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The Breakfast Club (1985)

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Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director:

John Hughes

Writer:

John Hughes
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Emilio Estevez ... Andrew Clark
Paul Gleason ... Richard Vernon
Anthony Michael Hall ... Brian Johnson
John Kapelos ... Carl
Judd Nelson ... John Bender
Molly Ringwald ... Claire Standish
Ally Sheedy ... Allison Reynolds
Perry Crawford Perry Crawford ... Allison's Father
Mary Christian Mary Christian ... Brian's Sister
Ron Dean ... Andy's Father
Tim Gamble Tim Gamble ... Claire's Father
Fran Gargano Fran Gargano ... Allison's Mom
Mercedes Hall Mercedes Hall ... Brian's Mom
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Storyline

Beyond being in the same class at Shermer High School in Shermer, Illinois, Claire Standish, Andrew Clark, John Bender, Brian Johnson and Allison Reynolds have little in common, and with the exception of Claire and Andrew, do not associate with each other in school. In the simplest and in their own terms, Claire is a princess, Andrew an athlete, John a criminal, Brian a brain, and Allison a basket case. But one other thing they do have in common is a nine hour detention in the school library together on Saturday, March 24, 1984, under the direction of Mr. Vernon, supervising from his office across the hall. Each is required to write a minimum one thousand word essay during that time about who they think they are. At the beginning of those nine hours, each, if they were indeed planning on writing that essay, would probably write something close to what the world sees of them, and what they have been brainwashed into believing of themselves. But based on their adventures during that ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Five strangers with nothing in common, except each other. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Breakfast Club See more »

Filming Locations:

Park Ridge, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,107,599, 18 February 1985

Gross USA:

$45,875,171

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$51,525,171
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Stereo (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emilio Estevez was originally going to play Bender. However, John Hughes could not find someone to play Andrew, so Estevez agreed to play him. See more »

Goofs

When Allison takes her lunch out of her lunch bag there isn't a plastic bag filled with Captain Crunch, but a few seconds later it appears there. See more »

Quotes

Richard Vernon: You think about this: when you get old, these kids - when *I* get old - they're going to be running the country.
Carl: Yeah.
Richard Vernon: Now this is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night. That when I get older, these kids are going to take care of me.
Carl: I wouldn't count on it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opens with the following which then explodes from the screen. "And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds; are immune to your consultations, they are quite aware of what they are going through." -David Bowie See more »

Alternate Versions

When Emilio and Alley are asked to get sodas they collect money from everyone. They stick there hands out and and collect it. When they get to Anthony M Hall he gives money and then Judd Nelson sticks his hand out for money from Brian. Brian laughs, but Judd gives him a stone face, so Anthony gives him some money for a pop. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Madam Secretary: Collateral Damage (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunshine Of Your Love
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Pete Brown
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of my (personal) favorite comedies. John Hughes strikes again!
7 January 2004 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

Parents have never understood the youth of the world. Elvis used to be evil. Now he's too tame for modern music enthusiasts. Just imagine how tame Eminem will seem years from now. And as a scarier thought, who (or what) could be worse than some of the singers on today's market?

John Hughes is locked in a time capsule, still bearing the mind of a teenager, and he is able to tap into these feelings of teenage angst. That is what separates "The Breakfast Club" from, say, "The New Guy," or one of those other stupid teen films of recent years.

And the jerk, played by Judd Nelson, isn't meant to be cool. He is a jerk, and if older viewers took the time to pay attention to the film, they would perhaps realize that the point of the film, from the very beginning, is to establish that this so-called jerk is only acting like one to get attention. Because he is obviously shunned at home. He's an outcast. And unlike other films that refuse to establish their characters, "The Breakfast Club" introduces him as a jerk, and proceeds to explain why he is that way. This is what makes this movie tick.

I knew a kid like Bender (Nelson) once when I was in school, and generations of kids continue to go through the exact same things. Once they reach a certain age, though, it seems as though all adults suddenly break away from the teenage emotions. John Hughes never did, I guess. (Although he certainly tapped into adult behavior with his best film, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" [1987], a welcome introduction to Hughes' adult comedy, hinted at in "Vacation" [1981], which he wrote.)

The film opens with a quote from David Bowie that just about sums the entire film up. We are introduced to five kids spending eight hours of detention at Shermer High School in Illinois. They are: Andrew the Jock (Emilio Estevez), Brian the Nerd (Anthony Michael Hall), Bender the Criminal (Judd Nelson), Claire the Princess (Molly Ringwald), and Allison the Basketcase (Ally Sheedy). They are looked over by the school principal (Paul Gleason), who assigns them the task of writing a report on why they are here in detention and what they did to get there.

To say that the outcome is predictable is an understatement. We know who's going to get together with whom from the beginning, but getting there's all the fun. Watching the characters come to appreciate their differences and learn that they're more than just billboard examples of angry teenagers is more than half the fun.

Teenagers are not as unaware of who they are as some people always think. John Hughes knew this, and deliberately tapped into this state of mind as no other director has done before -- or since, for that matter. Sure, they've tried. (Hughes' "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was just about the only other film that tried to show teenagers as something more than stupid hormone-crazy rambunctious adolescents, but as young adults who were trying to grow up fast -- the scene where Ferris and Sloane pretend their water is wine is good evidence of this.)

Hughes' teenage characters were not the clichés they are now when "The Breakfast Club" came out in 1985 -- this film has proved to be the steeple of teen clichés (many of them poked fun at in "Not Another Teen Movie," which features a cameo by Ringwald). Think of "2001" or "Halloween" -- the drifting spaceships and psycho killers chasing sex-hungry teenagers is now routine, but it wasn't then. The Jock, The Nerd, The Criminal, The Princess, and The Basketcase weren't clichéd back then, either -- although Hughes purposely chose these references to the characters in order to let Brian, The Nerd, say that they were more than just that in the beginning of the film when he's reading his essay in voice-over narrative.

I seriously doubt whether this film is any better than the work of Coppola, Cortiz, Kurosawa, Scorsese, Welles, et al. If I were assembling a list of "the greatest movies ever made," I'd never include this.

But sometimes the greatest films aren't just the films that are technically perfect, but those that connect to you on one level or another. I know that my all-time favorite comedy ("Planes, Trains and Automobiles") may not be considered better than something such as "Some Like it Hot," but that film doesn't affect me the same way. I either don't connect with the story, the characters, the feelings, or I just don't appreciate the film as a whole. I appreciate "The Breakfast Club" in many ways, and for that reason it will always be considered one of my favorite films. Even if it is kinda sappy.


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