First draft of 'The Breakfast Club' script found in high school

July 8, 2012 – 02:54 pm

It was kinda like finding the Dead Sea Scrolls of Generation X.

Staff at Maine Township High School District 207 in Park Ridge, Ill., were packing up the files for a move to a new building when someone found in a cabinet the script for the teen flick, dated Sept. 21, 1983. The movie was filmed between March and May of 1984, on a budget of $1 million, and went on to gross more than $50 million at the box office.

On the cover of the early draft is what looks like a splotch of pizza grease and the notation “reviewed and approved by Dr. Murphy.” John Murphy was the local school superintendent, who managed to score $48, 000 in rental fees for use of the site. The library as seen in the film was actually the gymnasium of the high school in disguise.

The film’s early title, according to correspondence between the school and Universal Studios, was “Saturday Breakfast Club” — though the script is labeled with the final title — and the Molly Ringwald character was named Cathy Douglas instead of Claire Standish.

Writer-director John Hughes grew up in suburban Northbrook, Ill., and frequently filmed his movies in the Chicago suburbs. Maine North High School, which served as the “Breakfast Club” set, was shuttered in 1981 and sold at auction in 1988. The school bought back the administration building in 2014, and later discovered that the files from the 1980s were still there. (Scenes from Hughes’ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” were later filmed in the same building.)

In the files there was also a copy of a letter from a former purchasing coordinator for the school who told the film studio, “We close with nothing but the fondest thoughts and memories of Universal Studios and ‘The Breakfast Club.’ We trust the film will be a huge success.”

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