Pretty in Pink is a 1986 teen comedy directed by Howard Deutch (Some Kind of Wonderful, The Great Outdoors, Getting Even with Dad, & The Whole Ten Yards). It was written & produced by John Hughes (Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Weird Science, The Breakdast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Uncle Buck, & Home Alonw 1/2). It was produced by Lauren Shuler Donner (Deadppol 1/2, X-Men franchise, Constantine, Legion, The Gifted, You’ve Got Mail, & St. Elmo’s Fire). Anthony Michael Hall turned down the role of Duckie. It was adapted into a novel written by H. B. Gilmour after it’s release. The budget was $9 million & it grossed $40.4 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
High school senior Andie Walsh (played by: Molly Ringwald from The Breakdast Club, Sixteen Candles, Cut, & The Stand) lives with her underemployed working class father Jack (played by: Harry Dean Stanton from Alien, Wild at Heart, Repo Man, & Paris,Texas) in a Chicago suburb. She has mother & abandonment issues. Andie’s best friend Phil “Duckie” Dale (played by: Jon Cryer from Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God… Be Back by Five, Hiding Out, Dudes, & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace) is in love with her but is afraid to tell her how he truly feels. In school, Duckie & Andie, along with their friends are bullied by the arrogant “richie” kids. They are lead by Benny Hanson (played by: Kate Vernon from Alphabet City, Roadhouse 66, Malcolm X, & Battlestar Galactica) & her boyfriend Steff McKee (played by: James Spader from The New Kids, The Blacklist, Avengers: Age of Ultron, & Less than Zero) who finds Andie attractive but he resents having been rejected by her. While working after school at TRAX, Andie starts talking about her school’s senior prom to her manager Iona (played by: Annie Potts from the Ghostbusters franchise, Toy Story franchise, Who’s Harry Crumb?, & Crimes of Passion).
Blane McDonough (played by: Andrew McCarthy from Weekend at Bernie’s 1/2, Mannequin, Kingdom Hospital, & Class), one of the preppy boys & Steff’s best friend starts talking to Andie there. He eventually asks her out. On the night of the date, Andie waits for Blane at TRAX but he is late. When Blane arrives, Duckie is upset & starts an argument with Andie. Blane suggests going to a house party Steff is throwing but Andie is mistreated by everybody. Andie after feeling that their night didn’t go so well, tells Blane that she wants to go home but when Blane offers to take her home, she refuses. She tells him that she doesn’t want him to see where she lives. He asks her to the prom out of nowhere which she accepts & they share their first kiss. Blane pressured by Steff, Benny, & all of his rich friends so he begins distancing himself from Andie. When asked about prom, he claims that he had already asked somebody else but had forgotten. Andie calls Blane a liar & tells him that he is ashamed of being seen with her. Andie goes to Iona, asks for her old prom dress. Using the fabric from Iona’s dress & the dress her father bought, Andie creates a new pink prom dress. When she arrives at the prom, she sees Duckie. They reconcile & walk into the ballroom hand in hand. Did Duckie finally get the girl? Or Will something else happen during the night????
Pretty in Pink is one of the best movies that John Hughes wrote but didn’t direct. He gave some of his best material with this, Some Kind of Wonderful, & The Great Outdoors to director Howard Deutch. If no one told you, you would probably still think it was directed by Hughes because his finger prints are all over it. The script is the level of his other famous teen comedies. It has drama, romance, comedy, & it’s full of teen angst. He knew how to write teens & their struggles with life especially the misfits like Duckie. He was the best when it came these type of films & you can’t think of the 80’s without thinking about his work. The soundtrack is top notch & it’s loaded with familiar tracks that you know from the past. The “Try a Little Tenderness” scene is classic with Ducking singing & dancing.
Jon Cryer steals the show as the nerd that won’t give up on love. It’s definitely the best performance of his career. Molly Ringwald had this type of role on lock down at the time, she could have done it in her sleep. It’s my personal favorite from her when it comes to the features that she did with Hughes. James Spader was a total asshole & scumbag in Pretty in Pink, he made you hate Steff with ease. The supporting cast here was fantastic which includes Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, Andrew McCarthy, & Kate Vernon. Plus it had cameos from Gina Gershon, Andrew Dice Clay, & Kristy Swanson. I know Pretty in Pink is considered a “chick flick” but it’s a well made one. It’s one of the highest quality efforts from that sub-genre & I am not ashamed to admit that I am a huge fan of it. It shows that everything can get along, rich or poor. The replay value is great for this movie, I’ve seen it so many times over the years & it always holds up. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Paramount Pictures! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is from a brand new 4K restoration, It is a massive improvement over the older DVD & VHS releases, it’s the best it’s ever looked on home video. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital Mono, German: Dolby Digital 2.0, Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0, & Music: Dolby Digital 2.0 on this blu ray. Everything sounds fantastic on this new release. The soundtrack is the true highlight here & it has a killer boost to it. All of the dialogue is very clean. It also has English, English SDH, French, German, & Japanese subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount Pictures! “Filmmaker Focus: Pretty in Pink” is an almost 8 minute interview with director Howard Deutch & it’s exclusive for this release. He chats about how he met John Hughes & got the job. He talks about Hughes being a very hands on producer & this project was very important to him. He mentions becoming very close to him during this production. He goes over the cast. He says they offered Duckie to Anthony Michael Hall but he turned it down. He chats about the famous dance scene & how it was put together. He talks about having a perfect test screening of this until the very end which they all hated so they had to re-do it. “The Lost Dance: The Original Ending” is a little over 12 minutes. It has interviews with director Howard Deutch, Jon Cryer, Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, & others. It has behind the scenes footage. They chat about the original ending. Molly says Robert Downey Jr. almost got Duckie & the original ending would have worked better with him. She said she had no chemistry with Cryer & he felt more like a brother to her. Howard said he didn’t notice this during the shooting. They bring up Molly being sick during filming & Mccarthy had to wear a wig for re-shoots. It has the original “Theatrical Trailer”. It has an “Isolated Score Track” featuring all the awesome music from the film. It comes with a limited fold out slipcover plus it has a clear case with artwork underneath it. It’s from the brand new Paramount Presents line. This is a must own to your 80’s collection. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!