The Breakfast Club: John Hughes, Hollywood, and the Golden Age of the Teen Film

1st Edition

Elissa Nelson

March 18, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 132 Pages
ISBN 9781138681927 - CAT# Y265717
Series: Cinema and Youth Cultures


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The Breakfast Club is a quintessential teen film. This book analyses how multiple factors coalesced to solidify the status of The Breakfast Club as one of the most emblematic films of the 1980s and one of the most definitive teen films of the genre. The film brought together genre-defining elements – the conflicts between generations and peer pressure, archetypical characters and breaking down stereotypes, the celebration and survival of adolescence, and the importance of this time in life on the coming-of-age process – and became a significant moment for John Hughes as an auteur and for teen films in the 1980s. More than just embodying these elements of the genre, filmmaker Hughes and the Brat Pack stars helped introduce and popularize multiple generic features that would come to be expected with the teen film formula. The content of the film combined with its context of production in the middle of a boom in teen filmmaking in Hollywood. Meanwhile the marketing that focused on contemporary music, peer group dynamics, and oppositions between Generation X and Baby Boomers, merged with an enthusiastic reception by youth audiences. Its endurance speaks to the way the film’s level of importance as a critical, commercial, and influential film with tremendous impact has grown since its initial debut.

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