Growing up & still to this day, one of my best friends, is my true cousin Frank, 3 years my junior. If you’ve never heard the term, a true cousin is one with whom you’re a cousin from both parental sides, and the relationship is a closer blood-line than half-siblings. To be clear, my Mom & Frank’s dad, Uncle Freddie, were brother & sister; and my Dad & Frank’s mom, Aunt Rosie, were also brother & sister. Fred & Rose had two boys: Danny is 2 years the elder. He’s an anesthesiologist who was spoiled & cruel as a boy. [Monty Python voice] “He got better.” [Andy the Jock] When Frankie was 8, a major family scandal ensued when “Danny duct taped Frankie to the dogwood tree in the front yard; across his forehead, mouth, chest, abdomen & legs. He left him there for over an hour, until Uncle Freddie got home & found him like that. When Freddie pulled the tape off, a big chunk of Frank’s hair came off & some…some skin, too. And the bizarre thing is that Danny did it for his mother. He tortured this poor kid because he wanted her to see how competitive he was. Rosie was always going off about how Danny was going to go to medical school. When I heard about it, all I could think about was Frankie & the humiliation he must have felt. And Uncle Freddie & Aunt Rosie’s friggin’ humiliation over a totally misconstrued attitude to ‘Win! Win! Win!’” [Normal] Danny & Frankie get along famously now and Dr. Dan is good man, husband & father. Kids do some strange things to impress their parents, I guess; to try to close the natural generation gap.
John Hughes’ vastly academically underrated 1985 dramedy explores that theme. I say vastly underrated because the link to the following YouTube lists it’s scholarly accolades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOlh-g2dxrI. Want me to repeat ‘em? No Oscar nominations; no Golden Globe nominations; no American Film Institute listings (though it was nominated thrice); nothing! Except a huge cult following & 91 Rotten Tomatoes. Its ensemble cast – Anthony Michael Hall as Brian, the brain; Emilio Estevez as Andy, the athlete; Ally Sheedy as Allison, the basket case; Molly Ringwold as Claire, the princess; and Judd Nelson as Bender, the criminal – who seemingly have nothing in common learn they have everything in common while on detention on Saturday March 24, 1984 in the Shermer (IL) High School Library under the watch of the bitter Assistant Principal Dick Vernon (Paul Gleason). Hughes cameos as Brian’s Father in an uncredited role.
Hughes had The Breakfast Club ad-lib the entire library scene where they reveal why they got detention. Some other iconic cinematic ad-libs: Indiana’s shooting of the ninja in Raiders; over half of Sgt. Hartman’s lines in Full Metal Jacket were ad-libbed; “Warriors, come out to play-ay!”; the screenplay read “Leave the gun.” Richard Castellano as Clemenza added “Take the cannolis.”; remember when Chief Brody tells Quint, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” in Jaws; “Heeerrre’s Johnny!”; “I’m walkin’ he-ya!” was the result of a NYC cabbie ignoring the street closed for filming sign during Midnight Cowboy; DeNiro’s entire mirror soliloquy in Taxi Driver including, of course, “You talkin’ to me?”; and when Stanley told Malcolm McDowell to ad-lib during the rape scene of A Clockwork Orange, the world got the “I’m singin’ in the rain!” kick in the head! And yes, guys, there are a number of other ad-libs in John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club but revealing them would be something of a spoiler. So watch the trailer for this great cult Classic below, then add it to your Netflix Queue; but “don’t you forget about me”! 4 Stars!