The Breakfast Club

From Academic Kids

The Breakfast Club (1985) is a quintessential 1980s film written and directed by John Hughes in which a group of teenagers representing different cliques in high school spend a Saturday morning in detention together and come to realize that they are all deeper than their respective stereotypes.

Each of the film's stars became part of the Brat Pack (including Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, and Demi Moore) because they all hit stardom at the same time and tended to star in movies together. The teenagers in the film were played by Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clarke, the high school jock), Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Ralph Johnson, the nerd), Judd Nelson (John Bender, the rebel stoner), Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish, the rich girl), and Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds, the weird girl). Paul Gleason played the principal named Richard Vernon; John Kapelos played the janitor, Carl. Hughes appeared in an uncredited role as Brian's father. Of the entire cast, only Hall was actually high school age; Nelson was 26 years old at the time.

Judd Nelson’s impressive performance throughout the film was influenced by his method style technique of staying in character off set. He was accused of bullying Molly Ringwald off camera due to his insistence of being the character “Bender” between shooting.

Some argue that the movie has a disappointing ending because Allison renounces her maverick ways and succumbs to the mainstream female image (makeup, pink dress, rather submissive, etc.). It should be noted, however, that she does not completely shed her kleptomania, stealing the jock Andrew Clarke's wrestling patch from his jacket, in a unique show of affection.

Similarly, while the other four characters pair off, the nerd, Brian, ends the film without anyone, reaffirming similar mainstream conventions of male stereotypes as well, that a male who isn't either athletic or rebellious, and more so is intelligent and bookish, will be left behind and ignored by the opposite sex. Some have speculated reasons for Brian not ending up with anyone at the end, one popular one being that the character is gay, though this idea itself could be read as something of a mainstream stereotype about men in general.

The answer given by John Hughes was that he felt that Brian, despite his academic intelligence, wasn't socially mature enough to have a relationship yet.

The film's theme music, Don't You (Forget About Me) was a US and UK top-selling hit for Simple Minds.

The film was parodied in the movie Not Another Teen Movie. A Saturday detention episode of the British children's drama Grange Hill also bears a striking resemblance to scenes from The Breakfast Club. A first-season episode of Dawson's Creek entitled Detention was a takeoff of the movie, as was the 3rd season episode "Take On Me" of Degrassi: The Next Generation.

The film's name came from the son of director John Hughes' friend. When asked what detention was called at the local high school, the son told him it was known as 'The Breakfast Club.'

The Breakfast Club was also a radio show featuring Fran Allison

Breakfast Club is also the name of a band from the early 1980s which included singer Madonna.

Breakfast Club is the name of a minor 1980s literary Breakfast Club


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