(John Hughes; 1985)
Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally
Sheedy, Judd Nelson and Paul Gleason. With a John Hughes
This was possibly the definitive teen flick. The 80's
teen movie bible. Five stereotypes - a brain, an athlete, a
prom queen, a basket case and a criminal. It then stuck them
all in a room for a day (in this case a Saturday detention
at school) and although they started off hating each other
they realise that they are really all alike and become
friends, whilst finding out their problems are all the fault
of their parents....
It had all the classic Brat stars as well: Molly Ringwald
is the spoiled teen princess, Emilio Estevez is the Jock,
Judd Nelson is the rebel, Ally Sheedy is the semi-Goth and
yes, Anthony Michael Hall is the nerd.
One day film historians will write books about The Breakfast Club.
Still hailed today as a classic (not just by this site). Still being referenced
in programmes and films as diverse as Dawson's Creek and Dogma. All this without
there being a specific plot to speak of.
It starts off superbly with that song*, then a David Bowie quote
which smashes and we see the school. Shermer High School, in Shermer
Illinois (the fictitious town where each of John Hughes movies are set).
Then a montage of assorted shots to do with high school and each one
referring to the individual characters whilst a diatribe is read above setting
the scene. Then all the individual characters arrive at school and proceed
to sit at various desks in the library. In comes the principle (Paul Gleason)
who sets the scene. It is ludicrously early Saturday morning and the
kids are in detention. They must stay there all day and write an essay saying
who they think they are. From there on in most of the film is just
the kids attacking each other (mostly verbally) and getting to know
each other. We find out all their problems, what each one did to be
in detention and why it's all their parents fault.
The action is nicely broken up by the music and also a running sequence
(to get drugs strangely enough) as well as a dancing sequence.
All the things they talk about are fairly accurate for a teen movie
and all the acting is spot on. Sure they are all stereo-types but after
this everyone who sees it wants to be John Bender! Endlessly quotable
and undeniably brilliant this is possibly the greatest teen movie ever!
*Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me