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The Breakfast Club (1985) Poster

Trivia

John Hughes almost fired Judd Nelson because of his negative attitude towards Molly Ringwald off camera. Paul Gleason convinced Hughes that Nelson was a great actor and was merely trying to stay in character.
Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (2) | Spoilers (2)
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. John Hughes told them all to ad-lib.
It was originally suggested that there would be several sequels to The Breakfast Club (1985), 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 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. 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.
Shot entirely in sequence.
The ages of everyone in the principle cast at the time of filming are: Judd Nelson (26), Molly Ringwald (17), Emilio Estevez (23), Anthony Michael Hall (17) and Ally Sheedy (23).
John Hughes wrote the screenplay to this movie in just two days (4 and 5 July 1982).
The dandruff that Allison shakes onto her penciled drawing for snow was achieved by sprinkling Parmesan cheese.
Molly Ringwald was originally asked to play Allison but wanted to play Claire, she eventually convinced John Hughes and the studio and was given the part.
In 2010, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall told Vanity Fair magazine that John Hughes was receptive to actors' improvisations, and some of them (including Brian's reason for having a fake ID - "so I can vote") made it into the final film.
The coke cans that the teenagers drink from have the Olympic sign due to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Judd Nelson made up many of the terms used in the movie, including 'Neo-Maxi Zoomdweebie'.
Anthony Michael Hall's mother Mercedes Hall and younger sister Mary Christian play his character Brian's mother and sister in the movie.
The joke that Bender tells but never finishes (while crawling through the ceiling) 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 joke for that punchline.
Ally Sheedy suggested the David Bowie quote at the beginning of the film to John Hughes, who liked it and thus included it in the opening.
The switchblade used in the movie actually belonged to Judd Nelson. He explained that he had it for protection purposes.
John Hughes originally wanted "The Breakfast Club" to be a 2-1/2 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 30 years. Bender will have killed himself, Claire will have had "2 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 also tossed a bagged lunch, 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 2 minutes and the girls 3 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. -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 2 scenes.
Judd Nelson went undercover at a local high school outside Chicago near where the film was shooting and convinced the teenagers there that he was a legitimate student. After buying beer for them with his "fake ID" (he was 24 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."
Emilio Estevez was originally going to play Bender, but John Hughes couldn't find someone to play Andrew Clark so Emilio agreed to play Clark.
Claire'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.
Alison does not speak until 33 minutes into the film.
Director John Hughes said that the cast rehearsed the entire movie as if it was a play a few times before filming began. After the film was a hit, Hughes was asked to write the script as a play so high schoolers could perform it.
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 both 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.
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 was enraged by the remark, and Kapelos was then stunned to learn that Martin Sheen 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) in 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.
The library in which this movie takes place was actually 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 before the Illinois state police bought it, turning it into a police station, which it still is to this day.
Ranked at #1 for Entertaiment Weekly's 50 Best High School Movies (2006).
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 16-year-old Brenda Spencer. Brenda's father gave her a rifle for Christmas in 1978. On January 29th, 1979, she used her new rifle to shoot 10 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 8 children. After 6 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 4 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".
Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy played high school students in this film, the same year that they would portray college graduates in St. Elmo's Fire (1985).
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.
The marijuana the actors smoke in the film was actually oregano.
Nicolas Cage was originally considered for the role of John Bender but the production couldn't 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.
As an end-of-filming present, John Hughes gave each actor a piece of the "library's" banister.
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/northwest suburbs of Chicago.
One subplot that was filmed but deleted showed Principal Vernon watching some women faculty members using the school swimming pool.
Rick Moranis was originally cast as the janitor; he left due to creative differences and was replaced by John Kapelos.
John Cusack auditioned several times for John Bender, even travelling between Chicago and Los Angeles before being cast. But director John Hughes went in a different direction and dropped Cusack in favor of Judd Nelson, which was heavily influenced by the casting director.
At the very closing part of the film where Judd Nelson raises his fist in defiance, that was actually ad libbed. He was supposed to just walked into the sunset, so to speak, and the director asked him to play around with a few actions. When he was done and they were finishing up, Judd Nelson through his fist up with running it by anyone. Everyone loved it, and it has become an iconic symbol of the 1980's.
As most people know, except Jay and Silent Bob (see Dogma (1999)), 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 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, IL, a town about 30 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.
Director John Hughes insisted that the entire cast and crew eat their meals on location in the Maine North High School cafeteria.
The song which Judd Nelson hums the guitar riff to at the beginning of the movie is the opening of "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream.
Director John Hughes actually attended Glenbrook North High School, one of the schools where the movie was filmed.
Although the majority of the film was shot at what was once Maine North High School, the final shot of Judd Nelson on the football field was actually shot at Maine West High School, also located in Des Plaines, IL.
Other proposed titles were "The Lunch Bunch" and "Library Revolution".
The album Allison is looking at during lunch is "1999" by Prince.
When Bender is distracting Vernon 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 US Military cadence: "I wanna be an Airborne Ranger"
The David Bowie quote at the beginning of the movie is pulled from his song 'Changes'. It can be found on the 1971 album, 'Hunky Dory'.
Jodie Foster was considered to play Claire and Brooke Shields was considered to play Allison respectively.
The large sculpture in the library, which Allison adorns with lunch meat and Bender 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.
A prom queen election poster contains the name of Michelle Manning, who co-produced the film.
What they ate for lunch: Andy (Andrew): a bag of chips, chocolate cookies, three sandwiches, milk, a banana and an apple. Claire: sushi (rice, raw fish and seaweed). Allison: a sandwich with Pixie Stix and Cap'n Crunch cereal. John: nothing. Brian: soup, sandwich with peanut butter and jam and apple juice.
The guidance counselor's desk has a name plaque which says "R. Hashimoto". Richard Hashimoto was the production supervisor.
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 (ARC) for high schools Maine West (also in Des Plaines), Maine South and Maine East (both of Park Ridge, IL). 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 ARC, now in Morton Grove, IL, with a goal of providing a structured environment with positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior.
Rick Moranis was set to play the janitor, but he backed out.
The license plate on Brian's mothers's car is EMC 2. The license plate on Andrew's fathers's car is OHIOST.
Robin Wright auditioned for the role of Claire.
Laura Dern auditioned for the role of Claire Standish.
The pen that Brian Johnson uses in the film is a Lamy Safari Model L217.
Alison says that she can play Heart and Soul on the piano with her feet. This is the song that Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia play using their feet on the giant piano in the toy store in Big (1988).

Director Cameo 

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

Director Trademark 

John Hughes:  [Shermer]  Most teenage movies that John Hughes has wrote take place in fictitious Shermer, Illinois and involve a Shermer High School.
John Hughes:  [The Beatles]  Principal Richard Vernon 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.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the beginning of the movie you see different shots of the school hallways and classrooms, you can see what the flare gun did to Brian'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.
The following are the reasons each character is in detention on Saturday:
  • Andy (Andrew): tapes a guy's butt cheeks together in the locker room


  • Brian: flare gun goes off in his locker


  • Bender: pulls a false fire alarm


  • Claire: ditches class to go shopping


  • Allison: didn't do anything, she didn't have anything better to do on a Saturday


See also

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

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