Taglines: A lifetime of fun in just one night.
Chris Parker agrees to babysit after her “dream” date stands her up. Expecting a dull evening, Chris settles down with three kids for a night of TV… and boredom. But when her frantic friend Brenda calls and pleads to be rescued from the bus station in downtown Chicago, the evening soon explodes into an endless whirl of hair-raising adventures! Babysitter and kids leave their safe suburban surroundings and head for the heart of the big city, never imagining how terrifyingly funny their expedition will become!
Adventures in Babysitting (also known as A Night on the Town in certain countries) is a 1987 American comedy film written by David Simkins, directed by Chris Columbus (in his directorial debut), and starring Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp, Penelope Ann Miller, Bradley Whitford, and brief cameos by blues singer/guitarist Albert Collins and singer-songwriter Southside Johnny Lyon.
About the Story
After her boyfriend Mike unexpectedly cancels their anniversary date, Chris Parker invites her friend, Brenda, over to her Oak Park, Illinois house to cheer her up, but is eventually convinced by her mother to babysit the Andersons’ daughter, 8-year-old Sara, while they attend a party at the Crain Communications Building in Chicago. Fifteen-year-old Brad Anderson is originally supposed to go to his friend Daryl Coopersmith’s house to spend the night, but he changes his mind when he finds that Chris is the sitter.
After receiving a frantic phone call from Brenda, who ran away to the bus station downtown, using all of her money for the cab ride, Chris plans to go alone to pick her up, but is coerced by Brad, Sara and Daryl to take them with her. On the freeway, the Buick Electra station wagon suffers a flat tire and they are picked up by a kind tow truck driver, “Handsome” John Pruitt, who offers to pay for the tire when Chris realizes she left her purse at the Andersons’.
En route, Pruitt gets a call from his boss Dawson with evidence that his wife is cheating on him, and he rushes to his house to confront the infidelity; Chris’s mother’s car is damaged when Pruitt accidentally shoots out the windshield with a revolver while aiming to kill his wife’s lover. Chris and the kids hide in the adulterer’s Cadillac, which is then car-jacked by a thief named Joe Gipp.
Reaching their hideout in the South Side, the kids realize they have stumbled upon a chop shop, and Joe is punched and chided by Graydon, the operation’s second-in-command, for bringing potential witnesses. They are detained in an upstairs office but manage to escape over the rafters and through a window, whereas Joe spots them but does not alert Graydon.
They enter a blues club where the band on stage won’t let them leave until they sing the blues. Chris, Brad, Sara and Daryl recount their events so far that night to the cheers of the audience and are allowed to leave, successfully losing Graydon and his leader Bleak. Meanwhile, Brenda is having trouble of her own; after her glasses are stolen she mistakes a sewer rat for a kitten and is appalled when pest control points it out, as well as arguing with a hot dog salesman who only takes cash.
Brad tells Chris about his feelings toward her, but find they are not reciprocated because Brad is two years younger than she is. After separating Daryl from a streetwalker who is a runaway, Chris is reminded of Brenda. They are then found and chased again by Greydon and Bleak, but manage to escape on the Chicago ‘L’ train and wind up in the middle of a gang fight in which Brad is injured when one of the gang leaders throws a switchblade onto his foot.
They take Brad to the hospital, where he receives a single stitch to his toe, while the rest are led to believe he had died. They run into Pruitt, who is now on the lam for his earlier attacks; he tells the kids he replaced the windshield, but they need to pay Dawson $50 for the tire. The kids come across a fraternity house party and Chris meets and becomes attracted to Dan Lynch, a gentleman who learns of Chris’ problem and donates $45. He takes them to Dawson’s Garage and drops them off. When they find Dawson, his blond hair and sledge hammer leads Sara to believe he is her hero Thor.
He coldly denies them their car because of the $5 shortage, but when Sara offers him her toy Thor helmet, he changes his mind and lets them go. Meanwhile, Joe Gipp told Bleak about their troubles and the three are waiting to follow them. The kids find the restaurant where Mike was supposed to take Chris and discover he is there with another girl. Sara slips away on her own to look at a toy store while Chris yells at Mike.
Brad stands up for his friend while Daryl kicks Mike into a food cart, ruining the dinner. Meanwhile, Sara is spotted by Bleak, and Graydon chases her to an office building where she goes into hiding on a floor being renovated; the others note her disappearance and follow, accidentally coming across the Andersons’ party. After Sara climbs out one of the open windows and slides down the building, Chris spots her and they run upstairs to help.
Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp, Calvin Levels, Vincent D’Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller, George Newbern, Marcia Bennett
Screenplay by: David Simkins
Production Design by: Todd Hallowell
Cinematography by: Ric Waite
Film Editing by: Fredric Steinkamp, William Steinkamp
Costume Design by: Judith R. Gellman
Set Decoration by: Daniel Loren May
Art Direction by: Barbara Dunphy
Music by: Michael Kamen
Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: July 3, 1987