Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



The Breakfast Club (1985)

 





Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
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The Breakfast Club (1985)

In John Hughes' quintessential, dialogue-rich teen comedy:

  • in the opening to the tune of Simple Minds' anthemic 1980's song "Don't You (Forget About Me)", student Brian Johnson's narration about serving an all-day Saturday detention in Shermer (IL) High School's library with four other teenaged high-school students - stereotypical characters from diverse backgrounds, who were being disciplined by principal Mr. Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason), and forced to write an essay reflecting on who they thought they were and what they did wrong: ("Saturday, March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did was wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed")
    - athletic wrestling jock Andrew 'Andy' Clark (Emilio Estevez)
    - brainy nerd Brian Ralph Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall)
    - arrogant rebel and James Dean-like loner John Bender (Judd Nelson)
    - popular red-headed WASP "princess" Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald)
    - outcast recluse and insecure neurotic Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy)
  • Mr. Vernon's strict welcoming speech to the disciplined students at 7:06 am, before their almost 9 hours of detention, when he described the restrictions and rules of the day, and their assignment: ("Ponder the error of your ways. You may not talk. You will not move from these seats. And you will not sleep. We are going to write an essay of no less than a thousand words describing to me who you think you are....Maybe you'll learn a little something about yourself. Maybe you'll even decide whether or not you'd care to return"), interrupted by John Bender's impertinent question: ("Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?"), and Vernon's punishment and threat: ("I'll give you the answer to that question, Mr. Bender, next Saturday. Don't mess with the bull, young man - you'll get the horns"):
  • the escapist dancing to break the boredom by the teens, who also experienced a series of honest, realistic conversations
  • the poignant scene of Andy's soliloquy-description of the reason for his detention - his brutal bullying and abuse-humiliation of nerdy Larry Lester (by taping his buns together) in order to please his father: ("And the bizarre thing is, that I did it for my old man. I tortured this poor kid because I wanted him to think that I was cool")
  • the scene of Allison using her dandruff to provide snow for a drawing she made
  • the romance that blossomed between Claire and John culminating in a passionate kiss and her giving him one of her earrings to wear
  • John's triumphant fist pump (basking in the love of Claire) as he walked across the football field, while "Don't You (Forget About Me)" plays again at the film's end
  • the restatement of the letter written by Brian for everyone - left for Mr. Vernon to read, in the closing voice-over narration (in Brian's voice): ("Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...and an athlete... and a basket case...a princess...and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club")

Principal Mr. Vernon
(Paul Gleason)


Saturday in School Detention

Escapist Dancing

Andy's Soliloquy About His Detention




John and Claire's Budding Romance

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