It's by no means hyperbole to say that The Brat Pack defined a generation. Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, John Cusack and company -- stars of classic '80s flicks like 'The Breakfast Club,''Pretty Pink' and 'Say Anything' -- not only revolutionized the teen movie genre, they became a cultural phenomenon that Generation X connected with on a deeply visceral level.

Two decades have since passed. Brat Pack Godfather John Hughes, who Roger Ebert once dubbed the "Philosopher of Adolescence," is no longer with us. 'The Breakfast Club' is turning 25. And hitting bookstores this week is 'You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes and Their Impact on a Generation,' which could very well be the definitive account of the troupe.

To celebrate the release of 'You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried,' author Susannah Gora shared with us 10 fun facts about the Pack.
1. John Hughes wrote 'Sixteen Candles' while staring at a head shot of Molly Ringwald -- before he'd even met her. He knew she'd be perfect for the role of Samantha Baker, the movie's heroine -- and he gave it to her without auditioning for it.

2. The poster for 'St. Elmo's Fire' featuring the characters sitting on a bench in front of the St. Elmo's Bar was actually a candid photo taken while the actors weren't aware they were being photographed. The image captures these close friends, relaxing between takes.

3. The theme song of 'The Breakfast Club' was originally called 'Won't You Forget About Me?' but was changed to the more insistent 'Don't You Forget About Me' after the song's writer, Keith Forsey, learned that Molly Ringwald's and Judd Nelson's characters wind up together in the end. The Simple Minds recording went on to become one of the biggest hits of 1985.

4. Two of the most famous scenes from 'The Breakfast Club' almost didn't make it into the movie. Hughes let Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez sift through earlier drafts of the script, where Nelson found the sequence in which his character taunts Ringwald's by asking if she's "ever been felt up... past eleven on a school night?" Estevez found the haunting monologue in which his character explains that he's in detention for attacking a weaker student. The actors asked Hughes if they could try shooting the scenes, and he agreed.

5. Molly Ringwald badly wanted Robert Downey Jr. to be cast as Duckie in 'Pretty in Pink.' When Jon Cryer was cast instead, she felt no romantic chemistry, so she was pleased when the ending of the film was reshot so that her character winds up with Blane (Andrew McCarthy) rather than Duckie.

6.Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey played siblings and nemeses in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off,' but off-screen, they were in love. They tried to keep their relationship a secret from other cast-members, including Mia Sara, who played Ferris's girlfriend Sloane, and had a crush on Broderick at the time.

7. There were many firings during the production of 'Some Kind of Wonderful,' including actors Kyle MacLachlan and Kim Delaney (they were replaced by Craig Sheffer and Lea Thompson), and the film's director, 'Valley Girl's' Martha Coolidge, who was replaced by 'Pretty in Pink' helmer Howie Deutch. Cast members including Eric Stoltz felt loyal to Coolidge, and initially resented Deutch when he took her place.

8. Eric Stoltz got into some heated arguments with Deutch on the set of 'Some Kind of Wonderful.' Lea Thompson worried that Stoltz might be replaced, as he had been on 'Back to the Future' (where they'd originally become friends-he'd played Marty McFly before Michael J. Fox did).

9. John Cusack originally wanted the boombox to be resting on his character's car in the famous 'Say Anything' scene where he serenades Ione Skye. But the film's director Cameron Crowe felt that Lloyd Dobler (Cusack's character) wouldn't be risking enough in the shot that way. At Crowe's urging, Cusack tried holding the boombox over his head, resulting in the now iconic image. It was the last shot on the last day of filming.

10. The song coming out of the stereo while they filmed the 'Say Anything' boombox scene was a ska-influenced tune by critically acclaimed band Fishbone, a personal favorite of Cusack's. In the editing room, Crowe realized the song didn't feel right. One day when Crowe was driving in his car listening to the mixtape from his wedding to Heart's Nancy Wilson, 'In Your Eyes' by Peter Gabriel came on, and he realized that it was indeed the perfect song for the scene.

categories Features