Tag Archives: The Breakfast Club

The Monday Movie – The Breakfast Club

“Screws fall out all the time. It’s an imperfect world…”

For the second part of The Cathode Ray Choob’s tribute to John Hughes (part one is here), we stick with The Breakfast Club, the film for which he will always be most fondly remembered.

In a previous Monday Movie post, I featured a clip from Planes, Trains And Automobiles – which, like The Breakfast Club was also written and directed by Hughes – and explained in some detail why I love it so much and consider such an outstanding comedy film.

Technically, it is near flawless, boasting a beautifully-structured, perfectly-paced script, some wonderful slapstick set pieces, great dialogue and outstanding performances from Steve Martin and John Candy. I often say that it’s the closest I’ve ever seen modern-day film-makers get to recreating the genius of Laurel and Hardy.

Yet much as I admire and enjoy Planes, Trains and Automobiles, my favourite John Hughes film will always be The Breakfast Club. It’s not nearly so technically proficient as Planes, Trains and Automobiles and the script isn’t quite so polished. It’s cheesy in places and although overall, the performances are excellent, there are a few wobbly moments to make you cringe.

But despite the flaws, or perhaps because of them, The Breakfast Club remains a powerful and quietly profound study of adolescent angst, social stereotyping and the cruelty and damage, whether unthinking, uncaring, ovebearing or deliberate, that one generation inflicts on the next.

By throwing together five individuals representing the main teenage social groups and forcing them to look beyond those stereotypes to the people underneath, in the process confronting their biased perceptions of and attitudes to each other, while also facing up to their own backgrounds and roles in the social hierarchy,  Hughes’ script addresses issues and confronts prejudices that extend far beyond the walls of a high school.

It’s true that The Breakfast Club speaks loudest to the young – those, like the characters, stuck in that confusing, disturbing no-man’s-land between childhood and adulthood and forced to take stock of where the past has led them and what the future might hold. And most of us will have seen the film for the first time when we were of a similar age to the teenage characters. But in truth, there are themes and messages in the film that we would all do well to think about once in a while, regardless of age.

It’s this subtle and deceptively profound side to the film, perhaps, for which Hughes deserves to be most fondly remembered.

There are plenty of great scenes and moments in The Breakfast Club, both dramatic and funny.

One of the most powerful is when Bender (Judd Nelson) faces off against the overbearing bully of a teacher, Mr Vernon (Paul Gleason). This is the best version of the scene I can find online, though it ends a bit earlier than I would like – ideally I’d like to include the exchange that follows on, with Vernon daring Bender, goading him even, to rack up more detention time. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be a complete version available anywhere, so this will have to do for now:


 My favourite character in the film is Allison (Ally Sheedy) and this is one of her best scenes:


Filed under Movies, The Monday Movie

Video Killed The Radio Star: Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)

A bit of a change this week, in the first part of a Cathode Ray Choob tribute to film writer/director/producer John Hughes, who died suddenly on Thursday, aged 59, after suffering a heart attack while walking in New York.

For those of us who were teenagers in the 80s, Hughes’ high-school movies – in particular Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Some Kind Of Wonderful – were truly inspirational, in their way, helping to define and reflect our generation.

Despite the cultural differences between the USA and UK, we could all identify with the themes of coming-of-age angst and social stereotyping that were central to most of Hughes’ films of that period.

More on Hughes and his work tomorrow. For now, we turn to The Breakfast Club – one of my all-time favourite movies and arguably the best of its genre – and, in particular its theme song, Don’t You (Forget About Me), which was written by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff and performed by Scots rockers Simple Minds.

In truth, it’s arguably more identified with the film, the genre, the era and, indeed, with John Hughes than with the Minds who, despite the exposure and profile it gave them worldwide, have always seemed rather dismissive of it, presumably because they did not write it.

Usually in this Video Killed The Radio Star feature I present classic or unusual or otherwise interesting music videos but for one week only, I’m going to spotlight a fan-made video for the song that pays tribute to the film and it’s writer/director.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

For completeness, here is the official video for the song:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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TV Newsround: CSI Galactica; Dollhouse Gathers Speed; Chenowith Full Of Glee; and more

FANS of Battlestar Galactica who are already mourning the fact that there are only two more episodes left can take some comfort from the latest development in the CSI universe – CSI: Galactica.

No, it’s not an attempt to transplant the CSI formula to the 12 Colonies of Kobol.

It’s a special episode of CSI, due to air on April 16, in which the forensics experts investigate a death at a science fiction convention.

Kate Vernon, who plays Ellen Tigh (right) on BSG, and Ronald D Moore, who created the new version of the sci-fi drama, will guest star on the episode and the producers promise plenty of other sci-fi references and in-jokes.

Talking of all things CSI, producers of CSI: New York have warned fans to brace themselves for the death of a prominent character in the season finale.

FOUR episodes in and the ongoing plot of Joss Whedon‘s new show, the flawed but intriguing Dollhouse, is slowly gathering speed as clues about the show’s mythology are gradually revealed.

For the uninitiated, it stars Eliza Dushku (right) as Echo, one of a group of “actives” or “dolls”, men and women who have had their personality erased so that they can be programmed with specific skills and memories, tailored to the needs of clients who hire them out for anything from sexual liaisons to bank robberies.

According to Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello, the show will kick into high gear on April 3 when, through a series of flashbacks, we learn who Echo was and why and how she ended up being lured into the Dollhouse. So it may be worth sticking with the show for a few more weeks, even if you’re not too sure about its long-term appeal.

OVER in Smallville, Ausiello reports that two major characters will die in the final episode of the current season. One of them is said to be a “veteran” of the show, the other a more recent addition. And, unlike previous Smallville deaths, these ones are said to be permanent. He also reports that The Legion will return in the May finale and that the final two episodes of the season will focus on a search for Chloe and Doomsday.

LOVABLE Pushing Daisies star Kristin Chenowith (right) and former Alias father figure Victor Garber have signed up for recurring roles in the Fox network’s musical comedy-drama Glee. Garber will play the father of the show’s leading man Matthew Morrisonbut Chenowith’s role is shrouded in secrecy.

The show is already generating great word of mouth amongst those who have seen an extended trailer and the pilot, so much so that the network plans to air the pilot episode on May 19, following American Idol’s current season finale. The series proper won’t begin until the Autumn.

Morrison plays a high school teacher who sets out to turn around the fortunes of his school’s glee club, which is filled with misfits and outcasts, molding them into a top-notch choir that can compete in a national competition. The show will feature musical numbers each week, ranging from classics to current pop hits.

ACTOR Jackie Earle Haley, who can currectly be seen on the big screen playing Watchmen’s Rorschach, has landed a supporting role in the pilot episode of a TV show based on another DC comic book, Human Target.

The human target of the title is master of disguise Christopher Chance, who hires himself out to act as a decoy for people whose lives are being threatened. Haley will play Chance’s researcher, who gathers the information his boss needs.

Also joining the cast is Chi McBride, who played moody detective Emerson Cod in Pushing Daisies). Mark Valley, who played FBI agent Olivia Dunham’s dead ex-boyfriend in Fringe, will play the title character.

FORMER ER star Julianna Margulies (right), who returns to County General this week for one last appearance as nurse Carol Hathaway, is set to take the lead role in the CBS drama pilot The Good Wife. She’ll play a politician’s wife who decides to resume her former career as a lawyer. Her last major role was also as a lawyer, in Canterbury’s Law, which was axed after just six episodes.

IN casting news that makes the Choob feel oh-so old, former Brat Pack actor Andrew McCarthy (The Breakfast Club, St Elmo’s Fire) has joined the cast of the Gossip Girl spin-off – as the main character’s dad.

The pilot for the spin-off, which will air as a flashback episode of the original show, is set in the 1980s and explores the wild teenage years of Lily Rhodes. McCarthy plays her dad, who is a music company executive.

THE creator of Sex And The City Darren Star has signed a two-year contract with HBO. He will produce his first new show in 10 years under the deal and oversee comedy and drama projects by other writers. He is currently developing the HBO pilot Diary Of A Manhattan Call Girl.

COMEDY cop show Reno 911! returns for its sixth season on April 1 on Comedy Central.

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