1985

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Four-Pick Five-The Breakfast Club 1985

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The Breakfast Club IMDb & Amazon Image
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Four pick.

Category: Comedy
Film: The Breakfast Club

“So, Ahab, can I have all my doobage?”

“Chicks cannot hold dey smoke, dat’s what it is.”

The opening narration to this film is spoken by Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson/The Brain):

Saturday, March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062 (fictional town). […] You see us as you want to see us… […] You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. […] That’s the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.”

This is my graduating class…the class of 1984 (despite the age of some of the actors). Released February 15, 1985, I was in my freshman year of college and it was a bittersweet revisit. I knew these characters…every single one of them. My high school even had a library that resembled that set. This movie was made with only a one million budget but, brought in $51 million and, in 2016, was selected for preservation with the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. There is no CGI or special effects. There are no sweeping views of beautiful locations. There are no “shoot-em-up-bang-bang” sequences. There is some action with the cast running through the hallways, dancing while high and Judd Nelson (John Bender/The Criminal) falling through the ceiling tiles. This is, primarily, a study of human nature, parental influence, peer influence, subtle & overt abuse and the struggle to understand. It’s heartbreaking, it’s hilarious and it is so Generation X. ~Vic

Written, produced and directed by John Hughes, it also stars Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark/The Athlete), Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish/The Princess), Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds/The Basket Case), Paul Gleason (Asst. Principal Richard Vernon) and John Kapelos (Carl Reed/The Janitor).

Ally Comparison Image Two
I had a co-worker tell me that I reminded him of Sheedy.
You be the judge.

Trivia Bits:
♦ The scene in which all characters sit in a circle on the floor in the library and tell stories about why they were in detention was not scripted. Writer and director John Hughes told them all to ad-lib.
♦ There is a deleted scene of Claire and Allison in the bathroom that didn’t show up until the Blu-Ray edition was released.
♦ Sixteen year old Hall hit a growth spurt during shooting and outgrew 24 year old Nelson, prompting Nelson to joke about writing letters to geneticists.
Bender’s joke about the blonde, the poodle and the six foot salami has no punchline as it was never in the script.
♦ Nelson was nearly fired for method-acting harassment.
♦ Hall’s mother & sister play themselves in the movie.
Keith Forsey wrote the lyrics to Don’t You (Forget About Me) and Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music was approached to sing it. Billy Idol was also approached and recorded his own version, later. An offer to Chrissie Hynde lead to her, then, husband Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.
♦ Nelson improvised the part at the closing of the film where Bender raises his fist in defiance. Everyone loved it and it has also become an iconic symbol of the 1980s as well as cinema history.

Additional Reading:
Original ‘Breakfast Club’ Screenplay Found (Chicago Tribune)
The Breakfast Club Cut Content (Lost Media Archive Wiki)

Awards

Opening Scene

TV Tuesday: Half Nelson 1985

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Half Nelson Image One
Image Credit: imdb.com & amazon.com

Thirty-five years ago, today, the television series Half Nelson debuted on NBC with a two hour pilot TV movie. Created & written by Glen A. Larson and Lou Shaw, it starred Joe Pesci, Fred Williamson and Victoria Jackson with Dean Martin (as himself) in the movie pilot, adding Bubba Smith, Dick Butkus and Gary Grubbs as main cast in the series. Notable guest stars were Morgan Brittany, George Kennedy, Gary Lockwood, John Saxon and a dog listed as Spuds MacKenzie but, credited as Tony in the TV show. Curiously, the image reflects actors Tony Curtis and John Matuszak as guest stars but, they aren’t on IMDB and Television Obscurities states that Rod Taylor was in the pilot but, his name was also not listed on IMDB.

Movie Summary:

Rocky Nelson is a New York City cop who, after making a major bust and selling the rights of his story to Hollywood, decides to try his luck out as an actor. However, when he gets there, the directors think that he is too short to be an actor. He is, then, approached by someone who offers him a job at a Hollywood security agency because he would fit in there being an ex-cop and, while working there, he could come in contact with some Hollywood heavyweights who could give him the break he needs. [At] the same time, he gets to live in Dean Martin’s guest house.

Half Nelson Image Two
Image Credit: imdb.com & amazon.com

Series Summary:

Rocky Nelson is a former New York cop who is trying to make it as an actor in Hollywood. However, like most actor wannabees, he is still looking for his big break and his lack of stature doesn’t endear him to the directors. So, he is currently working for Beverly Hills Patrol, a private security agency that caters to the needs of the Hollywood elite and, who also try to keep things quiet for their clients. [Every] now and then, Rocky comes across a case which requires him to slip into his old mold of cop, which doesn’t make his boss or the police lieutenant that he encounters, happy.

Trivia Bits:
♦ This was Dean Martin’s final acting role.
♦ Martin, playing himself, is the owner of Beverly Hills Patrol and Joe Pesci’s Rocky provides him security.
♦ The series replaced the low rated V TV series.
♦ After the pilot movie, only six episodes aired before being cancelled and replaced with Misfits of Science in the new season.

Additional Reading:
Episode List (IMDB)
TV Obscurities (Website)

Opening & Rod Taylor’s Scenes

Throwback Thursday: Route 66 Decertified 1985

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Route 66 Image One
Photo Credit: Vicky McClain on Unsplash

Thirty-four years ago, today, the scenic U.S. Route 66 was decertified by the Route Numbering Committee.

After 59 years, the iconic Route 66 enters the realm of history on this day in 1985, when the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials decertifies the road and votes to remove all its highway signs. Measuring some 2,200 miles in its heyday, Route 66 stretched from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, passing through eight states. According to a New York Times article about its decertification, most of Route 66 followed a path through the wilderness forged in 1857 by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Edward Beale at the head of a caravan of camels. Over the years, wagon trains and cattlemen eventually made way for trucks and passenger automobiles.

The idea of building a highway along this route surfaced in Oklahoma in the mid-1920s as a way to link the state to cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. Highway Commissioner Cyrus S. Avery touted it as a way of diverting traffic from Kansas City, Missouri and Denver. In 1926, the highway earned its official designation as Route 66. The diagonal course of Route 66 linked hundreds of mostly rural communities to the cities along its route, allowing farmers to more easily transport grain and other types of produce for distribution. The highway was also a lifeline for the long-distance trucking industry, which by 1930 was competing with the railroad for dominance in the shipping market.

Route 66 Image Two
Photo Credit: Can Ahtam on Upsplash

Route 66 was the scene of a mass westward migration during the 1930s, when more than 200,000 people traveled from the poverty-stricken Dust Bowl to California. John Steinbeck immortalized the highway, which he called the “Mother Road”, in his classic 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath. Beginning in the 1950s, the building of a massive system of interstate highways made older roads increasingly obsolete and, by 1970, modern four-lane highways had bypassed nearly all sections of Route 66. In October 1984, Interstate-40 bypassed the last original stretch of Route 66 at Williams, Arizona and, the following year, the road was decertified. According to the National Historic Route 66 Federation, drivers can still use 85 percent of the road and Route 66 has become a destination for tourists from all over the world.

Often called the Main Street of America, Route 66 became a pop culture mainstay over the years, inspiring its own song (written in 1947 [sic] by Bobby Troup, Route 66 was later recorded by artists as varied as Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones) as well as a 1960s television series. More recently, the historic highway was featured prominently in the hit animated film Cars (2006).

[Source]

Interesting Links:
Driving Route 66
Historic 66
Rockin’ Route 66

Tune Tuesday: Casa Loma Orchestra 1944

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Glen Gray & Casa Loma Orchestra Image One
Image Credit: hotmusiccharts.com

Seventy-five years ago, today, the #1 song on Billboard (pre-hot 100 era) was My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart?) by Glen Gray, his Casa Loma Orchestra and singer Eugenie Baird. Written by Harry Warren (Lullaby of Broadway, Jeepers Creepers & That’s Amore) with lyrics by Mack Gordon (Chattanooga Choo-Choo), this was the theme for the 1943 musical film Sweet Rosie O’Grady. Betty Grable sang the song in the movie.

Glen Gray & his Orchestral version was number one for five weeks from January 29 to February 26, boosted by the popularity of the musical. As a popular standard for the 1940s, other well-known artists with their own versions include Etta Jones (1961), Frank Sinatra (1945), Nat King Cole (1958) and Tony Bennett (1955). Glenn Miller & his orchestra had a go in 1944, broadcasting to German soldiers. From Dance in the City (Page 191):

“One of the paradoxes of the Nazi terror was that SS officers themselves demonstrated a fondness for swing (Vogel, 1962).

Mike Zwerin (1985), in his exploration of jazz under the Nazis, described a Luftwaffe pilot who switched on the BBC hoping to catch a few bars of Glenn Miller before bombing the antenna from which these forbidden sounds were being broadcast. Allied propagandists recognised the potential for exploiting the contradictory allure that jazz possessed with Nazi society.

The sound barrier of 1944 was marked on the one hand by the music of the Nazi marches and on the other by the big band swing of Glenn Miller. The Allies attempted to exploit the popularity of swing inside Germany. On October 30, 1944, Miller’s swing tunes were aimed at German soldiers through the American Broadcast Station in Europe (ABSIE) in an effort to persuade them to lay down their arms.

Major Miller addressed German soldiers in their own language with the assistance of Ilse Weinberger, a German compere and translator. Ilse introduced Glenn Miller as the ‘magician of swing’ and, through a strange act of cultural alchemy, tunes like Long Ago and Far Away and My Heart Tells Me were rendered in German by vocalist Johnny Desmond.”

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 29 & Day 30

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song you remember from your childhood…

As the challenge comes to a close, this is the final post.

I’ve covered everything in the 70s back to 1972, specific to my childhood. Rolling back a little bit more, I remember liking these though I was very young.

1970

No Sugar Tonight

1968
I just barely remember this playing. I was so little but, it is burned into my young memory.

Love Is Blue

*************

Past that, everything I know of music was learned later in life. The above are my earliest true music memories of what I liked, even as a child.

A song that reminds you of yourself…

I’ve never really found a song that reminded me of myself but, there are four songs I really identify with in terms of wandering thru life and the subsequent lessons.

The opening line to the movie:

“On a Saturday (March 24, 1984), five high school students report for all-day detention.”

This is my generation, though I was never in detention. I graduated in June 1984. Ditto Footloose.

Don’t You Forget About Me

Also released during my senior year…

Adult Education

Going Down To Liverpool

What I have turned into (tongue in cheek)…minus the nail-biting. *wink*

S.O.B.

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 23

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song you think everybody should listen to…

I have to keep in mind, for this category, that people have their own tastes in music. One man’s dream is another man’s nightmare. I’m posting these not only because I like them but, because they are fairly unknown. And, I happen to like it very much when someone else introduces me to music I’ve never heard, before. So, I hope that anyone listening to these might enjoy them.

I don’t recall ever hearing this on the radio though, Billboard charted it as high as #29 on the Hot 100.

Vox Humana

I picked this up from a college radio station associated with the University of Texas back in 2010. It never got any regular airplay anywhere else. Billboard has no chart record of it. And, it is the only song I have ever encountered that, the live version(s) (and there are many on YouTube) is better than the studio version. I’m also fascinated with her bassist playing the drums at the same time.

In Sleep

I heard this song playing over the speaker system in a grocery store in Boone three years ago. I can’t find where it ever charted on Billboard.

Two Way Radio

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 20

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that has many meanings for you…

“So little time to make you see…
What can’t be undone…
Was maybe never meant to be…”


 

“And when we’re done…
Soul searching…
And we carried the weight…
And died for a cause…
Is misery made beautiful…
Right before our eyes…
Mercy be revealed…
Or blind us where we stand…”


 

“wasting time…
lost my mind…
where’s the sign…
look for higher…”

“tell the sun, warn the moon…
the night and noon…
we’ve been waitin’…”

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 19

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that makes you think about life…

Three songs, submitted for your approval.

“There’s no free rides, no one said it’d be easy…
The old man told me this my son I’m telling it to you…

Days turn to minutes…
And minutes to memories…

So, suck it up and tough it out…
Be the best you can…”


 

Though I am not really a Springsteen fan, I love this song.

“You might need somethin’ to hold on to…
When all the answers, they don’t amount to much…
Somebody that you could just to talk to…
And a little of that Human Touch…

Do you think what I’m askin’s too much?”


 

“There’s a light at each end of this tunnel…
You shout, ’cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out…
And these mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again…
If you only try turning around…

But you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable…
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table…
No one can find the rewind button now…”


 

Late add…

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 15

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song you like that is a cover by another artist…

This will be interesting.

First up, Angel of the Morning. Written by Chip Taylor (uncle to Angelina Jolie), this song has been covered by many. It was originally recorded by Evie Sands in 1967 and it got airplay but, the label went bankrupt and distribution halted. After that, it was a feeding frenzy spanning 45 years, culminating in the very last version by Rita Wilson (Mrs. Tom Hanks).

The two most popular versions, both released in February, 13 years apart, are also mine. I still have both 45s.

Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts 1968

Juice Newton 1981

Next, One Tin Soldier. An anti-war song written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, it was originally recorded by the Canadian group The Original Caste in 1969 and did very well on the Canadian charts. Skeeter Davis’ version in 1972 also did well in Canada.

Though there are other versions of this song, one of which was done by Cher, my favorite is, of course, Jinx Dawson’s version, recorded for the movie Billy Jack.

And, last, Get It On. Originally written & recorded by the British group T. Rex in 1971, it was re-titled Bang A Gong (Get It On) by The Power Station in 1985. Sorry, T. Rex fans. I like this one better.

Late Add…

I found another one that I really, really like. Originally done by Simon & Garfunkel, this version is SO much better. From the soundtrack of Less Than Zero, The Bangles really rock it.

Throwback Thursday: Kathy D. Sullivan & Space

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Kathryn D. Sullivan Image
Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

October 11, 1984, Kathryn Dwyer “Kathy” Sullivan became the first American woman astronaut during the STS-41-G mission to perform an EVA or an extravehicular activity (3.5 hours worth), which freely translates to a “space walk”. This was NASA‘s thirteenth flight in the Space Shuttle program and the sixth flight of the Challenger. She was the Mission Specialist 1 and had just turned 33 years of age eight days prior.

She received a Ph.D. in geology from Dalhousie University in 1978, became an Adjunct Professor of Geology at Rice University in 1985 and joined the Navy Reserves in 1988 as an Oceanography Officer, retiring after 18 years at the rank of Captain.

April 24, 1990, she served on board the Space Shuttle Discovery as a Mission Specialist 3 for the STS-31 mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope. March 24, 1992, she served as Mission Specialist 1 during the STS-45 mission on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis. She was part of the Group 8 NASA Astronaut selection on January 16, 1978. She left NASA in 1993.

Other October 11 space-related trivia:

1957…..Operation Moonwatch scientists calculate Sputnik 1‘s ‘satisfactory orbit’ with an IBM 704.

1958…..NASA launches the lunar probe Pioneer 1 (Pioneer Program). It falls back to Earth and burns up.

1968…..NASA launches Apollo 7, the first crewed flight.

2000…..NASA launches STS-92, the 100th Space Shuttle mission to the ISS via Discovery.