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This month, Turner Classic Movies showcased another run of its popular Pop Up Cinema event in Joburg.
Attempting to unite movie lovers through this cinema showcase, the channel chose to screen the teen hit The Breakfast Club (1985), which revolves around five Shermer High School pupils who, while in detention, find that, even though they belong to different cliques at school, they can relate to one another.
While several of the actors in the movie are now household names in Hollywood, this movie will forever remind them of planting their roots in Tinseltown.
The cast, in their youthful glory, include Emilio Estevez as Andrew “Andy” Clark.
A jock, he is under a lot of pressure from his authoritative father, a former high school football player, and a rebellious prank at the expense of a teammate results in him getting detention.
John Bender, the ringleader of the group and a rabble-rouser of note, is played by Judd Nelson.
His punishment was a result of him setting off a false fire alarm, and he’s noted for his constant jibes at Richard “Dick” Vernon, the principal.
The nerd in the group, Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), confesses to buckling under the pressure (to be an overachiever) from his parents.
The Paris Hilton of the group is Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), who, while extremely popular and pretty, is basically used as a pawn by her parents.
Meanwhile, “ugly duckling” Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) goes to detention willingly just to avoid the stabbing pains of neglect by her parents.
With the five sharing their woes with one another, they form a bond and, in one instance, a romance, that is most heartening.
John Hughes, writer, director and co-producer, had his work cut out for him when he embarked on the pre-production work of this film. But his decisions proved spot on.
For those who didn’t know, Estevez initially auditioned for the part of John Bender. Hughes decided to recast him.
And Nicolas Cage was considered for the John role, but it came down to John Cusack or Nelson.
Ringwald desperately wanted to essay the role of Allison, but the part had already been promised to Sheedy.
By the by, Nelson apparently took his bully role to heart and, when the cameras were off, harassed Ringwald to the point where Hughes considered giving him the boot.
In the same way that movies like Grease, Footloose and Hairspray have left an indelible impression, The Breakfast Club might be worth a rewatch, if only for a nostalgic trip down memory lane for some.
* The Breakfast Club airs on TCM (DStv Channel 109) on Sunday at 9pm.