As is Hughes’ practice, Curly Sue was shot on location in Chicago. All of Hughes’ films since 1987 have been shot in Chicago or in the greater Chicago area. It was stipulated in his contract.
Curly Sue is about an orphan, played by 9-year-old Alisan Porter (Parenthood). Sue, named for the Three Stooges character and not because of her trademark curly hair, is a pint-sized con artist raised on the streets by her guardian, Bill Dancer (James Belushi). The story is that Dancer raised Sue as his own daughter, “adopting” her after a one-night stand with her mother — which is called “kidnapping” in some circles.
Parents need to know that this film deals with the loss of a parent, presents a child heroine with the mouth of a sailor, incompetent adult protectors, rampant, senseless violence and a message that women should stay home with children rather than work in the outside world. Curly Sue and her dad have little respect for the law; they pick and choose which rules they follow.