Don and Tina Bergman, of Littlestown, still remember the very first time they watched “The Breakfast Club” in theaters.
Don had just gotten out of school and was in the Marine Corps, he said, and all he could think was, “I couldn’t get away with half of this stuff!”
Now, 30 years later, the film is still one of their favorites. And when they found out it was returning to the theater for a one-night-only 30th anniversary showing at The Pullo Center, they couldn’t pass it up.
About 600 people joined them Thursday night to watch the classic John Hughes film and listen to an interactive discussion with one of the stars Molly Ringwald.
The crowd included a mix of people who had seen the film hundreds of times and first-time viewers as young as 14.
However, 22-year-old Alyssa Witters, of North Lebanon, said she remembers watching the film as young as 4 years old.
“Instead of Barney, I was watching this,” she said. “I could sing every song at age 5.”
But that’s what Ringwald said she loves about this movie – it’s still relatable today, no matter what generation.
“Everyone’s scared they don’t belong and that they’re different and no one will understand them,” she said during the discussion. “And the idea that they’re all the same is such a liberating thought. No one has managed to make a movie that says that as well as this movie does, and that’s why it’s still around.”
During her hour-long discussion, Ringwald talked about what it was like to film “The Breakfast Club,” scenes that never made the final cut and where she thinks some of the characters are now.
Whether you’ve seen the movie one time or 100 times, here are 12 things you might not know about “The Breakfast Club.”
Molly Ringwald never auditioned for “The Breakfast Club.”
Ringwald first met Hughes after he chose her from a stack of headshots from a talent agency to play the role of Samantha in “Sixteen Candles.” Immediately after they finished filming, she and Anthony Michael Hall were offered the job for “The Breakfast Club.” The only person who had to audition for the role was Judd Nelson.
John Cusack was originally cast as John Bender.
Hughes originally cast Cusack for the part when he was planning on casting locally in Chicago. Cusack and Nicolas Cage both auditioned again in California, but the part ultimately went to Judd Nelson.
“I think it would have been a good movie too with John Cusack, but it would have been very different,” Ringwald said.
Rick Moranis was originally cast as the janitor.
The janitor was supposed to represent John Bender later in life, Ringwald said. But Moranis wanted to do the role as a Russian immigrant. He had the costume and the fur hat, but after shooting for a few days, Hughes decided it just wasn’t right and cast John Kapelos instead.
The movie was filmed in chronological order.
Typically, it’s difficult to shoot a film in chronological order, but it was possible for this movie because they used the same set every day.
“I think it’s the only movie I’ve ever made that was shot in chronological order,” Ringwald said.
The “therapy scene” in the back of the library took two days to film.
That scene was shot so close to the end of the film that Ringwald said she and the actors felt very close with one another but also exhausted at the same time. They went around in a circle talking about why they were in detention, and Ringwald was the last one to go.
“When you’re the last one and you have to be really emotional and all your co-stars think everything’s hilarious, it’s really hard,” she said. “But we knew exactly where we were in relation to each other.”
Hughes was very open to improv in both “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club.”
“All of the writers, of the people I worked with, he was among the top, if not the top,” Ringwald said. “And he was the one who was most comfortable with people changing the lines. It’s usually the worst writers that are hung up on horrible writing. John was always open to people making it their own. He trusted us. The script was so good that you didn’t want to do that … But that freedom opened me up as an actor and made me feel confident that I could do anything.”
Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall didn’t get along.
Even though they dated later in life, Ringwald said she remembers she and Hall didn’t like each other when they were filming “Sixteen Candles.”
Ringwald filmed a scene that explained why Claire was in detention, but it was cut from the movie.
The scene showed Claire and her best friend stealing a car from Driver’s Ed to go shopping during school. But as they were driving away, she crashed the car, and that’s really why she was in detention, Ringwald said.
Several other scenes, including a boredom fantasy sequence where Claire dreams of riding a white horse in her wedding dress and a scene where Allison eats Doritos in the bathroom, were also cut from the movie.
Judd Nelson almost got fired from the film.
Nelson stayed a little too much in character off-camera and was often instigating problems with Ringwald. But Hughes was very protective of her and Anthony Michael Hall.
“We were like his kids almost,” she said.
Hughes was getting angrier and angrier, and one day he said, “That’s it. I’m firing him,” Ringwald said. She and her co-stars all called Hughes separately to ask him to give Nelson another chance, and he did.
Ringwald picked out her own costume.
Ringwald had talked with the costume designer about what she was going to wear, but when the costume arrived, it didn’t look like what they’d originally discussed. So, Hughes took Ringwald shopping, and she picked the outfit out herself.
After high school, Ringwald thinks John Bender would have become an artist.
“I think a lot of people that are so sensitive – and I think of all the characters, he’s the most sensitive – I think if they discover some way to express themselves, they could be a writer or an artist,” Ringwald said.
And finally, no, Ringwald can’t actually do the famous “lipstick trick.”
This is a question Ringwald gets asked a lot, she said. And while it would be awesome, she said she can’t actually put on lipstick with her breasts. She remembers getting more and more nervous about filming it as the scene approached. She thought there might be robots or other mechanics involved, but in the end, “it was just movie magic,” she said.