Happy 20th birthday, Breakfast Club


I wish they would do a re-release of it in the theatres – I bet people would pack it IN!! I would so go.

I remember vividly the first time I saw that film. It was at the Showcase Cinemas, in Warwick, Rhode Island. I went with a group of my friends – wait – Betsy – was it you, me, and J that first time? I remember how the movie kind of just pierced through me. It reached out of the screen, and talked right to our lives. As high school students, as teenagers. It was funny, angry, surprising … the characters were also full of surprises, although they all began as “types”. We just were blown away by it.

I fluctuated my alliances. There were times when I related most to Allison. But then there were other times when I really related to Bender. I FELT most like Allison in my life … and so the fact that Andy, the popular jock, would see the beauty in her … was painfully hopeful to me. I’m serious. The two scenes where they kind of connect one on one just killed me. I wondered if I could ever connect with a boy like that. If a boy would ever come up to me and try to cut through my defenses – the way he did.

“You’ve got problems.”
“Oh, I’ve got problems?”
“You do everything everybody ever tells you to do. THAT is a problem.”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t empty out my bag and invite people into my problems. Did I …”

Just wonderful. She looks like a wild animal in that scene, her hair in her eyes, her eyes black-rimmed like a fierce cat in the jungle. He needs to tame her, he needs to approach her carefully …


And then the second scene when she emerges “made over” by Claire. Beautiful. Something about the music beneath that scene, too – it’s very subtle, but it works so well. You can FEEL his emotions as he sees her transformations.

There was something about that particular connection that really got to me, as a teenager.

But really, like I said – that’s the genius of the film. Throughout it, you can flip back and forth between points and views. You think you know someone, you think you have them pegged, and then they reveal a bit of humanity, or something you can relate to … and your whole attitude changes.


(Like Tracy says in Philadelphia Story: “The time to make up your mind about people is never.”)

High school is all about appearances. The Breakfast Club, a sensitive well-made story, accepts that. But by the end of the film – they have cracked through to one another. They don’t go over the top with it, there are no sloppy hugs, no “I’m sorry I treated you the way I did…” It’s a better movie than that. Everything is NOT resolved. We don’t know what will happen when they go back to school. Will they maintain their connetion? What?? We don’t know. It’s up for speculation. No promises are made at the end of the film (except, I guess, by Brian who says, when they’re sitting on the floor: “I just want to tell you all … that I wouldn’t do that … and I won’t…”)


Also: unless I’m mistaken there is no “reconciliation” really between Bender and Andy. All of the others come to some sort of understanding, individually – sometimes without even talking about it. (If you notice, Bender accepts Allison almost immediately, in the beginning of the movie. He never EVER gives her crap. Says to her, “I’ve seen you before …” and leaves it at that. He can probably sense her pain, on some supersonic level, and so he just lets her be. It’s subtle – but it really shows that Bender is actually, somehow, kind of a hero. He zeroes in on Claire because Claire is a liar, and full of shit. She’s also obviously cruel to others. Bender wants to crack that facade. Allison’s facade is different – it’s a survival mechanism. She needs it to get through her day. Huge difference. So Bender lets her be.) But back to Bender and Andy: they end up just keeping away from each other, maybe just accepting the fact that: “Okay, y’know what? We’re both alpha dogs. Can’t be two alphas in one room … so let’s just back off, mutually.” Because of course in the beginning of the film, they clash immediately, doing that macho posturing shit at each other. But somewhere along the line, silently, they let it go.


It’s a classic movie. Mitchell and I were talking this weekend about “classics” and what movies from our time, our generation, will be considered classics 100 years from now.

I said Groundhog Day and he said The Breakfast Club.

One of the other interesting things about The Breakfast Club (which sadly, is always cut out by the prudish networks when they run the film in a constant loop – is it on AMC?) – anyway. They cut out all of the pot-smoking references. They can’t cut it out completely – because then there would be no reason for them to sneak off into the school to get to Bender’s locker. So they keep that in (but you can feel how grudgingly they do so) … but all shots of them smoking the pot are excised.

But here’s the deal: and I don’t think you could get away with this now, in our even more uptight era: Smoking pot is THE thing that breaks down the barriers. John Hughes doesn’t couch it in a warning to the kids in the audience, he doesn’t try to say “drugs are bad” at the same time … No. It’s unabashedly positive. They all get stoned, and then the next shot is them sitting on the floor … talking … when all kinds of emotional, dramatic, and funny (“I can eat with my toes”) things happen. There’s a direct correlation there. But it’s a direct correlation that people don’t want to deal with. There is no cautionary moment when the film-maker scolds the audience: “Pot smoking is bad!” No. Pot smoking is actually seen as GOOD. Which (duh) is why teenagers do it. And it isn’t always a slippery slope, leading to cocaine and heroin and harder drugs, for God’s sake. You couldn’t get away with such a simple acceptance of that reality now. At least not in a mainstream movie made for teenagers. If you do drugs you are bad. Drugs are bad. Subliminal message pounding. I mean, people can’t even smoke cigarettes anymore without being “the villain”. What would Humphrey Bogart do if he were a movie star today?

The Breakfast Club is a highly sophisticated film, if you compare it to what is being made for that age bracket now. It respects its audience. That’s why we loved it so, that’s why I still love it.

I probably saw it 5 times in the movie theatre when it first came out, and continue to watch it on a regular basis. I never EVER get tired of it. Weird, right? How often does THAT happen?


To imitate Alex, here is a list of Breakfast Club trivia, for your enjoyment:

–The original running time of “The Breakfast Club” was about two and a half hours. Thinking the film would not be a hit, Universal Pictures trimmed the running time down to the modern 97 minute version. The studio then destroyed the negatives of the deleted scenes. John Hughes said in a “Premiere” magazine article that he has the only complete copy.

–Emilio Estevez was originally going to play Bender, but Hughes couldn’t find someone to play Andrew Clark so Emilio agreed to play Clark.

–Molly Ringwald really wanted to play Allison but Ally Sheedy had already been promised the part.

–The library in which this movie takes place was actually constructed in the gymnasium of a high school that had closed down several years before filming began. As of 2000, the school is a police station.

–Director John Hughes insisted that the entire cast and crew eat their meals on location in the Maine North High School cafeteria.

–The joke that Bender tells but never finishes (while crawling through the ceiling) actually has no punchline. According to Judd Nelson, he ad-libbed the line. Originally, he was supposed to tell a joke that would end when he came back into the library and said, “Forgot my pencil”, but no one could come up with a joke for that punchline.

–The guidance counselor’s desk has a name plaque which says “R. Hashimoto”. Richard Hashimoto was the production supervisor.

–A prom queen election poster contains the name of Michelle Manning, who co-produced the film.

–Director John Hughes actually attended Glenbrook North High School, one of the schools where the movie was filmed.

–It was originally suggested that there would be several sequels to the Breakfast Club, occurring every ten years, in which the Breakfast Club would get back together.

–Director Cameo: [John Hughes] Brian’s father, who picks him up at the end of the film.

–In the beginning of the movie you see different shots of the school hallways and classrooms, you can see what the flare gun did to Brian’s locker. Also there is a picture of a former Shermer High School student “Man of the Year”. The guy in the picture is the janitor.

–The theme song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, was written for the film by Keith Forsey. It was a number one hit for Simple Minds, and both Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry turned down offers to record it first (although in 2001, Billy Idol recorded Don’t You (Forget About Me) as a bonus track for his Greatest Hits album). The song was also turned down by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders who then suggested they offer it to the band fronted by her husband at the time, Simple Minds.

–The film’s title comes from the nickname invented by students and staff for detention at the school attended by the son of one of John Hughes’ friends. Thus, those who were sent to detention were designated members of “The Breakfast Club”.

–“Claire’s” entire ensemble was purchased specially for the character from a Ralph Lauren store, the only one in Chicago at the time. Hughes had rejected the original costume on the grounds that it wasn’t sophisticated enough.

–Nicolas Cage was originally considered for the role of John Bender but the production couldn’t afford his salary at the time. John Cusack auditioned, but producers opted instead for Judd Nelson.

–Director John Hughes said that the cast rehearsed the entire movie as if it was a play a few times before filming began. After the film was a hit, Hughes was asked to write the script as a play so high schoolers could perform it.

–John Cusack was originally cast as John Bender, but John Hughes decided to replace him with Judd Nelson before shooting began.

–John Hughes wrote the screenplay to this movie in just two days (4 and 5 July 1982).

–Rick Moranis was originally cast as the janitor; he left due to creative differences and was replaced by John Kapelos.

–One subplot that was filmed but deleted showed Principal Vernon watching some women faculty members using the school swimming pool.

–More deleted scenes:
Allison imagines what the other students are really like.
Carl the janitor predicts where the Breakfast Club will be in 20 years.
When Allison says, “I can write with my toes,” she actually does so.

–The scene in which all characters sit in a circle on the floor in the library and tell stories about why they were in detention was not scripted. John Hughes told them all to ad-lib.

–Other proposed titles were “The Lunch Bunch” and “Library Revolution”.


Brian’s voiceover at the end: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…
Andrew: …and an athlete…
Allison: …and a basket case…
Claire: …a princess…
Bender: …and a criminal…
Brian: Does that answer your question?… Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.


Happy birthday, Breakfast Club.

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58 Responses to Happy 20th birthday, Breakfast Club

  1. Lisa says:

    I don’t consider TBC a teen movie as we understand teen movies. It was a movie ABOUT teens, but it wasn’t a teen movie, in my opinion. If the director of American Pie had tackled the same subject matter, Claire and Bender would have f*ing in that air vent.

    As a former Claire, I’ve always felt the need to defend her. Sure, she was superficial in a lot of ways, but she’s real in her way, just as Bender was real and Allison is real. I’ve always hated that so-called “rebels” are always made out to be the only authentic people in movies. You don’t have to be a freak to be authentic.

    Of course, YMMV. :)

  2. red says:

    I guess – but I went to see it as a teenager. I was a senior in high school. It was marketed to us most definitely.

    And about Claire – I agree with you totally – I actually like Claire a lot. I feel for her. But for me, it’s MOST satisfying when SHE cracks – because she (in my mind) has the farthest to go.

    When she breaks down in the little circle group – it’s huge. Way more huge than anybody else’s revelations because she’s the type of girl who struts around as though her shit doesn’t stink. It’s amazing to see her admit she’s human.

    She was a conformist, she said it herself. “I hate having to do eveyrthing my friends say…” She is one of THOSE girls. That’s authentic, in its own way, even though she’s not a “freak”.

    but as someone who was constantly made fun of by the Claires of the world, I related way more to Allison.

    The whole point of the movie was that they ALL felt like freaks. Each and every one of them.

    Isn’t there some line like: “Some of us are just better at hiding it.”

    Claire had a great great act going. Maybe you weren’t a Claire, Lisa – People can be popular wihtout being a phony and a liar. I knew girls like that. But Claire’s personality was an act. Bender made it his mission to get her to crack – because she had the best act in the room.

  3. red says:

    Oh, and one of my favorite moments in the movie is Claire’s.

    Allison: Why are you being so nice to me?
    Claire: Because you’re letting me.


  4. red says:

    Isn’t it amazing, too, how Anthony Michael Hall has changed? There have been times he’s shown up in things and I have completely not recognized him. No more that skinny little geek – now a big jocky built guy. wild!

  5. Barry says:

    This was on AMC yesterday, but I only caught the first 10 minutes or so. It came on after St Elmo’s Fire, which I had never actually seen before and only caught the last hour of it.

    Red – was TBC ever made into a play? I was actually telling my wife yesterday that I so want to direct this show. Do you think, if performed today as a play, it should be set in 1985, or 2005? Or does it matter (with obviously pop cultural references updated)?

  6. red says:

    if you Google Breakfast Club, and pick “Images” – I think there are shots in there of certain productions of it.

    It was never officially made it into a play – not that I know of – but it looks like high schools and community theatres have gone ahead and done it anyway.

  7. ricki says:

    Damn, I’m glad they didn’t go with “Lunch Bunch.”


    I agree with you on this and “Groundhog Day.” Both films that can be rewatched multiple times without losing impact.

    I do think that it’s not really/not exclusively a “teen” flick – seeing it again when I was in my late 20s, I realized there was a lot more to it than when I saw it at 16 or whatever (I remember one of my friends walking out of the theater and asking something like, “who would you do – Bender or Andrew?” Not exactly your highest form of discourse there.)

  8. red says:

    I know, right? Lunch Bunch just doesn’t have the same feel to it. Too cutesy.

    I don’t think it’s exclusively a teen movie – I still watch it, and love it, and you’re right – I almost get more out of it now than I ever could have gotten back then, because I was so IN it.

  9. red says:

    ricki – so what did you answer? bender or andrew? :)

    There was something about Andrew’s face when he saw Allison’s transformation that totally made me fall in love with him when I was a teenager … so I probably would have said Andrew back then.

    Now? Definitely Bender.

    Poor Brian. Does no one want to do Brian??

  10. red says:

    By the way – does anyone know if a director’s cut exists? With those deleted scenes?

  11. Lisa says:

    You’re right, red. Claire did have the farthest to go, not only being true to herself, but I think she had the biggest barrier to overcome — the OTHERS’ perception of her. That they thought she couldn’t have ANY problems because she was “popular.”

  12. Lisa says:

    Oh, I always went with Andrew. I have a terrible fear of being sucked into Judd Nelson’s nostrils, never to be heard from again.

  13. red says:

    Lisa – the nostrils!!! hahahahahahaha

    Yeah, I think that’s why that Claire moment when she says “You’re letting me” is so truthful. it says so much about how we … project stuff onto other people – “Oh, because Claire is popular and has beautiful nails and eats sushi – she’s probably a bitch”. But when Allison “lets” her be nice to her – Claire is great, in a girlie supportive way. It’s a great moment, full of truth.

  14. Independent George says:

    Lisa – I think that says more about the changing nature of ‘teen’ movies than it does about The Breakfast Club. There have been some good ones in the 90s (Bring It On and Clueless immediately come to mind), but nothing truly iconic like The Breakfast Club or my personal favorite, Say Anything.

    Curiously enough, I think that there have been a lot of great movies recently that fit your description of “about teens, but not a teen movie.” Rushmore, Election, Donnie Darko, and Ghost World, for example. I love Rushmore.

  15. Ron says:

    Wow, Red, fantastic TBC piece! More factoids than you can shake a stick at!

    When is your film review book going to out, you’re more than halfway there now! ;-)

  16. red says:

    Rushmore was one of my favorite movies of the last 10 years.

    And Say Anything – fuggedaboutit, one of my favorite movies ever made!!

  17. BFKN as Dave says:

    Great post Red! Fantastic info —
    The relationship between Andy and Bender – I think you’re right that there is never quite the understanding of each other the others are able to muster — but still when Bender is antagonizing everyone – they all still stick up for against the VP.

    The actor who plays Carl, John Kapelos – is from where I live, London, ON – and apart from Guy Lombardo – is probably our most famous export – well, maybe Jenny Jones.

  18. Lisa says:

    Say Anything. . .there can’t be enough said about that movie. I love it love it love it. I have a never-dying crush on John Cusack. I’ve loved every thing he’s ever been in, even America’s Sweethearts, and that movie sucked. ass.

  19. Claire – “Because you’re letting me”
    I alway took that as an indication that she was breaking away from her self obsession and actually trying to help someone.

  20. Stevie says:

    I was too old (27) by the time TBC came out to relate to it the way you obviously did, Red, but I liked it, I guess. Truthfully, at the time, I found the entire so-called Brat Pack annoying. They seemed like a bunch of superpopular, supercute people who might play geeks or misfits but their reality was pretty damned great. I think that was particularly galling because they were younger than I was and all moving along in their careers, while I was in the closete, stalled in a weary, low-pay government job, living in LA a block from the freeway, and driving an Ace bandange-colored Pinto. Yikes. So my Brat Pack tolerance level was shot. I mean, when Judd Nelson flared his nostrils (I call it the Ali MacGraw school of acting), I just wanted to smash his face in! Also, in high school I knew some kids who hid behind their hair, like Allison did, but if they ever got a “makeover,” believe me, the result wouldn’t have been Ally Sheedy! So it all seemed impossibly juvenile to me. Now I think, what kind of stupe was I to be so into my BP angst?

    I can TOTALLY see how important this movie would be to kids who saw it for the first time when they themselves were teens. It’s like the first time teens were depicted realistically. I felt the same about seeing the movie Parting Glances, which I think came out about the same time – it was the first time I saw a depiction of gay men that felt natural, authentic, and relevant to my own life. It was therefore hugely important to me.

    Thanks for the fun post. Maybe I’ll burn a smudge stick later and “release” my negative BP feelings while listening to Don’t You Forget About Me!

  21. red says:

    stevie – it might be true that you needed to be a teenager when you first saw it to really click into it. like when Rebel without a cause came out. Adults, in general, were unimpressed – but teenagers went WILD. Because they were still there, in that alienated place … they “got it”

  22. red says:

    “Dave” – I absolutely love that Kapelos guy. He’s wonderful in the part. How he knows the kid’s names, etc. I can’t imagine Rick Moranis in the part!!

  23. yeah – he’s a good journey man actor – he shows up in the weirest places — he was the suspected drug dealer from columbia in a seinfeld episode and he was in the HBO Late Night Wars as part of Letterman’s posse. We’re thinking of building a statue to him here — in the character of Carl of course.

  24. red says:

    And he has what is, in my opinion, the best line of the movie. The point, really.

    Horrible VP says, “You know what really scares me is that when I get old these kids are going to take care of me.”

    Carl says, “I wouldn’t count on it.”

    The audience of teenagers erupted into applause at that line when I saw it for the first time. It was so VALIDATING, or something like that.

  25. Demented and Sad, But Social

    Sheila reminds me that The Breakfast Club is now 20 years old. Let me just step back a moment and say, wow. Time flies when you’re…aging. It’s been a while since a Listomatic, so here’s my favorite quotes from Breakfast…

  26. ricki says:

    red –

    I actually think I said “Brian” because I was irritated at her for even ASKING that question.

    and, you know – if Hughes has all those deleted scenes (the only copies!) and he release a “collector’s edition” dvd with those scenes on it, it would kill. Probably sell ten million copies (or whatever is a huge amount in dvd-land. I’m not a big media-buyer, outside of books).

    I’d love to see the scene about Allie’s imagination….

  27. About the deleted scenes — there is one bad edit when Bender is reciting all the things the others dudes said to him – and when he gets to Andy – he says “It wouldn’t matter if I was hear or not – remember?” Only problem is, Andy never said it…. would love to see the deleted scenese….

  28. JFH says:

    Well, being a little older, The Breakfast Club had a little bit different effect on me, but still a great movie. The movie didn’t quite track with my high school when I graduated (’80), yet still I could associate with it. We had slightly different cliques though:


    Jocks – Obvious group, although this didn’t just include the jocks and the cheerleaders, but also guys and girls who “could” be either but didn’t bother with that stuff. The top of the pyramid like most schools the other three cliques were subservient to this one.

    Freaks – aka “Wastoids”, note that during this period it wasn’t that these guys did drugs; everybody, including jocks, did drugs. You were in this clique if you hung out in the smoking area behind the school. (BTW, I wonder if kids today or even Gen Y’ers realize that smoking we LEGAL for kids over 16, at least in VA, and we had designated smoking areas for ’em.

    Geeks – Math Club and other less intellegent hangers-on…

    Thus far we’ve described four of the five from TBC… but here’s where my experience departs. The final group, which Allison MIGHT have been a part of was the:

    Drama Freaks – Relatively close to the minor clique of the “Band people” because many of the DFer’s were in the choir; they were a major clique on their own. Jocks made fun of ’em, but they didn’t cower like the Geeks did when confronted

    At the end of my sophimore year, the heirarchy of cliques would be shaken to its knees…

  29. red says:

    “Jocks made fun of ’em, but they didn’t cower like the Geeks did when confronted”

    Go, drama geeks!!!!

    So, dare I ask, JFH – what happened at the end of your sophomore year to crash the hierarchy?

  30. red says:

    “dave” – but doesn’t andy have a moment where he says something (early on) to Bender like: “You don’t even exist at this school” … or am I making that up?

  31. red says:

    Lisa – I couldn’t agree more about Say Anything. Not enough good can even be said about it!

  32. I think you’re right Red — but the line Bender repeats back to Andy – isn’t in the previous dialogue — or maybe they cut it out for Canadian audiences!

  33. red says:

    Oh – I see what you’re saying.

    I would jsut love to see … you know, outtakes – and deleted scenes – I would never ever get enough of it!!

  34. JFH says:

    March 1982, end of my sophomore year. As a small kid, but in advanced math and science classes, I could have easily broken in the higher ranks of Geek clique (which I was a part of in 8th grade). Instead, I had higher goals. My wrestling and weight lifting, along with my close friendship with another good-looking wrestler (who could care less what clique he was in, which, in retrospect, made him even more attractive to the “jock clique” girls), had allowed me to join the fringes of the elite “Jock” group. Cheerleaders, even juniors and seniors, were talking to me! Granted, I was the cute “just friends” kind of guy to these older girls, but still this made me attractive to sophomores and freshmen…

    Alas, all my work was for naught, as a major rip in the clique universe was about to occur. The hottest Junior cheerleader, a big favorite for head cheerleader next year, had been secretly trying out for the Dulcinea role in the last drama club play of the year! Once she had won the role in the Man of La Mancha play, she essentially quit her position in the “Jock” clique and started hanging out with the Drama Freaks; she said she wouldn’t be cheerleading in her senior year to concentrate on drama.

    That was only the beginning of the earthquake. Three freshman cheerleaders (the few that were shorter than I was), realized that drama was a pretty cool elective and that “Drama Freak” guys were kind of cute and, MORE IMPORTANT, were more mature than the jocks. And the erosion continued from there.

    By my senior year, all cliques were roughly equal, while cross-dating among cliques was acceptable, I was actually at a disadvantage compared to the Band guys and Drama Freak guys in dating those respective classes (Freak girls were typically sleezy and Geek girls were almost non-existent). Sure I dated in my senior year, but it was all air-heads, all the smart girls had broken away from the Jock clique…

  35. red says:

    That is an absolutely genius story. It should be a movie all on its own!! amazing.

  36. Demented and Sad, But Social [updated and link fixed]

    Sheila reminds me that The Breakfast Club is now 20 years old. Let me just step back a moment and say, wow. Time flies when you’re…aging. It’s been a while since a Listomatic, so here’s my favorite quotes from Breakfast…

  37. red says:

    JFH – honestly. I can’t stop thinking about your story. I just read through the whole thing again.

    What an amazing thing!

  38. Independent George says:

    I’m still thinking about the story of the Phys Wrecks. That seems like it should be the greatest clique-breaker ever.

  39. red says:

    George – yeah. You’re right.

    It was when the jocks started showing up at the girls game … to rate our cheers, complete with flashcards … that was the real breakthrough.

  40. JFH says:

    Oh, yeah! A good, happy story for you Shiela (just guessing that you identified with the drama freaks), but what about ME… All that disingenuousness and sucking up to idiots FOR NOTHING!!

  41. Independent George says:

    JFH… Do you mean to tell me that the Geek Guys managed to break through and join society? Don’t tease me like that…

    Red, I’m telling you – if filmed, the Phys Wrecks would be the greatest high school movie ever made. I mean, seriously – how could any human being not love this?!!

    Sidenote: anybody else here a fan of the long-departed Freaks & Geeks?

  42. Betsy says:

    Ah – Sheil – that would be you, J and me in the car in J’s driveway for hours following that movie – oh! and Kate too. That was the good night in J’s driveway because we were about to graduate and we had this deep conversation about growing up and moving on. The second time in J’s driveway was after the prom…

  43. Mark says:

    I wish they would do a re-release of it in the theaters – I bet people would pack it IN!!

    You are so right. In addition to my full time job, I work part time at a local independent theater. Every Friday night we do a midnight “cult” movie; we showed Breakfast Club a few months ago and it did quite well. The thing that really struck me is that the majority of the audience wasn’t even born (or were still pooping their diapers) when the movie first came out. And that final shot of Bender raising his fist got THUNDEROUS applause.

    Sidenote: anybody else here a fan of the long-departed Freaks & Geeks?

    You mean A.K.A. The Documentary of Mark’s High School Years? Hell yeah. I met Paul Fieg about a month and a half ago and told him that; he got a big kick out of it.

  44. red says:

    Betsy … ah yes. The bookends. J’s driveway. A very important place.

  45. Patrick says:

    The Breakfast Club was the first movie I ever watched on a VCR. I was fourteen years old and miserablely recovering from an appendectomy. I came home from the hospital on Christmas Day and my 12 siblings were scowling at me because they had to wait for me to get home to open presents. One of the presents, given to the family by my oldest sister, was a VCR. The next day we joined one of those video rental places that don’t really exist anymore. You know, independent and NOT Blockbuster. I think it was my sister Kathleen, a senior at the time, who rented The Breakfast Club and I spent Christmas break of my froshman year on a couch in the family room watching the Breakfast Club, over, and over, and over, and over. My favorite line, because I can do it so well and it makes Kathleen laugh, is Brian’s crying scene when he says, “Fuck you!” (Kick) “Fuck you!” Twenty years later I can still get a laugh out of her with that line. I also related to Brian because I looked similar, skinny, blond, insecure, etc., but I was not at all a brain like him. I also understood his frustration with failing shop. I failed PE two times. Man, high school sucked. :-)

  46. Patrick says:

    oh! And Molly Ringwald? HOT. Even a skinny, athletically challenged, fourteen year old gay boy saw that. However, I really only wanted her to be my friend because she was so damn cool.

  47. red says:

    I loved the way she danced in the big dance number. There was one shot of her, up on that platform, dancing by herself – and she was wearing those fabulous brown boots – and she would kind of kick out to one side, then the other – but she looked so chic, so together …

  48. Ron says:

    We need another of those “tests”; “What TBC member are You?”

    That would be fun…

  49. red says:

    michele over at a small victory is linking to one.

  50. Amanda says:

    This is one of my favorite all-time movies. Funny how it was released when I was nine…
    but still, I relate totally to it, more so now as an adult that I look at it with “grown-up” eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I also loved it during my HS years, but it’s so not the same… It’s definitely not a teen movie.
    Great post, Sheila! Kudos to you.

  51. Dave J says:

    Thank you so SO much for posting this, Sheila. If forced to pick just one, you already know I would call this my favorite movie.

    “I wish they would do a re-release of it in the theatres – I bet people would pack it IN!! I would so go.”

    It probably goes without saying that I would go DOZENS of times, over and over again as long as it was still out. And I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen it in the theater: it’s timeless in many ways, but of course, in 1985, like Amanda, I was all of nine years old.

    “but doesn’t andy have a moment where he says something (early on) to Bender like: “You don’t even exist at this school” … or am I making that up?”

    You’re correct; Andy does say something like that. He says “if you disappeared forever it wouldn’t make any difference. You may as well not even exist at this school.” I felt that was true of me in high school: it’s why I relate to both Brian and Allison. If they thought about me at all, people saw me as a brain, though I didn’t kill myself academically like Brian; unlike Allison, I had a few friends, but I was never part of a clique, even a nerd/geek clique. I was happier in grade school, and then I was happier again in college; high school sucked.

  52. Ron says:

    On that TBC Test, I wind up Brian! Is that good?

  53. graboy says:

    Another teen movie that will still play well after 100 years – “American Graffiti”

  54. red says:

    Love American Grafitti – what a wonderful movie.

  55. They’ve Aged So Well

    Sheila would like to wish a very happy 20th birthday to The Breakfast Club. I was in eighth grade when that movie came out, hence I couldn’t go to see it, the movie theaters in Omaha being the only place…

  56. Dave J — thank you for the correction on my assertion of a bad edit — I remember having it on video and back over and over again to find that reference and just never did — my apologies, I stand corrected!

  57. Sincerely Yours, The Breakfast Club

    Sheila at The Sheila Variations has a 20th birthday celebration of the 1985 movie “The Breakfast Club”.

    This is a great movie. If you didn’t know these people in high school, I think you’re lying to yourself. You may have even been one of them. I …