Behind The Scenes Saturday: The Breakfast Club

Welcome back to Behind The Scenes Saturday! I’m about to confess something that might shock my readers. I never grew up with the popular eighties teen flick, The Breakfast Club. I watched it for the very first time last month and I absolutely loved it! So, I wanted to talk about it for this week’s behind the scenes post! Enjoy!

(Trivia provided by IMDb.com)

(Pictures provided by google.com and IMDb.com)

(SPOILER ALERT!!!)

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  • For the scene where the group is sitting in a circle and confessing why they were in detention, the film’s director John Hughes encouraged them all of the actors to ad-lib.
  • Judd Nelson (John Bender) was so dedicated, that he stayed in character in between takes. He even went so far as to bully Molly Ringwald (Claire), and John Hughes was very close to firing him. Paul Gleason (Vernon) ended up stepping in and defending Nelson, praising his commitment to the role.
  • John Hughes’ biggest regret about the film was shattering the glass door in the marijuana scene.
  • John Hughes wrote the script to this film in only 2 days.
  • For Bender’s final scene, Judd Nelson was supposed to just walk “into the sunset.” John Hughes told Nelson to try a few different actions to see which one worked. At the last minute, Nelson threw his fist in the air, and everyone on set loved it! So, it was kept in the final film.
  • When Vernon fakes a punch towards Bender, Judd Nelson actually thought Paul Gleason was going to hit him and his flinching in the film was genuine.

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  • It was speculated that The Breakfast Club was going to get a sequel every ten years with the cast reuniting. However, John Hughes and Judd Nelson created such a bad relationship, that Hughes refused to work with Nelson after this film. Hughes also had a falling out with Molly Ringwald in the late eighties when she wanted to switch from teen films to more adult roles.
  • Judd Nelson came up with the insult “Neo-Maxi Zoon Dweebie” himself.
  • For the major dancing scene, Molly Ringwald was supposed to be the only one dancing. However, Molly was uncomfortable dancing alone, so it was changed to the whole club partying. Molly later said she hated her dancing and felt the whole sequence hurt the movie.
  • For research, Judd Nelson went undercover at a local high school and convinced everyone there he was a student. He was 24 at the time, and he bought beer for some of the teenagers with his “fake” ID. They hung out at his hotel room and when they asked why he was staying there, he told them that he had to live there because his father was in jail.
  • In the beginning of the film, Brian’s mother and sister were actually played by Anthony Michael Hall’s real-life mother, Mercedes Hall, and sister, Mary Christian.
  • John Kapelos (Carl) warned the actors, in a fun way, not to get too intense while filming a scene. He joked about Martin Sheen suffering a heart attack on the set of Apocalypse Now. Kapelos was unaware at the time that Emilio Estevez (Andrew) is Martin Sheen’s son, and hearing that joke angered Estevez greatly. Estevez eventually forgave Kapelos’ apology and shooting continued. Kapelos still felt terrible about it years later. However, when he guest-starred on The West Wing, he told Martin Sheen the story and Sheen actually found it funny.

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  • The joke that Bender was telling as he was crawling through the ceiling was ad-libbed by Judd Nelson and didn’t even have a punchline.
  • The dandruff used for Allison’s (Ally Sheedy) artwork was parmesan cheese.
  • In the movie, Judd Nelson wears the same exact outfit that he wore at his audition.
  • John Cusack auditioned many times for the role of Bender. He actually had the part first, but John Hughes dropped him in favor of Judd Nelson.
  • At the time of filming, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were the only ones who were actually teens. The rest of the main cast were already in their twenties.
  • Emilio Estevez was almost cast as Bender, but he stepped in to play Andrew because John Hughes couldn’t find anyone to portray him.

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  • Ally Sheedy thought Anthony Michael Hall was so sweet, that she nicknamed him “Milk and Cookies” – a nickname Anthony Michal Hall didn’t like at all.
  • When Ally Sheedy auditioned for Sixteen Candles, she had to black eyes after a set building accident. Her black eyes gave her a gothic, dark look that John Hughes never forgot. When it was time to cast Allison in this film, Hughes immediately thought of Sheedy and her black eyes.
  • One of the scenes cut from the film included a conversation between Vernon and Carl, where they predicted what will happen to the students when they grow up. Carl’s predictions were: Bender commits suicide, Claire gets 2 boob jobs and a face lift, Brian becomes very successful but dies of a heart attack due to stress, Allison will be a poet with no caring audience, and Andrew marries a beautiful stewardess and gains weight after having kids with her.
  • Instead of walking to the school alone, Bender was originally going to be dropped off by his dad. They were supposed to have a big fight that ended with Bender’s dad throwing his lunch at him after he got out of the truck.
  • When Bender tosses a coke can to Allison and it explodes on her table, there was a deleted scene that showed Bender shaking one of the five cans violently and mixing them up to see which one will get the can-bomb.
  • The character of Andrew was changed from a football player to a wrestler to change the jock stereotype a little.

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  • The character of Vernon was based on John Hughes’ high school coach who flunked him. Funny enough, when he ran into his coach, the coach told him that he thought the film was good, but the teacher was a real jerk.
  • Instead of actual marijuana, the cast smoked oregano in the film.
  • Bender’s loogie catch was another thing improvised by Judd Nelson.
  • At the end of filming, John Hughes gifted each of the cast members with a piece of the library’s banister.
  • Over 10,000 books were donated to the film by The Chicago Public Library.
  • Rick Moranis was originally cast as Carl the janitor. He wanted to play the character with a thick beard and Russian accent, which John Hughes was up for. However, the film’s producer, Ned Tanen was against Moranis’s creative comical liberties, so Moranis was replaced.

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  • Other working titles for the film included The Lunch Bunch and Library Revolution.
  • The school’s library was too small to film the detention scenes in, so the library set had to be built in the school’s gym.
  • Ally Sheedy usually ate healthy food and she ended up getting a sugar rush from her character’s sandwich.
  • At the time, Universal thought that every teenage picture needed bare breasts, party scenes, or guys drinking beer, etc. John Hughes stated that because this film didn’t have any of those elements, getting it greenlit was difficult.
  • When Andrew pulls his lunch out and turns to see Bender, Judd Nelson breaks character for a second when he smiles at Emilio Estevez.
  • The band, Simple Minds believed their song Don’t You (Forget About Me) was just a throwaway song used for a forgettable movie. They recorded it in 3 hours, and – ironically – forgot about it while they were working on their next album. To their surprise, after the film’s release, that song reached #1 in the U.S. charts.
  • John Hughes has a brief cameo at the end of the film as Brian’s father.

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One thought on “Behind The Scenes Saturday: The Breakfast Club

  1. I saw this film when it was first released in the theater, plus many times after. It was very relateable for its time. An interesting bit of trivia, Ally Sheedy first suggested the David Bowie quote that opens the film. Great post, thanks for the meories

    Liked by 1 person

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