All You Need To Know About The Breakfast Club (1985)

Not many movies take fifty times their production budget at the box office, but that statistic alone certainly helps to demonstrate the endearing popularity of this mid-1980’s teen comedy classic. Even though is an oddball comedy that harks back to perhaps more innocent times, in 2016 the U.S National Film Registry selected it for long term historical preservation. One can only wonder what coming generations will make of it, but as a movie of its kind, many people consider as one of the era defining 80’s flicks.

Synopsis Without Spoilers!
What would you do if stuck in a room all day, not permitted to leave and with nobody who in any way you have a single thing in common with? The 21st-century answer would course be to join Royal Vegas and play free video slots. Unfortunately, this is a Saturday detention and under the watchful – and increasingly antagonized – supervision of deputy principal Vernon.

Without spoiling some classic one liners and an increasingly far-out plot (quite literally when the marijuana is sparked up), let’s just say that it is difficult not to feel slightly sorry for Vernon as the day rolls by. The teen cast – all, of course, represent one cliche of 80’s high school subculture. We have the beautiful blonde, the jock, the resident crazy dude, the geek, and the near speechless introvert girl. All slowly start to realize they have common reasons for why they ended up losing their Saturday to detention duty, which involves writing a thousand word essay on ‘who do you think you are’.

Director & Casting
Not many people predicted The Breakfast Club becoming such a runaway success, and even though the young actors all went on to have careers that varied in success, the idea that the movie could have featured an alternative ensemble is near classic comedy heresy. Emilio Estevez, for instance, was penciled in for the role of the crazy Bender before Judd Nelson was appointed to the role (Estevez being recast as Andy Clark the jock). Even more bizarre, Nick Cage and John Cusack were also seriously considered as options for playing Bender before director John Hughes changed his mind at the last moment.

Hughes was, of course, one of the masters of teen comedy especially over the last couple of decades of the century, following the success of The Breakfast Club with similar classics such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off a year later, as well as the likes of Uncle Buck, Home Alone and Beethoven in subsequent years. The stars became fully ‘signed-up’ members of the brat-pack, joining a number of other talent teenage actors who again went on to have wildly varying careers.

Interesting Trivia About The Breakfast Club
* Allison’s dress had to be hand-made because no matter how far the costume team looked, they couldn’t find a suitably dull outfit. As she was the loner, it had to black or gray – two colors that were barely available in the bright and brash 1980’s!

* Estevez was originally going to be a Gridiron star. Hughes decided that Estevez simply didn’t have the right look for that sport, but being lean and wiry his character was instead changed to being the school wrestling champion.

* A surprising amount of dialogue including the iconic ‘stories scene’ when the kids discuss why they are in detention were completely or partially improvised. Hughes realized that he had a talented yet unpredictable cast – especially in the case of Nelson who stayed in combative character during the whole shooting of the movie. In fact, he was threatened with being cut for his aggression to other actors!

* We almost had ‘The Lunch Bunch’ instead. The name change only came about in passing when Hughes was having a casual reminisce of school detentions with a friend. His buddy – who was obviously a bit of a tear-away kid – said he was a fully signed up member of his school’s Breakfast Club, and so movie history was made.

Just For Fun: Re-Making “The Breakfast Club”

It’s hard not to love the idea behind “The Breakfast Club,” and that got us thinking: how fun would a re-make be? Of course, much of what made “The Breakfast Club” fun was its originality, its teen movie charm, and of course, the actors and actresses involved. Certainly, a re-make would be a massive adjustment, and there are plenty of fans of the original who might not like the idea. But just for fun, here are a few ideas for each main student character.

Andrew Clark
Played, of course, by Emilio Estevez in the original, Andrew is the “athlete” of the group whose main problem in the Breakfast Club discussion is a poor relationship with his father. This character could easily be updated, as by now we’ve seen father/son relationship issues in far too many movies. Perhaps something a bit more “modern,” like an online gambling issue, could plague Andrew. He could spill to the others about a tendency to play games online at the Betfair Exchange for hours on end, gambling real money in the security of his own home. It’s just one idea of a fun modern activity that could represent a teen addiction. Casting: Dave Franco. It’s bold, but an oddly fitting choice.

Brian Johnson
Johnson, the “brain,” is a more morose character, and memorable as “the one who’s thought about suicide.” This is a bit too heavy of a topic to mess with, and the high school misfit driven to dark thoughts is a timeless character type. Casting: Ezra Miller. It’s type-casting at this point, but he’s an excellent brooder.

John Bender
The “criminal” who lives in an abusive household and incidentally has access to weed while at school could perhaps use a new spin in a hypothetical re-make. Perhaps he could be a young man (still with drugs) caught up in sketchy entrepreneurship. These days, kids can access plenty of get-rich-quick schemes. Whether it’s flipping iPhones, pirating movies, etc., he could have plenty of modernized ways to get in trouble. Casting: Dane DeHaan. He’s getting big, and seems ideally suited to a troubled teen role.

Allison Reynolds
The “basket case” who has a problem with telling the truth is perhaps the most generic and least interesting of the original characters. Perhaps she could be updated as the darker teen girl working at a bar despite being underage, or struggling in a relationship with an older guy. Casting: AnnaSophia Robb. We’d just like to see Robb take on some bigger roles after her excellent work in “The Way Way Back.”

Claire Standish
The virgin, and more specifically the “princess,” is another character it’s tough to mess with too much. Particularly after having been played by Molly Ringwald, this character is iconic, and could use a straight update. Casting: Emma Watson. It’s hard not to see her knocking it out of the park.

Wisdom

WisdomReleased 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.

Wisdom Rating

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 Characters

John Wisdom – Played by Emilio Estevez
Karen Simmons – Played by Demi Moore

Wisdom Trivia

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.

Wisdom Links

Wisdom at the IMDB

The Outsiders

The OutsidersThe Outsiders movie, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is an adaption of the novel written by S.E. Hinton. Released in 1983, the film launched the careers of some of the biggest actors of the 1980s.

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

Ponyboy Curtis – Played by C. Thomas Howell
Johnny Cade – Played by Ralph Macchio
Sodapop Curtis – Played by Rob Lowe
Two-Bit Matthews – Played by Emilio Estevez

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

The Outsiders Official Website

Fresh Horses


Fresh Horses

Fresh Horses

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

Buy Fresh Horses

Fresh Horses @ IMDB

Fresh Horses @ Rotten Tomatoes

Blue City


Blue City

Blue City

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

Blue City @ IMDB

Blue City @ Rotten Tomatoes

Betsy’s Wedding

Betsys Wedding

Betsys Wedding

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

Buy Betsy’s Wedding

Betsy’s Wedding @ IMDB

Betsy’s Wedding @ Rotten Tomatoes

Oxford Blues


Oxford Blues

Oxford Blues

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

Buy Oxford Blues

Oxford Blues @ IMDB

Oxford Blue @ Rotten Tomatoes

About Last Night


About Last Night

About Last Night

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 Characters

About Last Night Promo

About Last Night Promo

Danny 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

Buy About Last Night

About Last Night @ IMDB

About Last Night @ Rotten Tomatoes

Class


Skip and Jonathan

Skip and Jonathan

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.

Class Characters

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!

Starring; Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy.

Class Trivia

Ellen and Jonathan

Ellen and Jonathan

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.

Class Links

Buy Class

Class @ IMDB

Class @ Rotten Tomatoes

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