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Sixteen Candles (1984)

PG | | Comedy, Romance | 4 May 1984 (USA)
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A girl's "sweet" sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.

Director:

John Hughes

Writer:

John Hughes
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Popularity
1,042 ( 537)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Molly Ringwald ... Samantha
Justin Henry ... Mike Baker
Michael Schoeffling ... Jake
Haviland Morris ... Caroline
Gedde Watanabe ... Long Duk Dong
Anthony Michael Hall ... Geek
Paul Dooley ... Jim Baker
Carlin Glynn ... Brenda Baker
Blanche Baker ... Ginny
Edward Andrews ... Howard
Billie Bird ... Dorothy
Carole Cook ... Helen
Max Showalter ... Fred
Liane Curtis ... Randy
John Cusack ... Bryce
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Storyline

Samantha's life is going downhill fast. The sixteen-year-old has a crush on the most popular boy in school, and the geekiest boy in school has a crush on her. Her sister's getting married, and with all the excitement the rest of her family forgets her birthday! Add all this to a pair of horrendously embarrassing grandparents, a foreign exchange student named Long Duk Dong, and we have the makings of a hilarious journey into young womanhood. Written by Rick Munoz <rick.munoz@his.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the time of your life that may last a lifetime. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sixteen Candles See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,461,520, 6 May 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$23,686,027
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

When Caroline steps out of the Rolls-Royce, you can tell that she stepped onto a box or platform before walking off. See more »

Quotes

Jake: Yes, hello sir, um...
Howard: Are you the little bugger that's been calling up here all night and then hanging up?
Jake: Would it be possible for you to tell me if there is a Samantha Baker there and if so, sir, may I converse with her briefly?
Howard: Yes it is, and NO you may not.
Jake: Might I leave a message, sir?
Howard: [to Grandma Baker] He wants to leave a message for Sam.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final copyright notice misspells "liabiltiy." See more »

Alternate Versions

Television version shown on WE network has an extra scene: right after Samantha says "I'd shit twice and die" (about anyone finding out she wrote the sex test answers about Jake), it shows Jake in the lunchroom reading the sex test he stole from the floor. It then cuts to Samantha and her friend, Randy, in line to get food, and Samantha exclaims she can't believe she's eating cafeteria burgers. Randy asks why Brenda (Sam's mother) didn't give her her carrot sticks. Samantha says, "She can't remember my birthday, you think she's gonna remember my carrots?" It's then disclosed that Sam is eating the carrots because it's supposed to make your breasts larger. Randy asks how it's going, and Sam says she's only gotten 1/16th of an inch improvement, a 1/2 inch if she takes a deep breath. They then go to find a seat. Sam sees Jake sitting at a table. She throws her food tray onto Randy's tray and says that she has to leave because Jake is there, and "I don't want him to know that I eat!" It then continues with the chin-up scene with Jake See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Slumber Party Massacre II (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Wild Sex in the Working Class
Written by Danny Elfman (uncredited)
Performed by Oingo Boingo
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My So-Called Life meets...Porky's?! Is this movie for girls or boys?
20 January 2007 | by crispy_commentsSee all my reviews

Funny, I saw this as a young kid and the only thing that made an impression on me was the beginning when Molly Ringwald's parents forget her birthday, and the final scene where she gets her happy ending. I must've blocked out everything inbetween because I didn't understand it at that age... Watching "Sixteen Candles" again as an adult, I was stunned by how racist, sexist and crass most of the movie is. How can it be so revered, I wonder?

Crude sex-jokes, over-the-top humour, cringe-worthy Asian stereotypes... yikes. Most offensive is the scene where Molly's older-man crush hands his unconscious girlfriend over to The Geek and encourages him to have his way with her while she's passed out. What the hell? Is this movie actually condoning RAPE?! Unbelievable. And we're supposed to root for an innocent young girl to hook up with this creep?

I know many teen comedies from the early '80s still had that '70s sensibility, and nudity/vulgarity was common. But I just didn't expect Porky's-style hijinks from John Hughes movies, which are often acclaimed for their realistic portrayal of teen life. This particular film seems to get many positive reviews for being groundbreaking in it's realism. But this ain't *my* version of reality.

I dunno, maybe "Sixteen Candles" was, at the time, a step up from previous teen movies. Still, it's definitely my least favorite Hughes film, and I wouldn't recommend it to any impressionable youngsters out there who might pick up some very bad messages...if they have a better memory than I did.


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