Starring: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy
Directed by: John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 37 min
The real power of this film isn’t really felt until you’re about 60 minutes into it. Before that, you’re presented with the usual assortment of high school stereo types, and it’s business as usual. Some characters are even tough to watch, like John Bender (Judd Nelson) who’s mean spirited nature to the other detainees actually had me rooting for teacher Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason). And I didn’t want to root for teacher – I wanna-be-cool too!
Anyway, after that first hour you realize that must have been John Hughes’ plan all along. He sets up strong cliched characters so that when the barriers fall between them, it’s all the more powerful to watch. Once these kids are taken away from their respective social groups, they start to really be themselves. They come to terms with who they are, and what they might become if they follow the paths given to them.
This movie is pretty timeless, though I think some of those 80’s high school cliches don’t exist anymore. I mean really, don’t geeks rule the world now? I think this would appeal to current teenagers, as well as those looking to take a trip down movie memory lane. Just be patient for that first 60 minutes, because the payoff is really worth it.
You probably won’t find this on a big screen anymore. It’s not important though. A regular dvd or streaming service on any device you like is good enough.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
Andrew (Emilio Estevez) talks about the reason he was in detention. It’s a beautifully written and acted scene.