Film Archive

The Breakfast Club (1985)

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Writer and director: John Huges

97 minutes, Comedy, Drama

I go back now and then to my Eighties archive, where most of it is still in my head rather than posted on my blog, but I’m getting there. Just so many of them films, and they are losing control!!

This week’s gem is The Breakfast Club, written and directed by the duke of Eighties, John Hughes, and starring Emilio EstevezJudd NelsonMolly RingwaldAlly Sheedy, and Paul Gleason.

Plot: an interesting encounter between five students on a Saturday detention, when each of them follows a different high school stereotype. During this eight hour detention they come across status frictions and finally open up to each other only to realize they have more in common than they thought.

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John Huges immaculately picked one of each stereotype and showed his audience what might happen if you put them all in one room, anarchy? Exactly the opposite. The chosen cast’s performance is beyond any words, as each of them fits their role like a glove. I love them all, but no doubt I have chosen John Bender (Judd Nelson) as my favorite a long long time ago. His character is one of the best created ever, oozing with a rough and cynical attitude no girl can resist. It seems that Nelson had a tight competition for this role. John Cusak also auditioned and originally casted, when Huges decided to go with Nelson just before the shooting began. Cusak just didn’t look tough enough, and I totally agree. Molly Ringwald is Huges’s favorite as she was casted on three of his prime Eighties films, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink, which I also wrote a post about. She had to share the spotlight this time with amazing colleagues, but still managed to hit a home run with the role of Claire. I do believe she became an icon due to her fantastic styling on the film. Those boots and skirt… love! Anthony Michael Hall co-starred with Ringwald on Sixteen Candles, and there too he played the, and I quote, “maxi zoom dweebie” (John Bender). It’s not only until Edward Scissorhands that he came out of his geeky shell and became the handsome s.o.b.  I thought Ally Sheedy looked best in this film, even before her Claire’s retouch. I can never forget the famous scene of her preparing her lunch so skillfully by putting sugar and cereal into her sandwich and squashing them together, making a yummy crunchy sound (I thought so…) I love The Lunch Scene altogether. Last but defiantly not least is Mr. Estevez, who played Andrew the athlete. It’s like, when I think athlete I think of him. I didn’t use to find him so charming the first few times I watched the film (I think I’ve reached a 100 times so far). His character kind of grew on me. Bender always won the “ultimate man” award for me, but there are times I would surely consider passing the torch to Estevez. The scene where Andrew looks at Allison (Sheedy) when she approaches him looking all pretty, simply melts me away. What can I say? I’m a cheesy romantic.

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The Breakfast Club is followed by an outstanding and very Eighties soundtrack, including the famous Simple Minds song, Don’t You (Forget About Me). Another one is Fire in the Twilight by Wang Chung that follows the famous Hallway Scene. I personally also love the last one, Heart Too Hot to Hold, by Stefanie Spruill and Jesse Johnson, playing when Bender crosses the football court, looking all cool. I’m a sucker for Eighties tunes, and this soundtrack kicks ass. It includes 11 songs, which were all masterly downloaded to my computer at some point.

High schools are notorious for being a symbol of teenage hierarchy. A place when one’s being labeled by what he or she look like or their financial status, rather than by who they really are. Huges is a master at presenting this subject on the big screen, from Weird Science and Sixteen Candles to Pretty in Pink, and obviously The Breakfast Club. Well, you know what they say, it takes one to know one… I wonder which high school stereotype he was related with…   It’s a little far from my culture as we had different stereotypes back then, but I still highly relate. We had the Freaks, you know, the guitar players, smokers, and rock lovers, we had our versions of guidos and guidettes, only in Hebrew they’re called differently, and the normal ones. I guess we had geeks also, but very few of them stuck out. I would dare to say, though, based on films I’ve seen, that in American high schools this situation is much more popular. Again, those are American films created by American directors and writers, so I hope I’m not stepping on any toes here.

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The Breakfast Club will always remain on my top ten list, not just the Eighties one. I tried as hard as I could to reflect my love and admiration for the film, director, cast, and soundtrack, and I hope it came across. If not, let me repeat and say I REALLY REALLY LOVE THIS FILM!

“You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.” The Breakfast Club.

My score: 10/10

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6 thoughts on “The Breakfast Club (1985)

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