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You couldn’t ignore The Breakfast Club if you tried.
The 1985 classic, which turns 35 on Feb. 15, was different from the start, because it took seriously the perspectives of teenagers — granted a very specific race and class of teenager. It resonated with audiences early on, and has since become a pop culture staple, inspiring podcasts, magazine articles, books and even other films.
Molly Ringwald, one of the actors who starred in it, has theorized about its popularity.
“There really hasn’t been anything to replace it,” Ringwald told Time in February 2015. “It’s kind of a classic because it all takes place in the one day, so there’s just one wardrobe. There were less chances for it to look incredibly dated. The theme is something that is still really relevant today, which is that no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, everyone kind of feels the same, which is that they don’t belong. And that’s a sort of powerful theme.”
Of course, the movie looks different now. Ringwald famously wrote in an April 2018 piece for the New Yorker that, after revisiting the movie with her daughter, she realized some of the movie’s scenes were “troubling.” She pointed out the part where Judd Nelson’s rebellious character Bender looks under the skirt of Ringwald’s Claire and appears to touch her inappropriately, for one thing.
But the second of John Hughes’s Brat Pack films is still very much around, and it literally always will be. In 2016, the National Library of Congress named it one of 25 films selected that year to be entered into the National Film Registry, which means it will be preserved for the ages.
Just how well do you know what’s become required teenage viewing? Sharpen your pencils (um, typing fingers) and take this anniversary quiz to find out.
Stream The Breakfast Club on Amazon.
Related Video: The Breakfast Club Celebrates 35 Years; Untold Secrets From Set
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