Breakfast Club Notes (Beyond the Bay)
John Hughes (1950-2009): Died of Heart in NYC 8/6/09
-wrote jokes for Rodney Dangerfield & wrote for National Lampoon. Dropped out of college at 20.
-Directed: 11 films
-16 Candles, Ferris Bueller, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Uncle Buck, Curly Sue
Mr. Mom, home Alone, Pretty in Pink, National Lampoon vacation & Christmas, Flubber & 101 Dalmations
-1st Script: National Lampoon’s Class Reunion
Born in Lansing, MI. moved to Chicago at 13.
-Distanced himself from Hollywood 10+ years before death. Made enough money to essentially call it quits. Moved back to Chicago in ’95 & kept low profile.
-Brat Pack: Ringwald, AM Hall, Ally Sheey, john Cucack, E. Estavez, Robert Downey Jr, Rob Lowe, Jud Nelson, Mare Winningham
-Married for 39 years
-The Breakfast club was supposed to be Hughes’ directorial debut, but while going through head shots came across Ringwald’s & decided to write a story of what he imagined that girl was like. That story became 16 Candles.
-Wrote the script in 2 days (7/4 + 7/5/82)
-Rehearsed as a play several times before shooting began
-Shurmer is also fictional town for Ferris Bueller, 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink & N.L. Vacation. Zip Code 60062 is actually Northbrook, originally incorporated as Shurmerville
-Title came from Hughes’ son’s friend HS (New Trier) that called detention Breakfast Club. Also a long running morning show in Chicago (‘33-‘68). Lunch Bunch & Library Revolution alternate titles
-Film was shot in sequence & Hughes allowed for impov to get the most of his actors
-Hughes regretted using breaking glass effect during pot smoking scene
-Set was actually a gym in closed high school (Maine North) & converted to library. Chicago public library donated 200,000 books. After being used for USFL Chicago Blitz its now a State Police post.
-Only Claire was supposed to dance, but she was uncomfortable everyone danced. Ringwald was late disappointed because of the ‘MTV dance party’ image
-Weed used was actually oregano
-Circle Scene: improvised about why each was in detention
-Hall’s reason for fake ID improvised (“to vote”)
-Nelson improvised final shot after a series off walk offs being shot
-Carl joked to the cast not to be too intense because they could have a heart attack like Martin Sheen on Apocalypse Now, not realizing he was Estavez’s father, greatly upsetting Estavez.
-2.5 hour ‘directors cut’ supposedly exists, but Hughes widow is unaware (Sheedy)
-Carl predicts each student in 30 years
Claire: 2 boob jobs & face lift
Brian: died of heart attack after high pressure career
Allison: great poet that no one reads
Andrew: married hot stewardess, but she got fat after having babies
-long random dream sequence
-alternate scenes of Bender’s home life
-Allision smokes when they’re getting sodas from cafeteria w/Andrew
-Scene in boys bathroom where Brian pees sitting down
-Several additional staff members parts were cut & assigned to carl
-Female gym treacher swims naked, watched by Vernon in shooting script. Ringwald lobbied to cut it
“Don’t you forget about me” was offered to Billy Idol & Bryan Ferry, but they both turned it down. Chrissy Hynde also turned it down, but gave it to Jim Kerr, her husband, from Simple Minds & it became their biggest hit
Jud Nelson/Bender. (25 years old)
-Auditioned in costume he eventually wore for shooting
-John Cusack auditioned several times, but casting director really wanted Nelson
-Nic Cage considered for Bender, but production couldn’t afford his fee. Jim Carrey also auditioned for Bender
-Stayed in character throughout shoot, including buying Ringwald
-Went undercover at local high school for research & ended up buying beer with ‘fake’ ID
-Hughes & Nelson clashed throughout, so much so that Hughes wanted to fire him. -Hughes vowed never to work with him again
-Switchblade was Nelson’s he had for protection
-Bender’s joke he tells to himself in the airduct has no punchline & was improvised.
Ally Sheedy/Allison (23 years old)
-Auditioned for Samantha in 16 Candles, but had 2 black eyes, the result of film set accident. Hughes remembered the look & sought out Sheedy for Allison
-Dandruff in drawing scene was actually parnesean cheese
-doesn’t speak until 33 minutes into film
Anthony Michael Hall/Brian (16 years old)
-Hall’s mother & sister drop him off in first scene.
-Hall had significant growth spurt during filming. Stated shorter than Nelson, finished shooting taller.
-While high quotes Richard Pryor “chicks can’t hold their smoke”
-John Hughes actually picks up Hall in the final scene
-Career: Dad Zone TV Series, SNL 1 season in 85. Security guard on the Goldbergs
Emilio Estevez/Andrew (23 years old)
-Originally slated to play Bender, but switched to Andrew when Hughes couldn’t find anyone to play the part
Tom Cruise, Michael J Fox, Carrey, Mathew Broderick, & Rob Lowe also considered for Andrew
-Career: filming series of mighty Ducks. Directed several films. Bst work in 80’s Repo Man
Molly Ringwald/Claire (16 years old)
-Ally Sheedy suggested Sushi for Claire’s lunch
-Claire’s wardrobe from Ralph Lauren
-Ringwald & Hall dated briefly during filming
-Confusion about casting. Ringwald said she had to lobby for part of Claire. Hughes had her penciled in for Allison. Hughes said she was Claire all the time. She based her performance on older sister
-Lipstick trick was a fake. Ringwald couldn’t really do it
-Claire’s father’s BMW was Hughes
-Career: TV work, working actress. Appears on Riverdale as Mary Andrews. She’s 52 years old
Rick Moranis fired from custodial part. Too comedic & used Russian accent. Over the top
-“Many film makers portray teenagers as amoral & ignorant with pursuits that are pretty base. They seem to think teenagers aren’t very bright, but I haven’t found that to be rthe case.” -Hughes
-Opening quote: From Bowie’s “Changes”. Suggested by Ally Sheedy
-Originally sequels were planned in 10 year intervals, but Hughes relationship with Nelson precluded
-#1 High School movie according to Entertainment Weekly
-2016 National Film Registry
-“Well, if you say you haven’t (had sex), you’re a prude. If you say you have, then you’re a slut. You want ot, but you can’t, and when you do you wish you didn’t, right?”-Allison
-Bender’s treatment of Claire
-sexually aggressive, dismissive & angry at rejection
Molly Ringwald article
-teen movies were either slasher films where active sexuality meant death (Halloween, Friday 13th, etc) or Comedies (Porky’s or Animal House) where girls were either nymphos or ball busters.
-Fast Times at Ridgemont High, directed by Amy Heckerling was better at presenting a female voice, but still wallowed in male fantasy (Phoebe Cates scene)
-Current female led teen movies focus on the fantastic (Breaking Dawn) or a dystopian future (Hunger Games or Divergent)
--Female gym teacher swims naked, watched by Vernon in shooting script. Ringwald lobbied to cut it
-Scene under table: mother wanted it removed. Shot with older actress. Still felt uncomfortable at the time and looking back
-16 Candles: Caroline black out drunk scene. Passed from one boy to another (“I could violate her in 10 different ways”) for pair of underwear. Wakes up next morning & asks if he enjoyed the sex.
Balancing of Sexualized behavior
-clarity that there were other kids like me struggling with their identity, feeling out of place in social construct of high school & dealing with family ideals & pressures
-anger & isolation of adolescence
5 Key Scenes
1. The others cover for Bender when Vernon returns after locking Bender in closet
2.Bender opens up about his home life & projects what Brian’s is like
3.Confessionals on why they’re in detention to begin with
4.What happens on Monday scene
5.Brian’s letter & goodbyes outside
4 Key Discussion Points
4.Emotional & Mental fluxuation/Awakening
5.Anger & isolation
Brian’s Essay: “You see us as you want to see us-in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But we found out that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal. Does that answer your question?
-Breakfast Club #13 with $45.8M gross
-R rating driven soley by marijuana usage
-top 15 5 R Rated, 4 PG-13 & 6 PG
-5 either sequels or based on existing IP
Sheedy, Estavez, & Nelson played College graduates in St Elmo’s fire the same year.