Adventures in Babysitting

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Adventures in Babysitting
Adventures In Babysitting.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
Directed byChris Columbus
Written byDavid Simkins
Produced by
CinematographyRic Waite
Edited by
Music byMichael Kamen
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution (United States)[1]
Release date
  • July 3, 1987 (1987-07-03) (United States)[2]
Running time
99 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$34.4 million[3]

Adventures in Babysitting (also known as A Night on the Town in certain countries) is a 1987 American teen comedy film written by David Simkins and directed by Chris Columbus (in his directorial debut). It stars Elisabeth Shue, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp, and Maia Brewton, and features cameos by blues singer/guitarist Albert Collins and singer-songwriter Southside Johnny Lyon.


After her boyfriend Mike cancels their anniversary date, seventeen-year-old Chris Parker invites her friend Brenda over to her Oak Park, Illinois, house to cheer her up, but is convinced by her mother to babysit the Andersons' daughter, eight-year-old Sarah, while they attend a party in downtown Chicago. Fifteen-year-old Brad Anderson is supposed to spend the night at his friend Daryl Coopersmith's house, but he changes his mind when he discovers that Chris is the sitter. After receiving a frantic phone call from Brenda, who ran away to a downtown bus station, Chris plans to go alone to pick her up, but is coerced by Brad, Sarah, and Daryl to take them with her. On the freeway, their station wagon suffers a flat tire and they are picked up by a 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 receives 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' mother's car is damaged when Pruitt accidentally shoots out the windshield while aiming to kill his wife's lover with his snubnosed revolver. 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 chided by Graydon, the operation's second-in-command, for bringing witnesses. They are detained in an upstairs office but escape. They enter a blues club where the band on stage refuses to let them leave until they sing the blues. The group recount their events while accompanied on instrument by Albert Collins, causing the audience to sing along and happily applaud. They leave just as Joe, Graydon and his boss Bleak arrive in the club, whose owners stall them.

Brad tells Chris about his feelings toward her, and is disappointed to learn he is too young for her. After separating Daryl from a streetwalker who is a runaway, Chris is reminded of Brenda. They are found and chased again by Graydon and Bleak but escape on the Chicago "L" train and wind up in the middle of a gang fight. Brad is injured when one of the gang leaders throws a switchblade onto his foot. They take Brad to the university hospital, where he receives a stitch. They run into Pruitt, who is now on the run from his earlier attacks; he tells the kids he replaced the windshield, but Dawson wants $50 for the tire. The kids come across a fraternity house party, and Chris 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 sledgehammer lead Sarah to believe he is Thor, her favorite superhero. He denies them their car because of the $5 shortage, but when Sarah offers him her toy Thor helmet, he changes his mind and lets them go. Meanwhile, Joe Gipp tells 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. Sarah slips away to look at a toy store while Chris yells at Mike. Mike mocks Brad for standing up for Chris and refusing to fight. Chris says Brad is more manly than Mike for refusing to fight, while Daryl says he will and kicks Mike into a table, ruining his dinner and causing a commotion. Bleak spots Sarah, and Graydon chases her to an office building where she hides; the others note her disappearance and follow, accidentally coming across the Andersons' party. After Sarah climbs out an open window and slides down the building, Chris spots her and they run upstairs to help.

After the group pulls Sarah from outside the window, Bleak confronts them. Joe knocks his boss out, before giving him a Playboy magazine that Daryl had stolen, which contained important notes that the criminals wanted, then says he is getting out of crime. The kids retrieve Brenda from the bus station and rush home, narrowly avoiding the Andersons on Interstate 290. Once home, Chris cleans up the mess left earlier, settling into place just as the Andersons enter. As Chris says goodnight to the kids, Brad tells her he understands about her not feeling the same way he did about her and tells her that if they see each other at school the next day, it is okay if she ignores him. However, Chris smiles and tells him she does not ignore her friends. Just as Chris is leaving, Dan arrives with one of Sarah's missing skates. He says he needs a babysitter and is disappointed when Chris says she is retired; he confesses the babysitter was for him. Chris decides that retirement can wait and gladly agrees to babysit Dan. With Sarah's encouragement, Chris and Dan kiss outside as Brad closes the blinds.

In a post-credits scene, Graydon is shown standing on the ledge, still trying to find his way to safety.



For his directorial debut, Columbus said he reviewed a hundred scripts. He chose Adventures in Babysitting because he felt comfortable with its scale. Paramount Pictures had a right of first refusal but demanded Molly Ringwald be cast in the lead.[1] Over 150 actresses auditioned for the lead role,[1] including Valerie Bertinelli.[4] Shooting took place in Toronto, Chicago, and Los Angeles in early 1987.[1]

"Babysitting Blues" Song[edit]

In a 2021 interview in New York Magazine, Elisabeth Shue said performing the "iconic Babysitting Blues song," written by pop songwriter Mark Mueller and Robert Kraft, was one of her "favorite experiences of all time."[5]


The film earned $34.4 million in the United States,[3] which the Los Angeles Times attributed to a new ad campaign.[6]

Home media[edit]

The film has been released on VHS and Betamax, LaserDisc, DVD and Blu-ray formats. In the United States, it received a VHS release by Touchstone Home Video on July 14, 1992.[7] It was released on DVD for the first time on January 18, 2000 by Touchstone Home Video.[8] A 25th anniversary edition Blu-ray was released August 7, 2012.

Although it may still be referred to as A Night on the Town on television airings in the United Kingdom, the film was released on rental VHS in the UK under its original title The VHS was re-released on October 21, 2002 in the United Kingdom by Cinema Club, it received a 15 certificate by the BBFC[9] for strong language and sexual references, it was previously released in an edited PG certificate for family viewing. It was released on DVD in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2004, again uncut like the 15 certificate VHS, it has been reduced to a 12 certificate.[10]

Soundtrack album[edit]

In 2015, Intrada Records released an album from the film, featuring the score by Michael Kamen, including unused music and several of the songs heard in the film. It features "Then He Kissed Me" by the Crystals, "Babysitting Blues" by Albert Collins, "Twenty-Five Miles" by Edwin Starr, and "Just Can't Stop" by Percy Sledge.


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 69% based on 42 reviews, with an average rating of 6.40 out of 10. The site's consensus states: "Sweet and spry, Adventures in Babysitting gets by on its amiable tone."[11] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12]

Unsold television pilot[edit]

The film was adapted into an unsold television pilot[13] of the same name for CBS in 1989. It starred Jennifer Guthrie (who would later co-star on Parker Lewis Can't Lose with Maia Brewton) as Chris, Joey Lawrence as Brad, Courtney Peldon as Sara, Brian Austin Green as Daryl, and Ariana Mohit as Brenda.


Disney reportedly planned a remake for release in 2010.[14] Raven-Symoné was to star in the remake, tentatively titled Further Adventures in Babysitting, but withdrew due to other projects.[14] Miley Cyrus was also rumored to be attached to the project, but later denied involvement.[15]

According to Variety, Tiffany Paulsen was writing the script.[14] It was presumed that the remake was scrapped due to years of inactivity. However, on January 9, 2015, Disney Channel announced that the remake would go forward, with Sabrina Carpenter and Sofia Carson starring as competing babysitters.[16] The film premiered on Disney Channel in the United States and Canada on June 24, 2016.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Adventures in Babysitting (1987)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  2. ^, "Adventures in Babysitting (1987)". Accessed October 18, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Adventures in Babysitting". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  4. ^ Bertinelli, Valerie (February 25, 2008). Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time. Free Press. ISBN 978-1416568186.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Weekend Box Office". Los Angeles Times. July 14, 1987. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  7. ^ Adventures in Babysitting [VHS] (1987). United States. ASIN 6301008944.
  8. ^ Adventures in Babysitting (1987). ASIN 6305428050.
  9. ^ "Adventures in Babysitting [VHS]". Amazon. United Kingdom. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  10. ^ "Adventures In Babysitting". HMV. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  11. ^ "Adventures in Babysitting (1987)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  12. ^ "Adventures in Babysitting Reviews". Metacritic.
  13. ^ aac7294 (January 22, 2010). "Adventures in Babysitting (TV Series 1989)". IMDb.
  14. ^ a b c "Miley Cyrus to star in 'Adventures in Babysitting' sequel". Chicago Sun-Times. December 4, 2008. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  15. ^ Carroll, Larry (April 1, 2009). "Miley Cyrus Wants 'Edgy' Roles ..." MTV. Archived from the original on April 5, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2009. 'Hannah Montana' star denies being cast in ... 'Adventures in Babysitting' remake
  16. ^ Barton, Steve (January 9, 2015). "Disney Channel Greenlights Original Movies 'Invisible Sister' Starring Rowan Blanchard & Paris Berelc & 'Further Adventures in Babysitting' Starring Sabrina Carpenter & Sofia Carson". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 9, 2015.

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