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Sixteen Candles (1984) Poster

Trivia

Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were sixteen-years-old upon the release of this movie.
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When Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall first met, they did not get along at all. Director John Hughes took them shopping at a music store, and they discovered they had similar musical tastes, and eventually got along.
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."
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.
The license plate on Jake's car reads "21850", which was Writer and Director John Hughes' birth date (February 18, 1950).
Jim Carrey auditioned for the role of Ted "The Geek".
They didn't have enough money to air condition the gym, so it was over one hundred degrees during filming.
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.
Samantha's room was a set built inside the high school gym, where they filmed the dance.
Molly Ringwald got to decorate Samantha's bedroom with items from her own dwelling.
The Rolls-Royce, which Jake (Michael Schoeffling) lends to Ted (Anthony Michael Hall), to take Caroline (Haviland Morris) home, was owned by John Hughes.
John Hughes' directorial debut.
The cake at the end of the movie was made of cardboard.
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.
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.
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.
The gym was so hot, Haviland Morris (Caroline) changed dresses between takes, due to all the sweat.
According to Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong), there was a deleted scene where he sings at the dance.
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 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.
John Hughes wrote the role of Ted Farmer especially for Anthony Michael Hall, having worked with him on National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
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.
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.
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.
Considered to be one of fifteen films that changed American cinema.
The character of Long Duk Dong was supposed to be a teenager, but Gedde Watanabe, who portrayed him, was twenty-eight-years-old at the time this was filmed.
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.
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.
John Hughes wrote the movie specifically for Molly Ringwald after seeing her at another casting, believing that she was the perfect representation of an American teenager.
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).
DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(John Hughes): [The Beatles]: Ted Farmer sings "Birthday" to Sam in the auto shop.
During the party, that isn't Haviland Morris' underwear. They used a body double.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The song playing in the background, while Rudy's (John Kapelos') father explains his "business activities" to the Bakers, is the Love Theme from The Godfather (1972).
Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall dated briefly in real-life. The two dated between this movie and The Breakfast Club (1985).
When Ginny, Sam's sister, sits down in the church scene, she does so next to John and Jim Belushi's mother Agnes. The Reverend is played by Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill's older brother.
When she was asked about casting Viggo Mortensen in the role of Jake Ryan, Molly Ringwald told Access Hollywood: "I really wanted (Viggo Mortensen). He made me weak in the knees. He really did."
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
After the film's success, Sixteen Candles' houses have become a tourist attraction.
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.
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.
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Michael Schoeffling had a serious girlfriend at the time, and they eventually married.
Laura Dern auditioned for the role of Samantha Baker.
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.
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.
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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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 Ringwald wears to the school dance was supposed to be worn by Liane Curtis (who played Randy). But when Ringwald saw it, she asked to wear it.
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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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The Bakers six-bedroom brick house, in northwest Evanston was sold for 1.25 million dollars in 2006.
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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.
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.
Hughes wrote the film over a weekend.
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The turntable shown spinning with the pizza on top is a Denon DP-62L.
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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This was the second movie, in which Joan and John Cusack appeared together. The first being Class (1983).
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When Sam (Molly Ringwald) and her friend are in the lunch line, one of the menu selections behind the lunch lady's head reads "Canned Brownies in Light Syrup".
When eating dinner with the family, Long Duk Dong is using the ends of two forks as chopsticks.
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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 the "Sixteen Candles" character "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."
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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.
Laura Dern and Robin Wright auditioned for the role of Samantha Baker.
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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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Night Ranger's song "Rumours in the Air" can be heard on Mike's headphones in the kitchen scene.
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Viggo Mortensen almost got the role of Jake Ryan.
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Michael Schoeffling was twenty-three-years-old when the movie was made, Molly Ringwald was sixteen, as was Anthony Michael Hall.
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Ginny's husband Rudy (John Kapelos) played the janitor in another John Hughes' movie, The Breakfast Club (1985).
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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.
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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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Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald initially disliked each other, but 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.
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John Hughes wrote the role of Samantha Baker with Molly Ringwald in mind. After he received a headshot of her, it inspired him to write the movie.
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John Hughes wrote this script in two days.
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In Easy A (2010), Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) mentioned she would like a guy to wait her outside the church, "like in Sixteen Candles".
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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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John Hughes' directorial debut.
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According to Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong), there was a deleted scene where he sings at the dance.
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Haviland Morris (Caroline) was born in 1959. When this movie was released in 1984, she was twenty-five-years-old. When Samantha (Molly Ringwald) is looking at her in the shower, she says, "I swear, Caroline Mulford must have flunked about nine grades." Since Caroline Mulford is supposed to be about seventeen-years-old in the movie, but was actually twenty-five, she was about eight years older than her character. So her "flunking about nine grades" is pretty accurate, based on Haviland's real age.
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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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Many Asian-American groups thought that Watanabe's portrayal of Long Duk Dong was racist.
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While Ted and Jake are talking about Sam after the party in Jake's house, Frank Sinatra's New York, New York is heard in the background.
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Long Duk Dong was played by Gedde Watanabe, a twenty-eight-year-old, Utah-born actor, who only spoke English.
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Features Adam Rifkin in a small role.
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Jake's father's Rolls-Royce is worth more than sixty-six thousand dollars today.
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Other music posters in Samantha's house include: Culture Club, Stray Cats (over her bed), and Sammy Hagar.
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While Caroline and Ted are driving in the car, "Rebel Yell' by Billy Idol is heard on the radio.
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Jimmy Iovine, the future co-founder, and head of Interscope Records, was the movie's Music Supervisor.
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The gong noise was added in post-production.
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When Sam (Molly Ringwald) 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 The Twilight Zone (1959) episodes.
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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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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.
Agnes Belushi: The woman that Ginny Baker tries to sit next to at the wedding.

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

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