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The Breakfast Club (1985) Poster

Trivia

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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. Writer and Director John Hughes told them all to ad-lib.
The film was shot in sequence.
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Judd Nelson (John Bender) stayed in character off-camera, even bullying Molly Ringwald. John Hughes nearly fired him over this, but, ironically, Paul Gleason (Richard Vernon) defended Nelson, saying that he was a good actor, and he was trying to get into character.
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It was originally suggested that there would be several sequels to this movie, occurring every ten years, in which "The Breakfast Club" would get back together. This did not come to pass, due to the volatile relationship between John Hughes and Judd Nelson (John Bender). Hughes stated that he would never work with Nelson again. Also, it was unclear whether or not Hughes still held ill will against his oft-cast starlet, Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish). They had a falling out in the late eighties, after Ringwald decided to move on from the teen film genre to pursue more adult roles, thus severing her relationship with Hughes.
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Originally, only Claire was supposed to dance, but Molly Ringwald felt uncomfortable dancing alone, so John Hughes had the entire cast dance. Molly Ringwald has said she regrets this because not only did she think her dancing was bad, her inability to do the dance solo led to the artifice of the MTV type choreographed dancing, which she feels hurt the movie.
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Judd Nelson improvised the part at the closing of the film where Bender raises his fist in defiance. He was supposed to just walk into the sunset, so to speak, and John Hughes asked him to play around with a few actions. When he was done and they were finishing up, Nelson threw his fist up without running it by anyone. Everyone loved it, and it has also become an iconic symbol of the 1980s.
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John Hughes wrote the screenplay to this movie in just two days (July 4 and 5, 1982).
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John Hughes later said that his biggest regret about this film was using the breaking glass effect during the marijuana scene.
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In 2010, Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) and Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) told Vanity Fair magazine that John Hughes was receptive to actors' and actresses' improvisations, and some of them (including Brian's reason for having a fake ID, "so I can vote") made it into the final film.
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Bender's flinch when Vernon fakes a punch was genuine. Judd Nelson really thought Paul Gleason was going to hit him.
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Molly Ringwald was originally asked to play Allison, even though she wanted to play Claire. She eventually convinced John Hughes and the studio, and was given the part. Although there's some dissention on this. Other cast and crew members have said Molly was originally cast as Claire but tried to pressure the studio and Hughes to let her play the punk goth chick Allison, but Hughes put his foot down and said no, she was wrong for the part, she had to stick to Claire. Molly disagrees with this, and says she'd had her sights set on Claire the whole time, since Claire was so unlike her, so unlike anything she'd played before, and she had a handle on Claire basing her on her sister. (Which is interesting because Molly's sister in Sixteen Candles was also a snotty bitch). Molly said Hughes had pushed her to do Allison, but the Psycho eccentric outsider chick was too much like the role she'd played in Sixteen Candles, the Tempest, Surviving, and other movies, and that she wanted to try something new, and eventually Hughes relented and let her play Claire.
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Judd Nelson (John Bender) went undercover at a local high school outside Chicago near where the film was shooting, and convinced the teenagers that he was a legitimate student. After buying beer for them with his "fake ID" (he was twenty-four at the time), Nelson told them to drop him off at the hotel where the actors were staying. Years later, reflecting on his antics, Nelson said, "They would ask me why I was staying there, and I told them my dad was in jail. I'm staying at the Westin O'Hare while my dad's incarcerated."
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Judd Nelson (John Bender) made up many of the terms used in the movie, including "Neo-Maxi Zoon dweebie."
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Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson)'s mother, Mercedes Hall, and his younger sister, Mary Christian, played his character's mother and sister in the movie.
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John Kapelos jokingly warned the young actors to not overdo their intensity, laughingly noting that Martin Sheen once suffered a serious heart attack while filming Apocalypse Now (1979). Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark) was enraged by the remark, and Kapelos was then stunned to learn that Martin was Estevez's father. While Estevez accepted Kapelos' apology and filming was unaffected, Kapelos said years later he still felt terrible about what he said, even though he hadn't had any idea about the connection between Sheen and Estevez, and had offended Estevez completely inadvertently. When Kapelos guest-starred on The West Wing (1999), he told Martin Sheen this story. Sheen thought it was very funny, which provided Kapelos a small amount of relief from the chagrin he had felt about the incident since it happened.
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The dandruff that Allison (Ally Sheedy) shakes onto her pencilled drawing for snow, was achieved by sprinkling Parmesan cheese.
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Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) hit a growth spurt during production. According to Judd Nelson (John Bender), Hall was shorter than him at the start of production, but at the end of it, he was taller than him.
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John Cusack auditioned several times for John Bender, even travelling between Chicago and Los Angeles before being cast. However, John Hughes went in a different direction, and dropped Cusack in favor of Judd Nelson, which was heavily influenced by the Casting Director.
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The ages of everyone in the principle cast at the time of filming are: Judd Nelson (twenty five years old), Molly Ringwald (sixteen) (her seventeenth birthday was only three days after the film's release), Emilio Estevez (twenty three years old), Anthony Michael Hall (sixteen) and Ally Sheedy (twenty-three).
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The joke that Bender tells (while crawling through the ceiling), but never finishes, 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 punchline for the joke.
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The switchblade used in the movie actually belonged to Judd Nelson (John Bender). He explained that he had it for protection purposes.
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The David Bowie quote at the beginning of the movie is pulled from his song "Changes". It can be found on his 1971 album, "Hunky Dory". Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) suggested the quote to John Hughes, who liked it, and thus included it in the opening.
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Emilio Estevez was originally going to play Bender. However, John Hughes could not find someone to play Andrew, so Estevez agreed to play him.
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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 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.
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John Hughes said that before filming began, the cast rehearsed the entire movie a few times as if it were a play. After the film became a hit, Hughes was asked to write the script as a play, so high schoolers could perform it.
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Judd Nelson's clothes in the movie are the outfit he auditioned in for the role of John Bender.
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Alison (Ally Sheedy) does not speak until thirty-three minutes into the film.
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Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) nicknamed Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) "Milk and Cookies", because she thought he was sweet. Hall never liked the nickname.
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Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) and Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) dated for a while after filming this movie. Not that you would have guessed by their tempestuous relationship towards the end of the movie, then again they were just acting.
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The library in which this movie takes place was constructed in the gymnasium of Maine North High School specifically for the film. The school closed down in 1982, two years before filming began. The building had been used for park district purposes and the Chicago Blitz of the now-defunct USFL (United States Football League), before the Illinois State Police bought it and turned it into a police station, which it is to this day.
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John Hughes originally wanted "The Breakfast Club" to be a two and a half hour movie. However, many of the scenes were cut out and the negatives destroyed. John Hughes said in Première that he had the only complete copy of The Breakfast Club on film. Among the cut scenes from the movie (some filmed, some only written) are:
  • Carl predicts where the five kids will be in thirty years. Bender will have killed himself, Claire will have had "two boob jobs and a face lift", Brian will have become very successful, but die of a heart attack, due to the stress of the high paying job. Allison will be a great poet, but no one will care, and Andrew will marry a gorgeous airline stewardess, who will become fat after having kids.
  • In a dream sequence, Allison imagines Andrew as a gluttonous Viking, Bender as a prisoner, Claire as a bride, Brian as an astronaut, and herself as a vampire. In an unfilmed alternative to this dream sequence, all five kids imagine random things, including cars, naked women, Godzilla, beer, and fighter planes, and these things end up filling the room until Vernon interrupts.
  • John Bender was not going to walk to school in the original script. He was going to be driven by his dad in a rusty tow truck, and have a brief fight with him before his dad drives off. Bender was also tossed a bagged lunch, with his father saying "You are a waste of lunch meat!"
  • After Bender demonstrates "Life at Big Bri's house" Brian stops Bender, and corrects him with a much more pessimistic version of the skit. Claire then proceeds to act out her life before asking Bender to demonstrate his version. Bender's routine changes as well here. After Bender mimics his mom, he stops, commenting that "then they make me work to pay off the dentist for the teeth HE busts."
  • The scene where Andrew and Allison are walking to get the sodas is extended to a point, where Allison pulls out a pack of cigarettes, and smokes one.
  • After getting the sodas, Bender shakes his can violently and places it among the five to see who gets the rigged one. Allison ends up getting it, and when she opens the can, all the soda squirts directly into her mouth.
  • After Vernon asks who has to use the lavatory, the five go to the bathroom. Vernon gives the boys two minutes, and the girls three minutes. Claire catches Allison in a stall eating a bag of chips, repulsing her. Bender mocks Brian for sitting down to pee instead of using a urinal.
  • When the group is sitting in the circle and Allison mentions that she can write (and do other things) with her toes, she was going to follow up with an actual demonstration.
  • Several staff members were cut out of the script before filming. Dr. Lange, a Social Studies teacher, who dresses oddly, and Robin, a gym teacher. Robin helps Vernon on a few workout machines until Vernon injures his back, and she eventually visits the students while they are in their circle in the library. Robin initially replaced many of Carl's scenes, and Carl was originally set to be a minor character, with only two scenes.
  • During a cast reunion in honor of the film's 25th anniversary, Ally Sheedy revealed that a Director's Cut existed, but Hughes' widow did not disclose any details concerning its whereabouts.
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Nicolas Cage was originally considered for the role of John Bender, but the production could not afford his salary at the time. John Cusack was originally cast as John Bender, but John Hughes decided to replace him with Judd Nelson before shooting began.
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Ranked at #1 for Entertaiment Weekly's 50 Best High School Movies (2006).
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In reality, Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) could not do the lipstick trick. They had to use different camera angles to make it appear that she could. Well handled by cinematographer Thomas Del Ruth.
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The Coke cans from which the characters drink have the symbol from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
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Ally Sheedy had first auditioned for the part of Samantha Baker in Sixteen Candles (1984), which went to Molly Ringwald. When Sheedy auditioned, she had two black eyes from a set building accident. The black eyes gave her a dark, gothic image, which stayed with John Hughes. When it was time to cast the part of Allison, Hughes remembered, and called Sheedy.
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The marijuana the actors smoke in the film was actually oregano.
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Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark), Judd Nelson (John Bender), and Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) played high school students in this film, the same year that they would portray college graduates in St. Elmo's Fire (1985). John Hughes recommended all three for their roles.
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As an end-of-filming present, John Hughes gave each actor and actress a piece of the "library's" banister.
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Claire (Molly Ringwald)'s entire ensemble was purchased specially for the character from a Ralph Lauren store, the only one in Chicago at the time. John Hughes had rejected the original costume, on the grounds that it wasn't sophisticated enough.
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Vernon is based on a wrestling coach from John Hughes' high school, who flunked him in gym. Hughes ran into him later, and the coach said the movie was good, but the teacher was a real jerk.
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During filming, John Kapelos (Carl) rarely associated with the other cast members to keep a feeling of isolation.
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When high on marijuana, Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) says, "Chicks cannot hold their smoke, that's what it is", which is from a Richard Pryor stand up routine.
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The BMW driven by Claire (Molly Ringwald)'s father (Tim Gamble) belonged to John Hughes.
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At the beginning of the movie, there are some shots of the school building right before the kids show up for detention. Written on a wall is, "I don't like Mondays". This refers to a school shooting in 1979, committed by sixteen-year-old Brenda Spencer. Brenda's father gave her a rifle for Christmas in 1978. On January 29, 1979, she used her new rifle to shoot ten children and staff at Clevelend Elementary School in San Diego, California. The school was across the street from her house, where she was during the incident. She killed the school's Principal, and one of the custodians, and injured eight children. After six hours, she was apprehended by Police. When asked why she did it, she said "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day." As for selecting her targets, she said "I like red and blue jackets." As of April, 2009, she is serving a life sentence, and has been denied parole four times. At her 2005 parole hearing, she claimed that her father had sexually abused her as a child, and that she was drunk, and on PCP at the time of the shooting. According to her, the authorities, and her attorney, conspired to hide the drug test results. As for remorse, she said at the time, "I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun", "It was just like shooting ducks in a pond", and "(The children) looked like a herd of cows standing around. It was really easy pickings." The incident, and Spencer's lack of remorse also inspired The Boomtown Rats' hit "I Don't Like Mondays".
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It was Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds)'s idea to put Cap'n'Crunch cereal in the sandwich to give it an extra crunch sound.
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As most people know, Shermer, Illinois is a fictitious suburb of Chicago in several John Hughes films such as this film, as well as Weird Science (1985), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Sixteen Candles (1984), Pretty in Pink (1986), and National Lampoon's Vacation (1983). But, the zip code that Brian states in the opening of the film, 60062, is to an actual town. It belongs to Northbrook, Illinois, a town about thirty miles north of Chicago. Northbrook was originally incorporated as "Shermerville" (it changed its name in 1923), and one of the main roads through the town is still named Shermer Road. Glenbrook North High School, on which the film is based, is located on Shermer Road. John Hughes graduated from Glenbrook High School, and based his movies on the school and students. "The Breakfast Club" was the nickname for Saturday detentions.
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Judd Nelson improvised the part when Bender hawks a loogie and catches it.
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John Hughes originally wrote Andy (Emilio Estevez) as a football player, but decided teen movies already had too many of those.
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The film's title comes from the nickname invented by students and staff, for detention, at New Trier High School, 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". "The Breakfast Club" at that school probably took its name in turn from the title of American radio's longest running network entertainment show, broadcast from Chicago, 1933 to 1968.
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When Andrew Clark's (Emilio Estevez's) father, (Ron Dean), tells him, "No school's going to give a scholarship to a discipline case", he originally followed up with, "Not a white one, anyway."
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John Hughes told Ally Sheedy to go to bed and wake up the next day as Allison. Sheedy said she thought, "I don't have to wake up as Allison. I am Allison."
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John Hughes attended Glenbrook North High School, one of the schools where the movie was filmed.
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John Hughes insisted that the entire cast and crew eat their meals on-location in the Maine North High School cafeteria.
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Judd Nelson (Bender) went to a laundromat in character. The looks he was giving to women there caused someone to call the cops.
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The album Allison (Ally Sheedy) is looking at during lunch is "1999" by Prince.
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Other proposed titles were "The Lunch Bunch" and "Library Revolution".
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Rick Moranis was originally cast as the janitor. He grew a thick beard, and decided to play the character with a Russian accent. John Hughes planned to let Moranis reinterpret the character, but Producer Ned Tanen so vehemently opposed Moranis' comical creative liberties, that he had Rick replaced with John Kapelos.
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It was Judd Nelson's idea for Bender to be wearing a tennis shoe in the gymnasium scene.
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The Chicago Public Library donated over ten thousand books to be used in the movie.
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John Hughes and Judd Nelson (John Bender) disagreed about whether or not the cigar burn was real.
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John Hughes was so impressed by Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish)'s performance, that he had her mother come in and watch the dailies.
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The cast and crew often played basketball in the gym between set-ups.
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DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (John Hughes): (Shermer): Most teenage movies, that John Hughes has written, take place in fictitious Shermer, Illinois, and involve Shermer High School.
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The cast all agreed later that Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) was the best dancer.
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Jim Carrey auditioned for the role of John Bender.
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Additional cut content includes an extended version of the pot smoking scene, in which Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) and Claire (Molly Ringwald) are seen singing "All My Lovin'" by The Beatles, and a new scene in which Allison (Ally Sheedy) breaks into the teachers' lockers using a switchblade, where she finds a copy of the Prince album "1999", remarking, "You know what this means? They're human." Several other differences between the definitive, and uncut versions of the film, have been noted, chiefly an extended make out scene, in which not only Bender (Judd Nelson) and Claire are seen kissing, but also Andy (Emilio Estevez) and Allison. Lastly, during John Hughes' small cameo as Brian's dad in the final scene (a performance which he later criticized), he was originally given the short line "buckle up".
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While eating lunch, Andrew (Emilio Estevez) takes his lunch out of a "Happy Foods" paper grocery bag. Happy Foods is an actual grocery store in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago. He also has a bag of Matt's Cookies; one of the first brands of prepackaged soft cookies, introduced in the early 1980s.
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According to Molly Ringwald, Claire was originally scripted as having pasta salad for lunch. Ally Sheedy (Allison) suggested to John Hughes that Claire eat sushi for lunch, which was generally considered a luxury food in America during the mid-1980s.
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Karen Leigh Hopkins was cast as Robin, a gym teacher who gives the teens advice. But after one day of filming, Hopkins was fired and her scenes were re-written for Carl (John Kapelos), the janitor. According to the book "John Hughes: A Life in Film", Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) and Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) objected to a scene, in which Robin was seen nude in the locker room, so John Hughes deleted her character.
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If John Hughes couldn't get Emilio Estevez to play the role of Andrew Clarke, he would have considered casting Michael J. Fox, Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Matthew Broderick, or Rob Lowe.
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John Hughes wanted the detention area to take place in a library, but the school's library was too small. So, they built the library set in the school's gym.
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When Bender (Judd Nelson) is distracting Vernon (Paul Gleason) while the others make their way back to the library, part of the song he sings is a few lines from "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors. The other part he sings while running down the hallway, are lines from a U.S. Military cadence: "I wanna be an Airborne Ranger".
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Jodie Foster was considered to play Claire, and Brooke Shields was considered to play Allison.
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Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) never speaks to Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) despite his authority in the film. The closest she ever comes to communicating with Vernon is squeaking and chuckling at him. Vernon: And I will NOT be made a fool of. Allison: laughs. Vernon: (to Allison) And you can make book on that, Missie!
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The guidance counselor's desk has a name plaque which says "R. Hashimoto". Richard Hashimoto was the Production Supervisor.
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While Maine North High School was no longer a fully-functioning high school at the time of filming, the school was in use as the Alternative Resource Center (A.R.C.) for High Schools Maine West (also in Des Plaines), Maine South, and Maine East (both of Park Ridge, Illinois). Students that were a chronic disciplinary problem, considered to be unruly or disruptive to the learning process of others, would find themselves at Maine North every day, as an alternative to expulsion, or other disciplinary measures. Maine Township still conducts the A.R.C., now in Morton Grove, Illinois, with a goal of providing a structured environment with positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior.
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While chastising Bender (Judd Nelson) in the supply closet, Vernon (Paul Gleason) says that he makes thirty-one thousand dollars a year. Adjusted for inflation, that comes to 69,535 dollars in 2016.
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A prom queen election poster contains the name of Michelle Manning, who co-produced the film.
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The large sculpture in the library, which Allison (Ally Sheedy) adorns with lunch meat, and Bender (Judd Nelson) rides like a mechanical bronco, bears an astounding resemblance to a bronze work by famed British Artist Henry Moore titled "Standing Figure, Knife Edge" (or, in a larger version, "Large Standing Figure, Knife Edge"). These are editioned works (and there's one in Arkansas), so John Hughes either borrowed it for the movie, or used it as the model for a set piece.
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Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) generally ate very healthful food. She got a sugar high from the sandwich she eats on-screen.
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The title of the film is actually the last spoken line.
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Judd Nelson (John Bender) was the last to be cast.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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The majority of the film was shot at what was once Maine North High School.
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The song which Judd Nelson (Bender) hums the guitar riff to at the beginning of the movie is the opening of "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream. Cream's song "Badge" also features in Fandango (1985). Nelson also starred in this movie.
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Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) and Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) were the first actress and actor to be cast.
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Robin Wright auditioned for the role of Claire.
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Brian (Anthony Michael Hall)'s social security number, as filched by Allison (Ally Sheedy), indicates that he was born in Connecticut.
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Allison (Ally Sheedy), Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) and Carl (John Kapelos) are the only ones to make John (Judd Nelson) laugh.
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Ally Sheedy based some of Allison's quirks on Sean Penn, with whom she had just worked, on Bad Boys (1983).
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John Hughes let the cast look at early drafts of the script to pick out parts that they liked.
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To condition his boots, Judd Nelson (John Bender) poured a quart of motor oil on them, and left them for a day.
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John Hughes set most of the movie in one room, because he thought it would be easier to film.
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Paul Gleason played Vernon again in the parody, Not Another Teen Movie (2001). Molly Ringwald had a cameo, and Anthony Michael Hall was mentioned.
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The High School was used in John Hughes' next film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), with Matthew Broderick playing the title character, and was considered for the role of Andrew Clarke.
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The film takes place on March 24, 1984.
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The line, "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried", is also the title of a book about the teen movies of the 1980s.
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Paul Gleason was cast as Vice Principal Vernon because John Hughes liked him in Trading Places (1983).
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Alison (Ally Sheedy) says that she can play "Heart and Soul" on the piano with her feet. This is the song that Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia played, using their feet, on the giant piano in the toy store in Big (1988). They also played chopsticks on the piano.
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In 2018, Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) wrote a piece in The New Yorker in which she described watching the film with her 10-year-old daughter. Although she was bothered by scenes of sexual abuse and harassment in this film and other films and material by John Hughes, she stood by the work, recognizing that these issues were a product of the times and that Hughes' films were still beneficial in helping teens assert their independence and identity.
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Laura Dern auditioned for the role of Claire Standish.
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In early drafts of the script, Claire (Molly Ringwald) was called Cathy.
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Anthony Michael Hall (Brian) and Ron Dean (Andrew's father) appeared in The Dark Knight (2008).
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John Hughes wanted the music to be heavy on drums and bass, to mirror the emotions of the characters. Keith Forsey was chosen to be the Composer, because he was a drummer.
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In both The Breakfast Club (1985) and Sixteen Candles (1984) the Anthony Michael Hall character confesses he is a virgin. The same is true of Molly Ringwald characters in those films. Though the two were 'frenemies' in both movies, they briefly dated during the production of Breakfast Club.
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Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) and Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) previously starred in John Hughes directorial debut Sixteen Candles (1984).
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John Hughes wrote The Breakfast Club (1985) before he wrote Sixteen Candles (1984), but the studio was concerned that Hughes's first film was a drama, completely filmed in-house and featuring just talking; basically a Broadway Encounter group type formula, was Hughes' first film. They wanted him to do something tried and true; something along the lines of National Lampoon's Animal House (1978); so he wrote Sixteen Candles. But ironically Sixteen Candles was not the commercial and critical hit Breakfast Club was. It did ok; but Breakfast Club, not a formula movie like Sixteen Candles, was a much bigger hit at the box office.
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What they ate for lunch: Andrew (Emilio Estevez): a bag of chips, chocolate cookies, three sandwiches, milk, a banana, and an apple. Claire (Molly Ringwald): sushi (rice, raw fish, and seaweed). Allison (Ally Sheedy): a sandwich with Pixie Stix and Cap'n Crunch cereal. John (Judd Nelson): nothing. Brian (Anthony Michael Hall): soup, sandwich with peanut butter and jam, and apple juice.
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Originally, this film was to have three girls and three boys.
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Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) was cast partly because of her role in WarGames (1983).
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The license plate on Brian (Anthony Michael Hall)'s mother (Mercedes Hall)'s car is EMC 2. The license plate on Andrew (Emilio Estevez)'s father (Ron Dean)'s car is OHIOST.
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Judd Nelson (John Bender), Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds), Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) and Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) have all appeared in at least one episode of the USA show Psych (2006).
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Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) and Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) played sisters in Betsy's Wedding (1990).
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Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) and John Kapelos (Carl Reed) appeared in Sixteen Candles (1984) and Weird Science (1985).
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John Kapelos, Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald were all in Sixteen Candles the year before. Later that year Anthony Michael Hall and John Kapelos appeared in Weird Science together. Hughes was planning for Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald and him to team up again in both Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller, and have the three of them keep making movies like that, almost like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland made all those Andy Hardy teen pictures back in the 40s, one after the other, playing different characters and in different movies and with the same actors. But Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall had other plans. While Molly did appear in Pretty in Pink, Anthony said no to the Duckie role. He said this was due to a "redundancy issue"; that it was too much like the love triangle where they squared off in Sixteen Candles. Reportedly John Hughes was hurt and never got over the grudge. He refocused on Molly, hoping she would star in Ferris Bueller and Some Kind of Wonderful, which again were teens caught in a love triangle type movies, but at this point, after appearing on the cover of Time, Molly wanted to spread her wings and try other projects. Ringwald's and Hall's rejection of Hughes at this point hurt him deeply, and in fact led to end of his whole John Hughes teen movie genre. Without his muses to inspire him, Hughes lost interest in the genre, and stopped making those movies; and in effect the genre he had invented died at that point. In an op-ed piece Molly wrote after John Hughes died many years later, she compared this to Michael and Wendy Darling leaving Neverland, and Peter Pan shutting down Neverland out of spite forever as a result. She said Hughes held a grudge against them for rejecting him, and effectively stopped making teen movies all together. He also never really spoke to either one of them again either, up until the time he died, and never collaborated in any other films. The John Hughes teen movie was dead.
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Of all the five teens, Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) is the only one whose middle name is revealed (Ralph, as in "puke").
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In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"
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The Breakfast Club (1985) was one of two films released in that year that starred Judd Nelson, and he also worked with a director who also wrote the screenplay. Here it was John Hughes, for Fandango (1985) it was Kevin Reynolds. Incidentally Thomas Del Ruth was the cinematographer on both films.
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Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) is taller than Judd Nelson (John Bender) and Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark). This is made apparent in the scene where they are marching along the library railing when all the dancing starts.
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As with The Graduate (1967), WarGames (1983) and other teen- and youth-oriented movies of its ilk, most of the adults in this movie are made out to be monsters or symbols of authoritarianism and how teens are mistreated in society. The parents and Principal Vernon are all mostly abusive to the youths in the movie; they are there to show how youths are mistreated in society and provide the impetus for the plot. Similarly in The Graduate, all of the characters who are over 21 are referred to as "Mr. Robinson" or "Mrs. Robinson"; we never learn their first names because they are supposed to be ciphers and symbols for authoritarianism, exemplifying how Ben and Elaine are chewed up by society (unless they rebel). In WarGames, David Lightman's parents and the administrators in Washington are mostly painted as boobs - the idiots that let the crisis develop in the first place.
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In a recent article in AV Club Judd Nelson said that most of the close up shots he did with Molly were with her double, since Molly was only 16 at the time; a minor, and had to be in school during much of the shooting schedule, and they couldn't work her after hours either due to the strict labor laws with minors.
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Many people feel that the original prototype for this movie was Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolfe; with it's Broadway Encounter Group Formula; which had people holed up together in a room and arguing, shouting, divulging personal secrets and revelations and confronting eachother to move the drama. The Boys in the Band, a 1970 William Friedkin movie about the New York gay scene post Stonewall, had a similar format; A Chorus Line, Michael Bennett's smash 1975 musical about the gritty lives of Broadway Dancers also followed this formula pattern, and Lawrence Kasdan's 1983 classic The Big Chill also followed a similar formula, and was another obvious influence on the Breakfast Club. Infact most critics called this the "Little Chill"; or the "Big Chill" for teenagers. Breakfast Club had a huge influence itself. Movies like Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise series, which features Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy arguing and improvising on their feelings of life for young people; were directly influenced by Breakfast Club.
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Contrary to popular belief, the final scene on the football field was not filmed at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois. The entire film was shot at the abandoned Maine North High School in Des Plaines. The football field was on the east side of the building, and has since been converted to condominiums.
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Anthony Michael Hall's character is named Brian Johnson, which happens to be the name of AC/DC's singer (1980 to 2016).
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The pen that Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) uses in the film is a Lamy Safari Model L217.
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The letter Brian writes to Vernon at the end of The Breakfast Club, narrated by Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly RIngwald and Judd Nelson: Brian Johnson: 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 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 Clark: ...and an athlete... Allison Reynolds: ...and a basket case... Claire Standish: ...a princess... John Bender: ...and a criminal... Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.
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Bill Murray was briefly considered for the role of Carl. Murray's brother Brian Doyle Murray appears as a priest in Sixteen Candles (1984), which was also directed by John Hughes.
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Film critic Gene Siskel called this a teen-aged Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
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"When you grow up, your heart dies." Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) in The Breakfast Club. Molly Ringwald has said in interviews this is her favorite line.
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During this period, the early and mid eighties, when John Hughes was at the height of his powers, Hughes, Hall and Ringwald were essentially in a clique together (strange as that was, since Hall and Ringwald were teenagers, and Hughes was in his 30s). Hughes clearly wanted to be a teenager again, and maybe was reliving this through Hall and Ringwald. And Hall and Ringwald genuinely liked him, he was like their crazy, funny older brother, who also happened to be a Hollywood power player who had vaunted them both to the top of the A-List. So for a year or two, 1984-1985, during the filming of Sixteen Candles , Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Weird Science, the three of them would hang out, go to restaurants and clubs and concerts and were friends. All of this ended after Breakfast Club, when Hall rejected Hughes for the Duckie role in Pretty in Pink, and then Ringwald rejected Hughes' pitch for them to be in Ferris Bueller and Some Kind of Wonderful, (which were originally going to star Ringwald and Hall just like Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles.) In fact, this might have very well gone on forever if Hall and Ringwald hadn't put a stop to it. And at that point the terrible trio broke up, and infact they rarely if ever spoke to Hughes much again after that. Hughes stopped making teen movies and started making kids movies, Uncle Buck, and the incredibly successful Home Alone, which at that point was the most successful comedy ever made. But many felt the magic was gone, that without his teen muses Hall and Ringwald, and without the comfort of the genre he created, Hughes' spirit and creativity sort of died, and the movies he made after were never quite the same. Both Hall and Ringwald, as well as others, have spoken extensively about this in interviews.
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Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez would try to go to local schools and "blend in" (which was hard because they were both 23, harder still because Estevez was famous because of movies like the Outsiders and Repo Man already made him famous). Nelson had better luck than Estevez, and actually became part of a clique of local young men from one of the Chicago area high schools, and he admits he would use his "fake ID" (which was his real Id) to get them beer and even buy them pot a couple times when they wanted it.
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Molly Ringwald appeared in Sixteen Candles with her sister Beth Ringwald; who played her sister in that movie. Similarly Anthony Michael Hall appears with his sister and mother in this movie; Mary Christian and Mercedes, who, respectively play his mean sister and mother who are chastising him in the car before he goes to detention.
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There is a top ten hit associated with all of John Hughes' teen movies. Ferris Bueller; BOUNT BOUNT...(chickachicka); Sixteen Candles; (Don't You Forget About Me); Weird Science, (Weird Science) and Pretty in Pink (Pretty in Pink). Music is a huge part of all of Hughes' movies, and Breakfast Club is no exception; although except for the "We Are Not Alone", with MTV dance montage; and the ongoing riffs on the theme song; this movie has the least musical montages of any of Hughes' movies. Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller and Pretty in Pink sample many more randomly selected songs in it's soundtrack than Breakfast Club does. It's all part of the carefully controlled atmosphere Hughes is trying to establish in this very serious encounter group therapy movie.
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'Abysmal apologia for loutish teenage behaviour.' Halliwell's Film Guide.
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Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off were both inducted into the National Registry for being Culturally significant; Ferris Bueller in 2014 and Breakfast Club in 2016. Those were the only two John Hughes movies that accomplished this.
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Paul Gleason (Richard Vernon) and John Kapelos (Carl) appeared on Seinfeld (1989), in separate episodes.
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Brian's (Anthony Michael Hall) personality completely changes once he smokes pot. He starts talking like Chubby Checker and making raunchy jokes. It's also in this scene that the clean cut character is revealed to have a pornographic picture in his wallet. Hall would revisit the "ebonics" drawl in Weird Science (1985), released the same year, while his character is drunk.
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Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark) and Paul Gleason (Richard Vernon) appeared in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (1993).
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Brian (Anthony Michael Hall)'s reference and stereotype is as "The Brain". The name "Brian" and the word "brain" are anagrams of each other.
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Principal Richard "Dick" Vernon (Paul Gleason) is named after Richard Vernon.
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Laura Dern tried out for both female parts in The Breakfast Club and was rejected. Later she referred to John Hughes movies as "that teen junk". Dern bounced back and got two great parts that year: the lead in Joyce Chopra's Smooth Talk (1985) and the female lead in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986). Similarly, John Cusack, who had been cast the previous year as Bryce, Anthony Michael Hall/Farmer Ted's crony in John Cusack, was in the running for Bender, and made it to the final callbacks for the part, when Nelson finally edged him out. He was bitter about the rejection also but went on to star in many other teen classics of the 1980s.
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Breakfast Club is the only movie in Hughes' famed High School Trilogy that was rated R. This is completely for language, and an implied offscreen sexual moment (some would say a harassment or assault moment) between Bender and Claire. Amazingly, Breakfast Club got an R rating, when Sixteen Candles, which also features full on nudity, an implied rape or harassment scene between Havilland Morris and Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald dropping the F bomb, and also sorts of other salty language, and adult situations, got a PG rating. Also amazingly, this is back from a time when filmmakers weren't so hyper about having every movie they make, even movies aimed at teenagers, getting a PG rating. This movie got an R; was a box office smash, and still beat out Sixteen Candles, which was PG, at the box office! These days if the movie was made Hughes would be bending over backwards to get a PG rating, as almost all filmmakers have to do these days.
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This film passes the Bechdel test (as most of John Hughes' works do). However, there are no minorities in this movie; everyone is white. Molly Ringwald has even lamented this in recent interviews. In a recent Entertainment Tonight interview commemorating the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club, Entertainment Tonight (1981) asked her if she thinks they'll make a remake. And she said, "hopefully not one where everyone is so white." Ally Sheedy chimed in that in addition to being racially non inclusive, it was non-inclusive to LGBT people and other minorities. Ironically, Molly Ringlwald's Diff'rent Strokes (1978) co-star Todd Bridges, who is African-American, was promised a part by John Hughes in a conversation they had on a flight together in 1984. When Bridges followed up with Hughes' people later that year, they backed out of the deal, saying "we don't know how to write for black people." This might illuminate why so many Hughes films, while being very identifiable to both men and women of Generation X in particular, are all also racially exclusive. Ringwald commented on this in the ET interview and said "Ryan Murphy and Glee (2009) have effectively evoked the John Hughes feeling while also being more inclusive to minorities."
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There was a scene in both The Breakfast Club (1985) and Sixteen Candles (1984) where the Anthony Michael Hall character confesses he is a virgin.
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Bender spends most of the movie harassing Claire. There's even a scene of implied assault or harassment, where Bender bites or touches Claire offscreen and she kicks him. Bender is rewarded for all this bullying by having Claire kiss Bender, give him her eating, and essentially starting a relationship with him. Molly Ringwald herself has spoken out about this recently since the onset of the Me Too Movement, and how disturbed by all of this she is, particularly about the mixed messages this sends to her daughter and the next generation; particularly since Breakfast Club is now basically a right of passage movie that all teenagers see now
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Bender (Judd Nelson) refers to Claire (Molly Ringwald) as a "richie". In Pretty in Pink (1986), Andie (Molly Ringwald) refers to Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) as the same thing.
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Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark)'s father, Martin Sheen, appeared in the film The Dead Zone. Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) later played the lead role on the television series, while Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) and John Kapelos (Carl) made guest appearances.
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John Candy was considered for Carl. Candy went on to work with John Hughes in Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Uncle Buck (1989) and Home Alone (1990).
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Vernon says to Bender, "Don't mess with the bull, or you'll get the horn", in real life Paul Gleason was born on May 4th-making his zodiac a Taurus (Bull).
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According to an Entertainment Weekly article about the 30th Anniversary of The Breakfast Club, John Kapelos challenged Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez about their professionalism, and said, half-jokingly "Do you think that when Martin Sheen had his heart attack on the set of Apocalypse Now, that he quit because things got tough? No! He kept right on going"! Both Nelson and Estevez looked at him white as a ghost. Kapelos did not realize, when he made that joke, that Martin Sheen was Estevez' father. Estevez stormed out, and Nelson told him. Kapelos was horrified and tried to rectify what he had done; trying desperately to apologize to Estevez, but it was too late. Estevez never forgave him; the two never spoke again!
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Judd Nelson would harass Molly Ringwald off-set as part of his method acting. He would make fun of her blind musician father, touch on other hot button issues, and tease, harass and bully her, much like his onscreen persona. In the book on the Hughes/80s/teen phenomenon movies "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried" (which is taken from a line from this movie), Ringwald said she "so knew what (Nelson) was doing," and was not phased by his method actor attacks. Although Hughes was not so tolerant and understanding; he almost fired Nelson because of his antics. He also said he would "never work with Judd Nelson again" because he was basically acting like his psychopath punk character on the set the whole time. It is interesting that in the pre-#MeToo era when the movie was filmed, in Chicago in 1984, both Molly Ringwald (and the other actors on this set) and her onscreen alter ego witnessed and experienced harassment, but tended to dismiss it and look the other way.
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Talk about Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon! Nearly every cast member has been in atleast one other movie together. Anthony Michael Hall was in Weird Science with John Kapelos. Molly Ringwald was in Betsy's Wedding with Ally Sheedy. Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy were in Blue City together. And Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and John Kapelos were in Sixteen Candles together. And also Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Emilio Estevez were all in St. Elmo's Fire together. In addition to this Molly Ringwald was in Not Another Teen Movie with Paul Gleason; spoofing the roles they play in this movie! Emilio Estevez and Paul Gleason appeared in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1. And Anthony Michael Hall worked with his on-screen Dad John Hughes in Vacation before this, and then afterwards in the aforementioned Weird Science; and Ally Sheedy worked with Hughes again after this in Only The Lonely. Four of the five students in The Breakfast Club, everyone except Emilio Estevez, would also appear on the TV show Psych. And John Kapelos and and Paul Gleason would both make cameo appearances on Seinfeld. If this wasn't enough Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason both had recurring roles on Hill Street Blues as well. Also Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark)'s father, Martin Sheen, appeared in the film The Dead Zone; and Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) later played the lead role on the television series, while Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) and John Kapelos (Carl) made guest appearances. Anthony Michael Hall (Brian) and Ron Dean (Andrew's father) also appeared in The Dark Knight (2008) together. In addition to all this Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy also all appeared in the 2010 Academy Awards Tribute to John Hughes .
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Everyone's lunch gets ridiculed except for Bender (he doesn't have one).
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Ally Sheedy is the only actor who's character has the same name as them.
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During the scene when Andrew and Allison are talking about unsatisfied home lifestyle, you can see a missing drawer from the card catalogs. This was due to Bender removing it in a previous scene to rearrange the cards.
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The only film of John Hughes where Anthony Michael Hall's character doesn't get romantic involved with anyone. He only does in Sixteen Candles (1984) and Weird Science (1985).
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If Vernon was the one doling out the punishments (he's the principal and the school administrator running this detention) why didn't he know that Allison wasn't supposed to be there? At the beginning of the movie Claire says to him, "Excuse me. I know this is detention and all, but I don't think I'm supposed to be here". And he responds: "I can assure you, you are all where you're supposed to be". But he was wrong. Allison is not supposed to be there.
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Twice the boys in this movie make fun of black people. Anthony Michael Hall does a Chubby Checker impression while he's smoking pot; and Judd Nelson impersonates a (stereotypical) black basketball player in the gym scene when Vernon catches him shooting hoops there.
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Bender (Judd Nelson)'s first name is John; the writer/director's first name is also John (John Hughes, of course).
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Molly complained in a recent Entertainment Weekly interview that while she loves the movie, it's so white. She's right. With white Anglo character names like Allison Reynolds, Brian Johnson, Claire Standish, John Bender, Andrew Carp, Richard Vernon and Carl Reed, this might as well be a British 19th Century drawing room comedy, the names and ethnicities here are so uptight, white and Anglo! This movie is just begging for some diversity! But then the town where Hughes grew up, Northbrook, Illinois, isn't the most diverse place on the planet, so maybe some of this is inevitable.
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John Bender (Judd Nelson)'s first name is the same as the writer/director.
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Director Cameo 

John Hughes: Brian's father, who picks him up at the end of the film.
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Director Trademark 

John Hughes: [The Beatles] Principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) is named after a minor actor from A Hard Day's Night (1964). When the principal asks the janitor what he wanted to be when he grew up, the janitor replies that he wanted to be John Lennon.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the beginning of the movie, different shots of the school hallways and classrooms are shown, and you can see what the flare gun did to Brian (Anthony Michael Hall)'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, Carl Reed (John Kapelos).
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The following are the reasons each character is in detention on Saturday: Andrew (Emilio Estevez): taped a guy's butt cheeks together in the locker room. Brian (Anthony Michael Hall): flare gun went off in his locker, Bender (Judd Nelson): pulled a false fire alarm. Claire (Molly Ringwald): ditched class to go shopping. Allison (Ally Sheedy): didn't do anything, she didn't have anything better to do on a Saturday (however, this claim is most likely untrue, and is part of Allison's compulsive lying).
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Bender (Judd Nelson) continuously provokes Principal Vernon (Paul Gleason) into giving him extra Saturday detentions. It is later implied that Bender does this intentionally, because he'd rather be with Vernon at school on a Saturday than home with his abusive father. It's also implied (during the scene where Vernon escorts him to the closet and rips into him) that he acts the way he does because he'd rather have people think he's a tough troublemaker than a troubled abuse victim. Overall, it shows that he has more tolerance (and possibly more respect) to deal with Vernon than his parents.
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The theatrical trailer shows brief footage that was ultimately never used. One shot shows Allison (Ally Sheedy) sitting by herself in a small room (presumably while the rest of the kids are getting high). Another brief clip shows Allison (post makeover) exclaiming to Andrew (Emilio Estevez) that she doesn't wanna be alone anymore, to which he responds that she doesn't have to be.
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When aired on television, there are often one of two (very rarely both) additional scenes shown to fill the time and content gap: Right after Mr. Vernon (Paul Gleason) excuses Andrew (Emilio Estevez) and Allison (Ally Sheedy) to go to the teacher's lounge to use the soda machine, there is additional footage of Allison walking past Andrew, and going straight towards the door while he collects change from Brian (Anthony Michael Hall). The whole time, Vernon is telling them to get a move on. Bender (Judd Nelson) then holds his hand out towards Brian, who thinks he wants a high five and proceeds to give him one. Bender then makes a face and Brian realizes he needs change too, so he takes more change out of his pocket and hands it to Andrew. Claire (Molly Ringwald) then asks Mr. Vernon if he can break a (presumably five dollar or ten dollar) bill she has, to which he gives a disgusted groan. - There's an additional scene after they sneak out of the library, but before they reach Bender's locker. They walk up to the faculty lounge, where Vernon is having a hard time with one of the vending machines. They each creep by quickly (Bender goes first, followed by Claire, Andrew, and Brian) except for Allison, who not only brings up the rear, but she purposely stops and stands in the doorway for a few seconds facing Vernon, as if daring him to look her way. Claire then comments, "she's nuts, but she's cool." Then she passes the doorway, and they continue towards Bender's locker. Vernon then finally looks towards the door, just as the machine finally dispenses his candy purchase.
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The beginning monologue is slightly different from the ending monologue. The difference shows the goal of the movie and the transformation the characters go through. From being each one for themselves and not caring about others to becoming a strong group that supports each other
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John Bender (Judd Nelson) is the only member of The Breakfast Club to never be shown crying.
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In 2018 Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) wrote an article for "The New Yorker" magazine in which she criticised this film for the fact that Bender (Judd Nelson) sexually harasses, sexually assaults, and bullies Claire and that, despite this, they end up in a romantic relationship at the end.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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