Released in 1986 and starring two engaged Brat Packers in Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore, Wisdom was Estevez’s first attempt at directing.
The movie revolves around Estevez’s young ambitious character John Wisdom and how an old felony conviction comes back to haunt him as he applies and is turned down for a number of jobs.
Frustrated by his attempts to make a legitimate living, John and his girlfriend, Karen (Demi Moore), set out to commit a series of bank robberies, using the money to ease the plight of down-on-their-luck farmers.
Emilio Estevez wrote as well as starred and directed the movie. Wisdom received generally bad reviews from critics and didn’t fair too well at the box office, but it remains reasonably popular with fans of the Brat Pack genre. Estevez’s brother Charlie Sheen also appears as the City Burger Manager. The brothers have continued to appear together on screen on a number of occasions.
While not a film I want to get out and watch too often, Wisdom isn’t as terrible as some people like to make out. Not a bad first effort for Emilio from behind the camera, I give Wisdom a Brat Pack rating of 6/10.
Wisdom made Emilio Estevez the youngest person to ever write, direct, and star in a major motion picture.
A bus which John Wisdom takes during the movie features the graffiti Plate O’ Shrimp which is a reference to one of Emilio Estevez’s other films, Repo Man.
The story is based around a street gang called the Greasers. The Greasers are made up of Darrel, Sodapop, Ponyboy, Johnny, Dallas, Two-Bit and Steve. Darrel and his men have a rival gang known as the Social or Socs. The Socs are a lot wealthier then the Greasers and the plot develops as the confrontations between the two gangs grow more and more fierce.
Throughout the film you get to see a different side to these young men and exactly how heroic as well as vulnerable they can be.
Mickey Rourke, Nicholas Cage and Val Kilmer are all said to have been considered for role in The Outsiders but didn’t quite get past the audition process for one reason or another. Rourke would later appear in Rumble Fish, another S.E. Hinton novel directed by Coppola. Matt Dillon and Diane Lane who were in The Outsiders would also star in Rumble Fish.
While a little dark and depressing in parts, The Outsiders is a realistic portrayal of teenage gangs from that era and deservedly received four Young Artist Awards nominations.
The Outsiders Rating
An instant classic, Francis Ford Coppola’s telling of this story is dramatic with a number of convincing performances from a very young cast. A rock solid Brat Pack rating of 8 out of 10.
The Outsiders Characters
The Outsiders Trivia
Dallas falling out of his car at the drive-in was not a planned stunt. If you look closely, you can see Ponyboy looking at the camera and laughing.
Anthony Michael Hall auditioned unsuccessfully for the part of Ponyboy Curtis.
Rob Lowe did not get to see his cut scenes until “The Outsiders – The Complete Novel” was released 23 years after filming them.
The Outsiders Links
One of the last 80′s Brat Pack movies and probably the only one I’ve not bothered to watch more than once. It reminds me of a version of Pretty In Pink that is trying to be too cool for its own good.
Fresh Horses is the story of Matt Larkin, a college student that falls for a younger, married and less educated girl. He wants to get out of his engagement and she wants to get away from an abusive husband.
I didn’t really understand large parts of the film and the only thing that kept my mind from wandering was the performance of Molly Ringwald. She seems to somehow look especially beautiful and captivating here even though you want to give her character a good shake. Andrew McCarthy’s character as well as his performance in Fresh Horses aren’t up to much.
This is probably the only Brat Pack movie that left me feeling a bit confused and with the feeling that it was all a bit pointless. There is something I like about it but I can’t quite work out what, maybe it’s Ben Stiller looking like very young and very gay.
If you fancy a Ringwald and McCarthy fest, stick to Pretty In Pink.
Brat Pack Rating
Fresh Horses is by no means my favourite Brat Pack flick and deserves no more than a 5 out of 10.
Characters in Fresh Horses
Jewel – Played by Molly Ringwald
Matt Larkin – Played by Andrew McCarthy
Fresh Horses Trivia
Look out for a young Ben Stiller as well as Viggo Mortensen.
One of the few PG-13 rated movies that allowed the use of the word “fuck” more than one time and still maintain its rating. Neither use was in a sexual connotation.
Fresh Horses Links
I seem to say this a lot but Blue City really is a very under rated Brat Pack movie. Judd Nelson plays Billy Turner, a guy who returns to his home town to find out his dad, the mayor of Blue City, has been killed. From there it’s about Billy trying to find answers and not being afraid to do anything to get them.
Ally Sheedy’s character isn’t exactly very complex. She plays the love interest and does so as well as can be expected. It is a slightly different role for Sheedy in that she’s edgier than in previous roles and more of a bad girl.
Blue City was based on the 1947 novel of the same name by Ross MacDonald. When I say based I mean it in the loosest possible sense. I think that is part of the reason the film was so poorly received. Fans of the novel were expecting something more than just a watered down Beverly Hills Cop. The movie was probably aimed at more of a teen audience and an awful lot of the storyline was changed as a result.
Blue City was very poorly received by critics upon release, and was nominated for a host of awards at the 7th Golden Raspberry Awards.
This movie was never going to win any awards, positive ones anyway, but I still enjoyed it for the most part. I think as long as you aren’t a fan of the book and you are a fan of the Brat Pack, you’ll enjoy Blue City.
Brat Pack Rating
I’d give Blue City a solid if unspectacular Brat Pack rating of 6 out of 10.
Blue City Characters
Billy Turner – Played by Judd Nelson
Annie Rayford – Played by Ally Sheedy
Joey Rayford – Played by CSI’s David Caruso
Blue City Trivia
Look out for a young David Caruso.
Blue City Links
Betsy’s Wedding was written and directed by Alan Alda, he also played one of the starring roles. While this movie is by no means an all time classic, it does have a large number of fans as the amount of five star reviews on Amazon show.
The movie follows Betsy, daughter of Alda’s character Eddie, during the build up to her wedding and all the trials and tribulations that go along with it. Molly Ringwald plays the role of Betsy alongside fellow Brat Pack member Ally Sheedy as her sister Connie.
The most interesting part of Betsy’s Wedding is probably the relationship between LaPaglia and Sheedy’s characters, Stevie and Connie. Stevie is a second generation gangster who falls for Connie who is a cop.
There cast is packed with notable stars other than the Brat Packers including Joe Pesci, Anthony LaPaglia, Nip Tuck’s Dylan Walsh and even a cameo appearance from Samuel L. Jackson.
Personally, I think this is one of the weaker films from the Brat Pack genre. The characters have potential but the script never really gets out of first gear. It’s worth a watch if you’ve never seen it but it’s no Breakfast Club, in fact, it’s not even an Oxford Blues!
Betsy’s Wedding Characters
Eddie Hopper – Played by Alan Alda, the father of the bride.
Betsy Hopper – Molly Ringwald’s character, the bride!
Connie Hopper – Ally Sheedy’s role, she plays Betsy’s sister as well as being a cop who gets involved with gangster Stevie.
Stevie Dee – Played by Anthony LaPaglia. Stevie is a gangster who falls for Connie.
Betsy’s Wedding Trivia
Betsy’s Wedding was inspired by Alan Alda’s daughter’s wedding.
Betsy’s Wedding Links
Oxford Blues is the story of Nick Di Angelo, played by Rob Lowe. Nick has a major thing for Lady Victoria Wingate and is working in a Las Vegas casino to earn enough money to pursue her to Oxford. Nick believes he can win her over if he gets a place at Oxford University and join their rowing team.
Nick spends the night with a wealthy older woman while working at the casino and she gives him enough money to get to Oxford. When he arrives he meets another American in Rona, played by Ally Sheedy.
It isn’t long before Nick finds Lady Victoria but she is already involved with the star of the rowing team, Colin Gilchrist Fisher. Nick and Colin soon build up a fierce rivalry that only gets stronger until the climax of the film.
Oxford Blues was never going to win any Oscars but it’s a fun movie and would hold special interest for anyone that’s attended Oxford University or likes rowing!
Oxford Blues Characters
Nick Di Angelo – The lead character played by Rob Lowe. Nick is trying to get into Oxford University to chase the woman of his dreams Lady Victoria Wingate.
Rona – Another American at Oxford, Ally Sheedy character becomes friends with Nick but she wants more.
Lady Victoria Wingate – The object of Nick’s affection, she does her best to resist his advances.
Colin Gilchrist Fisher – Played by Julian Sands who you may recognise if you are a 24 fan. Colin is the star of the rowing team and takes an instant dislike to Nick.
Geordie Nevitts – Nick’s trusty room mate and friend.
Oxford Blues Trivia
Lady Victoria’s character was loosely based on Princess Stephanie of Monaco.
Star Cary Elwes’ brother, Cassian Elwes, served as Producer on this film.
Oxford Blues Links
About Last Night is one of the lesser known Brat Pack movies but still did quite well at the Box Office. It’s a romantic comedy with some drama thrown in for good measure.
It features Danny (Rob Lowe) and Bernie (James Belushi) as two single men living in Chicago. Danny meets Debbie (Demi Moore) at a bar and after a one night stand the pair start a relationship. The film follows the ups and downs of the couple trying to make things work and the effect the relationship has on their friends.
Whilst it may not be the most amazing movie of all time, About Last Night is a good character piece. It shows the difficulties young people face when settling down and is a bit deeper than some of the other Brat Pack pictures.
Brat Pack Rating
About Last Night is an underrated movie with good supporting performances from Elizabeth Perkins and James Belushi. It gets a 7/10 from me.
About Last Night CharactersDanny Martin – Rob Lowe‘s character. Loves Debbie but is scared to commit.
Debbie Sullivan – Played by Demi Moore. Is willing to settle down with Danny but is struggles to make it work.
Bernie – Danny’s buddy who isn’t as stupid as he seems.
Joan – Debbie’s pal with the hard front who wants to protect her friend.
About Last Night Trivia
A section of the movie that wasn’t used turned up on an episode of Friends.
Debbie’s friend Pat is played by Will and Grace star Megan Mullally.
About Last Night Links
One of the very first Brat Pack movies and not just your run of the mill high school fare. Class is an often over looked film that deserves more attention for its well written script and good character development.
Rob Lowe plays wealthy student Skip and McCarthy is his shy room mate Jonathan. Skip thinks Jonathan could do with some help where the ladies are concerned so sends him to a sleazy bar in the city. Little does Skip know, the woman Jonathan gets to grips with is Skip’s Mom!
The pair have a brief fling but once Ellen (Skip’s Mom) finds out how old Jonathan really is, she end the relationship.
Everything would have been fine, had it not been for Skip inviting Jonathan to his place for Christmas.
Skip – A well to do, popular and confident student at the Vernon Academy.
Jonathan – Skip’s shy room mate who falls for Skip’s Mom.
Ellen – The good looking older woman who also happens to be Skip’s Mom!
Rob Lowe apparently threatened to quit the movie if he wasn’t allowed to appear naked in a certain scene.
Alan Ruck has a very small role, blink and you’ll miss him.
Written and Directed by John Hughes, Sixteen Candles is considered to be the first Brat Pack movie.
Molly Ringwald plays Sam Baker a teen girl on her sixteen birthday (hence the sixteen candles!) who is in a bad place. Her family have forgotten her birthday because her sister Ginny is getting married the following day. Sam also has to deal with her huge crush on school hunk Jake Ryan.
A school dance follows as well as a house party before an apology from her father for forgetting her big day. Along the way we meet Farmer Ted and the hilarious Long Duk Dong.
This builds up to the climax of Ginny’s wedding and a surprise visit for Sam.
Brat Pack Rating
The first of the Brat Pack movies, written and directed by John Hughes as well as being the start of his relationship with Molly Ringwald. Has to be a 9/10.
Sixteen Candles Characters
Samantha Baker – The girl whose 16th birthday isn’t going to plan. Will anything go right for our heroine?!
Jake Ryan – The hot guy of the film and the object of Sam’s affection, does he feel the same?
Farmer Ted/The Geek – The Geek is just that and is obsessed with getting San into bed to win a bet.
Sixteen Candles Trivia
Molly Ringwald also starred with Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club. The pair dated for a brief time.
Anthony Michael Hall is listed as ‘The Geek’ in the credits but his actual name is never revealed during the movie, although he calls himself Farmer Ted.
John Hughes has a small cameo in one of the church scenes where Sam goes to get her sister’s veil but blink and you’ll miss him!
Sixteen Candles Links
Another 80’s classic written by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Pretty In Pink was the definitive teenage love story of the 80’s.
Molly Ringwald plays Andie, a modern girl from a poor family who falls for Andrew McCarthy’s character Blane. Blane is from a different world to Andie due to his wealthy upbringing. Their friends struggle to accept their relationship because they are all from different social circles. Blane’s best friend Steff does all he can to scupper their bond.
Andie’s mother left her and her father years ago and Andie has since struggled to make her dad get a job. Her two best friends Duckie and Iona help her deal with all the dramas. What Andie doesn’t realise is that Duckie is madly in love with her.
Pretty In Pink is not quite as good as Hughes’ other movies of the same era such as The Breakfast Club and Some Kind Of Wonderful but it still goes down as a classic.
Brat Pack Rating
Being Hughes and Ringwald it’s hard to find too many faults with Pretty In Pink. Throw in an excellent bad guy played by James Spader and it rates a solid 8/10.
Pretty In Pink Characters
Andie – Fashion conscious, new wave girl struggling with money and relationships.
Duckie – Andie’s ever faithful friend who is also madly in love with her.
Blane – A rich guy but also a good guy, has his sights set on Andie.
Steff – Balne’s best friend who is rotten to the core! Doesn’t want Blane getting involved with the poor crowd.
Pretty In Pink Trivia
Duckie and Andie originally ended up together but Hughes was put under pressure to change the ending by the studio. Ringwald also felt the ending with Duckie wasn’t right and said she felt he was more like a brother but did have chemistry with McCartney’s character Blane.
Michael J Fox was originally offered the part of Duckie.
Andrew McCarthy had to wear a wig when the ending of the film was re-shot because he had shaved his head for another role.