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Uncle Buck (1989)

This is the movie in which director John Hughes made a decision to leave the world of adolescence behind after films such as The Breakfast Club (1985) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) and regress into childhood.

Buck Russell (John Candy) is a fun-loving bachelor without a care in the world. He’s also the world’s greatest slob. So when he has to look after his sharp young nephew and nieces while their parents are away, anything can happen.

Candy makes the most of his starring role as the lovable slob who is pressed into looking after his brother’s children, and Hughes stages some neat comic set pieces.

Despite the fact that this was also the film that unleashed Macaulay Culkin there is still much to enjoy. Only the sentimental moralising strikes a false note.


An inferior TV version of Uncle Buck was produced in 1990 with Kevin Meaney stepping in for the late John Candy. The show employed a slightly darker premise than the film – instead of going out of town to help care for a sick relative like in the movie, Buck is made permanent guardian when the children’s parents die in a car accident.

The show received less-than-favourable reviews and, combined with low ratings, was cancelled after the first season.

Buck Russell 
John Candy
Miles Russell
Macaulay Culkin
Tia Russell
Jean Louisa Kelly
Maizy Russell
Gaby Hoffmann
Chanice Kobolowski
Amy Madigan
Cindy Russell
Elaine Bromka
Bob Russell
Garrett M Brown
Marcie Dahlgren-Frost
Laurie Metcalf
Jay Underwood
E Roger Coswell
Brian Tarantina
Pooter the Clown
Mike Starr
Mrs Hogarth
Suzanne Shepherd

John Hughes