In honor of its 30th anniversary, The Breakfast Club will hit movie theaters across the country once more as part of a limited time release. The teen classic will be available for viewing from Thursday, March 26, to Tuesday, March 31. The John Hughes film was restored for the new release, and moviegoers who remain after the credits will also see a smaller feature with commentary by the cast.
The Breakfast Club was released in 1985 and starred five actors who, along with other popular young actors of the 80’s who frequently costarred with each other, were known at the time as “The Brat Pack.” Members of The Brat Pack who appeared in the movie were Anthony Michael Hall in the role of Brian Johnson, Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark) and Judd Nelson (John Bender). Also appearing were Ally Sheedy as Allison Reynolds and Molly Ringwald as Claire Standish.
The cast came together for the 25th anniversary of The Breakfast Club in September 2010, just over one year since the death of their director, Hughes, at 59 years of age. The occasion proved bittersweet for the actors, who praised the screenwriter/director/producer for his skill in allowing the cast “to feel vulnerable,” said Hall, who continued by saying that Hughes was “brilliant at using humor to get to that place.”
During the reunion, Nelson spoke to US, expressing his continued disbelief that the director of The Breakfast Club was gone, and adding that he always assumed that he and Hughes would work together again. Ringwald added that she still has not found anything “to replace it.”
The Breakfast Club centers around a group of five Shermer High School students who are serving a day-long Saturday detention on March 24, 1984, for various reasons. As the movie begins, each of the students arrives at the school in different ways, all of which give a hint as to their backgrounds. Each character represents, and brings with them the baggage of, a different stereotype of 80s high school students, among them the Princess, the Athlete, the Basket Case, the Criminal and the Brain.
Shermer High’s principal, Mr. Vernon, gives the group an assignment to fill their time: They must each write a paper telling him “who you think you are” as well as what they had done to be given detention on a Saturday. Vernon leaves the group alone in the school’s multi-level, spacious library to complete the task. With only sporadic supervision, the essays are soon forgotten and the group fills their time talking, even smoking marijuana from Bender’s locker. As the day progresses, the students reveal themselves and their hidden secrets to each other until finally realizing that no matter their differing social statuses and backgrounds, at the core of themselves, they are more alike than different.
On the basis of their new understanding of each other, friendships and romances are sparked. There is no expectation that these newly-discovered connections will last longer than Saturday, but in having had them, each student will return to school on Monday with newly-discovered compassion and understanding of themselves and others.
At the end of detention, the students ask Brian to write one essay on behalf of everybody, which they leave in the library for Vernon. As the students head for home in their various ways, a voiceover (read by Brian) of the letter is heard as Vernon reads it. In it, Brian writes that there is no sense in any of them explaining themselves to the principal, because he has already decided who each of them are: “a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.” The letter is signed “The Breakfast Club.”
In addition to The Breakfast Club, Hughes was responsible for writing other movie classics, including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Home Alone (1990), Pretty in Pink (1986) and Sixteen Candles (1984). The Blu-ray edition of the 30th anniversary release is scheduled for release on March 10. Tickets to see the re-released edition in the theater can be purchased at Fathomevents.com.
By Jennifer Pfalz