice, I did it pretty much just to see the look on Broderick’s face.” You can catch Broderick trying to suppress a laugh in the scene where Ruck imitates “Mr. Petetson.”
The car featured in Ferris was to teenage boys what the character of Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles was to teenage girls: a gorgeous dream come to life on celluloid. But the red Ferrari was just that—a dream, and nothing more. “It was a replica,” says Ruck, “a Ferrari replica on a Mustang chassis, and we had three of them: the one that we drove around in, one that had a bigger motor and better suspension for the stunt guys to do all their stuff in,” and a third one that would be used in a pivotal scene toward the end of the film, when Cameron finally faces his feelings of anger toward his father.
Although the real Ferrari 250 GT (worth $350,000) when the movie was made) is an exquisite driving machine, it’s “replicar” that the threesome drove around Chicago in was anything but. “It was universally hated by the crew,” says Ruck. “It didn’t work right.” One scene, in which Ferris and friends turn the car off to leave it with a garage attendant, who then turns it on again, had to be filmed a dozen times because the car wouldn’t start up. “There was kind of a gremlin in the machine,” says Ruck. The car whose image inspired so many visions of automotive grandeur among movie-goers was, in reality, he says, “just a piece of crap.”