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Sixteen Candles (1984) Poster

Trivia

Samantha's dad's car has the license plate "V58", which stands for "Vacation '58", a story written by John Hughes for National Lampoon Magazine, which served as the basis of the screenplay for National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
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Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald initially disliked each other, so John Hughes took them to a record store and they bonded after they found out they like the same music. One of the groups they liked was The Rave-Ups which Molly scribbled on Samantha's notebook.
Molly Ringwald almost lost the part of Samantha to Ally Sheedy, her future The Breakfast Club (1985) co-star.
Of all the films Molly Ringwald made with John Hughes, she said, "I had the most fun on Sixteen Candles."
The movie's Costume Designer begged Molly Ringwald not to wear the hat she wore in the beginning of the movie. Ringwald insisted. After the movie was released, teenage girls started wearing their hats tilted back like that.
Michael Schoeffling was so shy during his audition, it almost cost him the job. But Producer Michelle Manning said, "He was so stunning and dreamy, that we cast him."
Gedde Watanabe says the gong sound effect wasn't included in the script: "I think the gong was something they added. Somebody must've had a few beers."
Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were sixteen-years-old upon the release of this movie.
The movie's line "Can I borrow your underpants for ten minutes?" was voted as #86 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
Jim Carrey auditioned for the role of Ted "The Geek".
The license plate number on Jake's car "21850" was John Hughes' birth date - February 18, 1950. February 18th is also Molly Ringwald's birthday.
They didn't have enough money to air condition the gym, so it was over one hundred degrees during filming. It was so hot that Haviland Morris changed dresses between takes, due to all the sweat.
Molly Ringwald got to decorate Samantha's bedroom with items from her own dwelling.
Samantha's room was a set built inside the high school gym, where they filmed the dance.
John Hughes' directorial debut.
In the book "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, And Their Impact on a Generation" by Susannah Gora, Molly Ringwald says that because she and Anthony Michael Hall were too young to entertain themselves at bars or nightclubs, they often spent their Saturdays off from filming Sixteen Candles (1984) crashing the Bar and Bat Mitzvah receptions that were being held at the hotel in Skokie, Illinois, where the cast was being housed.
The Rolls-Royce, which Jake lends to Ted, to take Caroline home, was owned by a friend of John Hughes' father.
Carlin Glynn (Brenda) confronted John Hughes about the fact that the script didn't call for her to apologize for forgetting her daughter's birthday, despite the fact that her character was described as a good and attentive mother. Hughes agreed, and added the scene where Brenda tearfully apologizes to Samantha (Molly Ringwald).
Viggo Mortensen auditioned for the role of Jake Ryan. Molly Ringwald told Access Hollywood: "I really wanted him. He made me weak in the knees. He really did."
Haviland Morris didn't want to do the shower scene, because the point was that she had bigger breasts than Sam and Randy, which she didn't. So they had a body double for her.
On the VHS and some DVD versions, Anthony Michael Hall is credited as "The Geek". In the television movie and film versions, he is credited as "Farmer Ted". On IMDb, he is credited as "Geek". His character's name is "Ted Farmer", but due to some teacher's habits of doing role call by calling out the students' names as they are printed out, he probably earned the nickname of "Farmer Ted" because of his name being printed out as "Farmer, Ted", and subsequently called out that way.
According to Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong), there was a deleted scene where he sings at the dance.
In the initial script, Sam's father ends his heart-to-heart with his daughter by asking what happened to her underwear (which she gave to Ted Farmer). Molly Ringwald's mother pointed out that it was weird for a girl's father to ask that. John Hughes agreed that it was creepy, and changed the line.
John Hughes cast Molly Ringwald after seeing her headshot. Inspired by Ringwald's appearance, he put it up over his desk and wrote the film just over a weekend, with her specifically in mind for the lead role.
Samantha says that Caroline "must have flunked nine grades" because of her mature figure for a high school student. In actuality, Haviland Morris was twenty-five years old during filming. Michael Schoeffling (Jake Ryan) was twenty-four.
John Cusack and Joan Cusack's roles were essentially consolation prizes. They were prominently cast in The Breakfast Club (1985), with John cast as Bender, and Joan set to play Allison. But Universal thought that John Hughes' script for this film was more commercial, and therefore should be made first.
Haviland Morris is actually a natural redhead. John Hughes only wanted one redhead in the movie, therefore she had to wear a wig.
Other than Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos was the only actor to appear in all three of John Hughes' teen films which were made under contract with Universal. In Weird Science (1985), Kapelos can been seen at the table in the bar. In The Breakfast Club (1985), Kapelos serves as the janitor. In this movie, Kapelos appeared as Sam's future brother-in-law.
The same moving shot of the exterior of the high school, was used for the beginning of this movie, as well as the end of Weird Science (1985). The same people can be seen making the same movements in both movies.
Considered to be one of fifteen films that changed American cinema.
John Hughes wrote the role of Ted Farmer especially for Anthony Michael Hall, having worked with him on National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
Final film for Max Showalter (Grandpa Fred).
Brother and sister John Cusack and Joan Cusack appeared in this movie. John is Bryce, one of Anthony Michael Hall's geeky friends. Joan is the geeky girl seen on the bus, and having trouble sipping water from a drinking fountain, while wearing a neck brace.
During the party, that isn't Haviland Morris' underwear. They used a body double.
DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(John Hughes): [The Beatles]: Ted Farmer sings "Birthday" to Sam in the auto shop.
Filmed at Niles East High School. Some of the students in the big party scene are wearing Niles East Trojans jackets and shirts. Niles East was in Skokie, Illinois, and had already been closed for over three years when filming began. The original school building has since been demolished, and is now the location of Oakton Community College.
When Ginny, Sam's sister, sits down in the church scene, she does so next to Agnes Belushi, mother of John Belushi and Jim Belushi. The Reverend is played by Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill Murrays older brother.
In late 2003, USA Network announced that a made-for-television sequel, to be called "32 Candles", was being planned, showcasing the original characters sixteen years after the original film. It was unknown at the time of the announcement, whether any of the original cast members would be involved with the project, but that turned out to be unimportant, since the announced new film was never made.
Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall dated briefly in real-life. The two dated between this movie and The Breakfast Club (1985).
Other music posters in Samantha's house include: Culture Club, The Stray Cats (over her bed), and Sammy Hagar.
The original soundtrack was released as a specially priced mini-album containing only five songs. However, the movie actually featured an extensive selection of over thirty songs.
Molly Ringwald was interested in doing a sequel. After rejecting various pitches through the years, Ringwald said, in 2005, that she read a "32 Candles" script that she liked, and had an interest in starring.
The song playing in the background, while Rudy's father explains his "business activities" to the Bakers, is the Love Theme from The Godfather (1972).
During the dance scene, John Cusack is wearing a WLS t-shirt. Although it currently has an oldies format, in 1984, WLS was a top-40 station in Chicago, Illinois.
After the film's success, the houses have become a tourist attraction.
In the cafeteria scene, seen in television broadcasts, the lunch menu reads as follows (in all-uppercase changeable letters): MEATBALL SALAD - .80 SENIOR BURGER & FRIES - $1.00 CHIPPED PORK ON A BUN - .55 JUMBO FISHDOG - .75 CORNAROOS - .55 GELATIN BALLS - .30 CANNED BROWNIES IN LIGHT SYRUP - .50 VITAMIN COBBLER - FREE ICED TEA - .15 GRAPE BEVERAGE - .15 WARM MILK - .10HAVE A NICE DAY
The German title of the film, "Das darf man nur als Erwachsener", translates to "One may do that only as an adult".
The print above the bed in Jake's room, depicts the seventeenth century Swedish man-o-war Vasa, which sank in Stockholm harbor during its maiden voyage in 1628. She was salvaged in the 1950s, and is now displayed at the Vasa Museum.
The Long Duk Dong character is suspiciously similar to another character in a story John Hughes wrote for National Lampoon Magazine, titled "Christmas '59". The story, which seemingly also formed the storyline for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), has "Grandma and Grandpa Swenson" visiting for Christmas, with exchange student "Xgung Wo" along for the ride. Echoing the racial stereotyping in this film, Xgung Wo mispronounces English phrases to comic effect.
Gedde Watanabe's accent isn't real. When he went to audition for the role of Long Duk Dong, he borrowed the accent from his South Korean friend.
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Michael Schoeffling had a serious girlfriend at the time, and they eventually married.
This movie has gotten a great deal of criticism from some of its Asian-American viewers for its racial insensitivity, and its negative impact on their upbringings. In a 2008 National Public Radio piece titled "Long Duk Dong: Last of the Hollywood Stereotypes?", reporter Alison MacAdam interviewed Eric Nakamura, a co-founder of Giant Robot Magazine, which covers Asian and Asian American pop culture. Nakamura said, "Every single Asian dude who went to high school or junior high during the era of John Hughes' movies was called 'Donger'. I mean, if you're being called 'Long Duk Dong', you're comic relief amongst a sea of people unlike you, and you're also being portrayed as a non-(American) person. You're being portrayed as a guy who just came off a boat, and who's out of control. It's like every bad stereotype possible loaded into one character. Just the gong that, you know, appears behind them magically every time he's on the screen, gong, you know, that's awful. I mean, I feel bad for (actor Gedde Watanabe) in the end, because he's had to live with the fact that all these Asian-American men hate him." Watanabe was also interviewed for the piece, and he recounted numerous incidents in which people have publicly expressed their anger at him for playing a role that so widely disseminated negative stereotypes of Asian men.
One scene, which was cut from the final theatrical version, but later shown in the television version, was shot in the cafeteria at one of Niles East's two sister schools, Niles North.
The Bakers six-bedroom brick house, in northwest Evanston was sold for 1.25 million dollars in 2006.
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At the beginning of the film, Molly Ringwald is filling out a questionnaire. On top, the word "Confidential" can be seen misspelled. The "I" and the "A", at the end of the word, are in the wrong order.
The dress that Sam wears to the school dance was supposed to be worn by Liane Curtis (who played Randy). But when Molly Ringwald saw it, she asked to wear it.
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Molly Ringwald's real-life sister, Beth Ringwald, appears in the film as Patty Baker.
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There is a poster of Heather Thomas on the back of Mike's bedroom door.
In an article published in Salon, Amy Benfer considers whether the film directly condones date rape. After the party scene, Jake tells Ted that his girlfriend Caroline is "in the bedroom right now, passed out cold. I could violate her ten different ways if I wanted to." He encourages Ted to drive her home saying "she's so blitzed she won't know the difference." When Caroline and Ted wake up next to each other in the car, Caroline says she's fairly certain they had sex though neither of them remember it. Amy Benfer writes "The scene only works because people were stupid about date rape at the time. Even in a randy teen comedy, you would never see two sympathetic male characters conspiring to take advantage of a drunk chick these days."
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The turntable shown spinning with the pizza on top is a Denon DP-62L.
When Samantha is in her room talking on the phone with her friend, a promotional poster can be seen on the wall for the rock group Squeeze and their album entitled "Singles", which was released in 1982.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed 4,461,520 dollars in one thousand two hundred forty theaters in the U.S. and Canada, ranking second. By the end of its run, it grossed 23,686,027 dollars against a budget of 6.5 million dollars.
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Laura Dern and Robin Wright auditioned for the role of Samantha Baker.
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Throughout the movie, various members of the Baker family and other characters derisively call Ginny's fiancé an "oily bohunk". "Bohunk" is a disparaging slur against immigrants from Central Europe, especially Hungary. It was especially common in the American Midwest, where many such immigrants and their descendants settled after arriving in the Unites States. John Hughes grew up in Michigan and Illinois, and set most of his movies (including this one) in the suburbs around Chicago.
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This was the second movie, in which Joan Cusack and John Cusack appeared together. The first being Class (1983).
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When eating dinner with the family, Long Duk Dong is using the ends of two forks as chopsticks.
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Interesting parallels with another Cusack related movie: John Cusack and Joan Cusack were in this and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997). Danny Elfman, leader of Oingo Boingo, which is on the soundtrack of this film, and uncle of Bodhi Elfman, whose wife, Jenna Elfman, wore a neck brace in Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) at the dance scene, as Joan's character wore the neck brace in this film.
On September 18, 2016, when television Writer Alan Yang won an Emmy for Master of None (2015), he bemoaned the historical dearth and negativity of Asian-American representation on television and in movies, and in his acceptance speech, he specifically named "Long Duk Dong" as a low point in that history: "There's seventeen million Asian-Americans in this country, and seventeen million Italian-Americans. They have The Godfather (1972), Goodfellas (1990), Rocky (1976), and The Sopranos (1999). We've got Long Duk Dong. So we have a long way to go. But I know we can get there, I believe in us, it's just gonna take a lot of hard work."
The cafeteria scene is only included in the televised broadcasts, and was never in the theatrical version, nor on the VHS or DVD versions.
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The film was a modest hit during its theatrical run (it opened second, behind Breakin' (1984)). The film became a huge hit when it was released on VHS.
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Michael Schoeffling was twenty-three-years-old when the movie was made, Haviland Morris was twenty-four, Gedde Watanabe was twenty-eight' and Molly Ringwald' and Anthony Michael Hall were both sixteen.
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There are some cut scenes where Long Duk Dong and his Sexy Girlfriend go to a drive-in restaurant and cause a bit of trouble. These scenes where later cut, but it explains why there is a tray on the side of grandpa's car.
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The cake that Jake Ryan and Samantha kiss over was made out of cardboard. When they tried shooting the scene with a real cake, it would melt over the long takes.
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Niles East High School, the school where the movie was filmed, is now part of Oakton Community College, and has been compeletly remodelled.
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According to Gedde Watanabe, there was a deleted scene where he sings at the dance.
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Joan Cusack and Anthony Michael Hall appeared in the 1985-1986 season of Saturday Night Live (1975).
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Features Adam Rifkin in a small role.
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Other music posters in Samantha's house include: Culture Club, The Stray Cats (over her bed), and Sammy Hagar.
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Jake's father's Rolls-Royce is worth more than sixty-six thousand dollars today.
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Jimmy Iovine, the future cofounder and head of Interscope Records, was the movie's Music Supervisor.
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Filmed at Niles East High School. Some of the students in the big party scene are wearing Niles East Trojans jackets and shirts. Niles East is in Skokie, Illinois, and was closed for over ten years when the filming started.
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When Sam sees her grandparents for the first time, the theme song from The Twilight Zone (1959) is playing. Her grandfathers, played by Edward Andrews and Max Showalter, starred separately in two different episodes.
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When Ted is walking up the isle of the bus to sit next to Samantha, the theme from Dragnet (1951) plays.
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Cameo 

Dick Biondi: Chicago radio legend is heard on the radio (uncredited) in the opening bedroom scene where Molly Ringwald is looking in her mirror.

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