Happy 30th Birthday, The Breakfast Club!

Forget Sixteen Candles, it’s time to blow out thirty of them as one of the biggest cult hits in the world celebrated a very important birthday this year while two of the stars and signifcant figures of the 80’s, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy visited SXSW festival to commemorate the movie that captured a generation.

Written and Directed “it” teen drama pioneer John Hughes, the project began production towards the end of the filming of his successful Sixteen Candles movie, in which he asked two of the stars, Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall to be a part of the central cast.

The film takes place entirely at a school on Saturday morning, where 5 very different teenagers from seperate cliques report for a full day of detention: Claire, the Princess (Molly Ringwald), Brian, the Brain (Anthony Michael Hall), Andrew, the Athlete (Emilio Estevez), Alison, the Basketcase (Ally Sheedy) and Bender, the Criminal (Judd Nelson). While put under the strict rule of Richard “Dick” Vernon, the assistant principle, when he’s away the unruly teens clash whilst personal truths are revealed as they prove there’s more to them than the stereotype of their clique.

With a budget of a measly $1 million, the indie feature debuted in the US in the third position and went on to gross over $50 million worldwide amongst incredibly high critical acclaim.

The Breakfast Club, along with other teen movies of the 80’s solidified “The Brat Pack” – a nickname given to the exclusive group of prominant young actors from coming-of-age films, the core members being the stars of The Breakfast Club as well as other movie stars such as Demi Moore, Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy.

Thirty years is a heck of a long time, but what have the stars been up too since the film was released on February 15 1985?

Molly Ringwald

She was 16-years-old when TBC began filming and played the role of Princess Claire perfectly, from her pouty and spoiled-brat expressions to her cold facade to the rest of her detention buddies. Ringwald went on to star in another John Hughes project, Pretty in Pink, again making her a leading lady of the teen genre and even ranked #1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Teen Stars. She steadily acted over the years before taking a regular role on The Secret Life of the American Teenager from 2008-2013, playing mother to now-box-office-star Shailene Woodley. She can next be seen in the upcoming Jem and the Hollograms live-action movie.

Anthony Michael Hall

Hall starred in another Hughes cult classic, Weird Science, also released in 1985. His drinking problem became a huge tabloid sensation in the 80’s and led to a controversial life for the young star. He had roles in Edward Scissorhands, Six Degrees of Separation  and severl television shows before landing the lead role in the supernatural series The Dead Zone from 2002-2007. Lately however, Hall has appeared in the critically acclaimed releases, The Dark Knight and Foxcatcher.

Emilio Estevez

A member of the Estevez acting family, headed by Martin Sheen and brother to Charlie Sheen. Emilio captured the hearts (and hormones) of teenaged girls every after TBC and also St. Elmo’s Fire, also released in 1985, He had starring roles in Young Guns,The Mighty Ducks and Stakehouse before his short-lived marriage to Paula Abdul in the 90’s. He wrote and directed the movies Bobby in 2006 and The Way.in 2010.

Ally Sheedy

A constant figure in 80’s filmography, since TBC, Sheedy starred alongside Estevez in St. Elmo’s Fire and the critically acclaimed Short Circuit, but it was box office bombs such as Blue City,Betsy’s Wedding and Heart of Dixie that slowed down a promising career. She has been very vocal about the state of the industry of the 80’s and how difficult getting roles was, but in recent years she has found a home on television, with recurring roles on Kyle XY and Psych.

Judd Nelson

Another St Elmo alumni, Nelson also starred with Sheedy in the failed Blue City, which also arguably halted his career. A string of under-the-radar movies but it has been his voice that has recieved most attention. Lending the voice of Hot Rod to the animated Transformers movies, as well as recent shows such as: Family Guy, Phineas & Ferb and Ben 10, Nelson currently has a recurring role on the hugely popular US musical drama, Empire, which continues to hit ratings highs week by week.

So there you have it, one of hollywood’s most celebrated films and the stars that lead the charge.It is also a perfect time to pay respects to the man who made it all happen, John Hughes, who sadly passed away in 2009, filmmakers will forever thank him for his innovate, inspirational mind and have set the standard for many aspects of filmmaking.

Also, RIP Paul Gleason who portrayed the memorable and terrifying Richard Vernon, who passed away in 2006.

Hollywood has yet to churn out another film which captures an entire generation as The Breakfast Club did, while Mean Girls managed to connect with so many teenage girls through comedy and also solidified a cult status. What TBC did will go down in history

So don’t you, forget about this film.


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