John Hughes wasn’t much of a name yet in 1985 when The Breakfast Club was released, but it was already clear that he was one to watch. His scripts for Mr. Mom and National Lampoon’s Vacation had resulted in box-office hits, and while his own directorial debut — Sixteen Candles — wasn’t as immediately beloved it showed the mash-up of affection and wit that would become his trademark.
The Breakfast Club has its detractors, but for most viewers the film offers even a minor glimpse back to their teen years. Not everyone fit into these specific five molds — the athlete (Emilio Estevez), the princess (Molly Ringwald), the criminal (Judd Nelson), the brain (Anthony Michael Hall) and the basket case (Ally Sheedy) — but there’s an honesty here even within the characterizations.
The film was re-released onto Blu-ray earlier this month with a remastered picture and additional extras including a previous commentary track with Nelson and Hall. The two reminisce about the production, express their love for Hughes and the fellow cast and crew and make plans to hang out more. Oh, and Hall also makes sure to remind Nelson that he recently starred in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary track for The Breakfast Club.
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Commentator: Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson (actors), Jason Hillhouse (dvd feature producer)
1. The BMW that Claire (Ringwald) arrives in belonged to Hughes. “The guy with the red hair and Burberry scarf we have no explanation for, ” jokes Hall.
2. The woman in the car with Brian (Hall) are Hall’s actual mother and little sister.
3. The library in which the kids serve their detention is part of an actual school, but it’s not a library — it was a gymnasium that the film’s art department completely made over. A local football team, the Chicago Blitz, had been using the room for practice, but the production required they move outside. “They hated us, ” says Nelson.
4. Both actors share their love for the late Paul Gleason with Hall adding “He had two favorite topics, Mickey Mantle and Bob Dylan. We would always talk about one or the other.”
5. Nelson had improv’d the bit where he spits a “loogie” into the air and catches it back in his mouth during rehearsal, and Hughes loved how much it grossed out Ringwald so he added it to the scene.
6. Both actors recall the film being the first and last time the cast of a film they were a part of was given ample rehearsal time on set before shooting.