Pretty in Pink (1986)

PG-13 | 96 mins | Drama, Romantic comedy | 1986

Director:

Howard Deutch

Writer:

John Hughes

Producer:

Lauren Shuler

Cinematographer:

Tak Fujimoto

Editor:

Richard Marks

Production Designer:

John W. Corso

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures
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HISTORY

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Olga Klimova, a student at the University of Pittsburgh, with Lucy Fischer as academic advisor.

       Pretty in Pink was director Howard Deutch's first feature film, after a career of directing music videos, movie trailers and stage productions. According to production notes from AMPAS Library files, Deutch worked closely under the supervision of John Hughes, who wrote the script and served as executive producer on the film. In an interview for the DVD special features documentary, The First Time: The Making of Pretty in Pink (2006), Deutch describes that after meeting Hughes in New York while making trailers for several of his films, Hughes was willing to let him read the script for Pretty in Pink and give him an opportunity to direct. As reported in production notes, Hughes decided to hire another director for his film because it gave him the opportunity to write four or five scripts within a nine month period instead of being preoccupied with the responsibilities of directing, allowing Hughes to be more productive.
       In production notes, Hughes stated that he initially envisioned the story from the point of view of a young man, but after discussing his ideas with Ringwald on the set of Sixteen Candles (1984, see entry), he developed the script with her in mind as the lead. In a DVD documentary interview, Ringwald noted that her real-life obsession with pink was an inspirational element for Hughes' script. In a joint interview with ... More Less

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Olga Klimova, a student at the University of Pittsburgh, with Lucy Fischer as academic advisor.

       Pretty in Pink was director Howard Deutch's first feature film, after a career of directing music videos, movie trailers and stage productions. According to production notes from AMPAS Library files, Deutch worked closely under the supervision of John Hughes, who wrote the script and served as executive producer on the film. In an interview for the DVD special features documentary, The First Time: The Making of Pretty in Pink (2006), Deutch describes that after meeting Hughes in New York while making trailers for several of his films, Hughes was willing to let him read the script for Pretty in Pink and give him an opportunity to direct. As reported in production notes, Hughes decided to hire another director for his film because it gave him the opportunity to write four or five scripts within a nine month period instead of being preoccupied with the responsibilities of directing, allowing Hughes to be more productive.
       In production notes, Hughes stated that he initially envisioned the story from the point of view of a young man, but after discussing his ideas with Ringwald on the set of Sixteen Candles (1984, see entry), he developed the script with her in mind as the lead. In a DVD documentary interview, Ringwald noted that her real-life obsession with pink was an inspirational element for Hughes' script. In a joint interview with Ringwald and Hughes for the Spring 1986 edition of Seventeen Magazine , the writer/producer stated that he wrote the script for Pretty in Pink one week after finishing Sixteen Candles , having been inspired by the Psychedelic Furs song "Pretty in Pink," which Ringwald brought to his attention.
       According to a 5 Apr 1985 HR news item, Paramount wanted Jennifer Beals to star in the film after her hit performance in Flashdance (1983, see entry), but Hughes insisted on Molly Ringwald. In the DVD special feature documentary Zoids and Richies (2006), Howard Deutch confessed that he often consulted with Ringwald because of her prior experience working with Hughes and because the script had been written for her. Producer Lauren Schuler initially suggested Andrew McCarthy for the role of "Blane" because they had previously worked together on St. Elmo's Fire (1985, see entry). According to Ringwald, many of the young actors who auditioned for the role, including Charlie Sheen, conformed to a more athletic and angular physique, but she found the most chemistry with Andrew McCarthy. McCarthy added that Ringwald was responsible for getting him the role because she brought a teenage, female perspective to the casting process. According to Deutch, Robert Downey Jr. was among the actors who auditioned for the part of "Duckie." However, Jon Cryer, who was then appearing on Broadway in Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs , won Ringwald and Hughes over with his less eccentric, more boyish take on the character. Ringwald noted that Tracy Ullman was among those who auditioned for the role of "Iona."
       The film is dedicated to two members of the production team who died before the film was released. Alexa Kenin, who played "Jena," was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on 10 Sep 1985 and set decorator Bruce Weintraub died 14 Dec 1985.
       According to production notes, principal photography on Pretty in Pink started in June 1985. As with other Hughes films, the film is set in the wealthy suburbs of Chicago. However, in order to save money, the producers decided to shoot primarily in the Los Angeles area, which causes some confusion when instead of Chicago locations, viewers can easily distinguish Southern California locations such as the Santa Monica Promenade, Hancock Park, Pico Boulevard, and the Biltmore hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Production notes mention four different Southern California campuses that served as locations for the high school: Marshall High in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, John Burroughs Junior High School in West Los Angeles, Harvard School on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, and CalArts in Valencia.
       According to a review in The Motion Picture, the filmmakers decided to alter the ending after the film was first screened for a test audience. In the original cut, Andie stayed with Duckie and danced with him at the prom.
       According to a 5 Feb 1986 Var news item, Pretty in Pink opened on 28 Feb 1986 at 800 theaters and became Paramount's first wide release of the year. On its opening weekend, the film grossed $6,065,870, and ultimately grossed $40,078,357 domestically.
       In 1987, Michael Gore won the BMI Film Music Award for his music in Pretty in Pink.
       A novelized version of Pretty in Pink by H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfield, based on the original screenplay, was published in 1986. In 2009, Legacy Interactive released an online game called Pretty in Pink , based on the film.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Mar 1985.
---
Daily Variety
7 Feb 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Apr 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 1986
p. 3, 14.
Los Angeles Times
28 Feb 1986
p. 1, 17.
New York
10 Mar 1986
p. 93.
New York Times
28 Feb 1986
p. 8.
New York Times
16 Mar 1986
p. 19, 26.
Seventeen
Spring 1986.
---
Variety
5 Feb 1986.
---
Variety
12 Feb 1986
p. 24.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A John Hughes Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Lamp op/Rigger
Lamp op
Lamp op
1st company grip
2d company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Extra grip
Extra grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Set des
Leadman
Const foreman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
COSTUMES
Cost des
Personal asst to Ms. Vance
Cost supv-women
Cost supv-men
Set cost-women
Set cost-men
MUSIC
Mus score comp
Mus supv
Asst to Mr. Anderle
Supv mus ed
Supv mus ed
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Supv sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
ADR ed
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Cableman
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Opticals by
Title by
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Extras casting
Casting asst
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Scr supv
Filmic consultant
Prod auditor
Asst to prod auditor
Asst to Mr. Schmidt
Asst to Ms. Shuler
Tech consultant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Unit pub
DGA trainee
Welfare worker/Teacher
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Animal trainer
Caterer
Craft service
Computers supplied by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Pretty in Pink," by Morris/Ashton/Kilburn/Ely/Butler/Butler, performed by The Psychedelic Furs, courtesy of CBS Records, a division of CBS United Kingdom Limited, lyrics from "Pretty in Pink" by the Psychedelic Furs © 1981, 1986 CBS Songs, Ltd., administered in the U.S. by Blackwood Music, Inc.
"Wouldn't It Be Good," by Nik Kershaw, performed by Danny Hutton Hitters
"What's It Gonna Be," written and performed by Maggie Lee
+
SONGS
"Pretty in Pink," by Morris/Ashton/Kilburn/Ely/Butler/Butler, performed by The Psychedelic Furs, courtesy of CBS Records, a division of CBS United Kingdom Limited, lyrics from "Pretty in Pink" by the Psychedelic Furs © 1981, 1986 CBS Songs, Ltd., administered in the U.S. by Blackwood Music, Inc.
"Wouldn't It Be Good," by Nik Kershaw, performed by Danny Hutton Hitters
"What's It Gonna Be," written and performed by Maggie Lee
"Love," by John Lennon
"Round, Round," by Neville Keighley, performed by Belouis Some, courtesy of EMI Records, Ltd.
"Pursuit," by Winston Sharples
"Rave-Up/Shut-Up," by Jimmer Podrasky, Doug Leonard, performed by The Rave-Ups, courtesy of Fun Stuff Records
"Positively Lost Me," by Jimmer Podrasky, performed by The Rave-Ups, courtesy of Fun Stuff Records
"Copacabana (At the Copa)," by B. Manilow, B. Sussman & J. Feldman, performed by Barry Manilow, courtesy of Stiletto, Ltd.
"Thieves Like Us," by New Order/Arthur Baker, performed by New Order, courtesy of Factory Records
"Elegia," written & performed by New Order, courtesy of Factory Records
"If You Leave," by OMD, performed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, courtesy of Virgin Records, Ltd., by arrangement with A&M Records, Inc.
"Whisper/Touch," by Dean Chamberlain, performed by Code Blue, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Bring on the Dancing Horses," by Sergeant/McCulloch/Pattinson/DeFreitas, performed by Echo & The Bunnymen, courtesy of WEA Records/Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Do Wot You Do," by Michael Hutchence/Andrew Farriss, performed by INXS, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., WEA Records Pty Ltd. & Phonogram Limited, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Shell-Shock," by New Order & John Robie, performed by New Order, courtesy of Factory Records/QWest Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Try a Little Tenderness," by H. Woods, J. Campbell & R. Connelly, performed by Otis Redding, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Cherish," by Terry Kirkman, performed by The Association, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want," words by Morrissey/music by Johnny Marr, performed by The Smiths, courtesy of Sire Records & Rough Trade Records, Ltd., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Rudy," by Bruno, performed by Talk Back, courtesy of A&M Records
"Left of Center," by Suzanne Vega & Steve Addabbo, performed by Suzanne Vega, courtesy of A&M Records
"Get To Know Ya," written & performed by Jesse Johnson, courtesy of A&M Records.
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COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 28 February 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
11 March 1986
Copyright Number:
PA286515
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theaters
Color
Technicolor
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex cameras by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28001
SYNOPSIS

As high school senior Andie Walsh gets ready for her day, she dresses in eclectic, second-hand clothes that match the pink of her room. She awakens her father, Jack Walsh, and encourages him to look for a job. He apologizes for coming home late and not spending enough time with her, and inquires how things are going at school and whether she has been asked to the prom. When Andie arrives at school, expensive motorbikes and cars belonging to "richie" students are parked in front of the building. Despite their difference in social status, Andie's classmate, Blane, amorously watches her walk through the school hallway. Her best friend, "Duckie" Dale, meets Andie at her locker and reveals his admiration with sincere but nutty, off-handed compliments. Like Andie, Duckie wears unconventional, mismatched clothes. In the classroom, Benny Hanson, a blonde "richie" girl, makes fun of Andie's clothes. The teacher apologizes to Andie for Benny's behavior and, although Andie tries to prevent her from being punished, Benny opts to accept extra homework rather than recognize Andie's attempts at goodwill. After school, as she gets into her old, pink Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, Andie clashes with Steff McKee, another "richie." When she rejects his sexual propositions, he calls her a bitch. At Trax, the record store where Andie works, the owner, Iona, talks about a friend who always regretted missing her high school prom and suggests that Andie go to hers. When Blane, Andie's "richie" admirer from afar, comes into Trax, he asks for her opinion about his choice of records. They are clearly uncool, but Andie tells him they are ... +


As high school senior Andie Walsh gets ready for her day, she dresses in eclectic, second-hand clothes that match the pink of her room. She awakens her father, Jack Walsh, and encourages him to look for a job. He apologizes for coming home late and not spending enough time with her, and inquires how things are going at school and whether she has been asked to the prom. When Andie arrives at school, expensive motorbikes and cars belonging to "richie" students are parked in front of the building. Despite their difference in social status, Andie's classmate, Blane, amorously watches her walk through the school hallway. Her best friend, "Duckie" Dale, meets Andie at her locker and reveals his admiration with sincere but nutty, off-handed compliments. Like Andie, Duckie wears unconventional, mismatched clothes. In the classroom, Benny Hanson, a blonde "richie" girl, makes fun of Andie's clothes. The teacher apologizes to Andie for Benny's behavior and, although Andie tries to prevent her from being punished, Benny opts to accept extra homework rather than recognize Andie's attempts at goodwill. After school, as she gets into her old, pink Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, Andie clashes with Steff McKee, another "richie." When she rejects his sexual propositions, he calls her a bitch. At Trax, the record store where Andie works, the owner, Iona, talks about a friend who always regretted missing her high school prom and suggests that Andie go to hers. When Blane, Andie's "richie" admirer from afar, comes into Trax, he asks for her opinion about his choice of records. They are clearly uncool, but Andie tells him they are "white hot" and encourages him to buy. That night, at a nightclub, Cats, Andie asks her friends, Jena and Simon, what they would think about her dating a rich guy. Jena expresses disapproval. Though his equally under-aged friends have been allowed into the club, Duckie waits outside for Andie and jokes with the bouncer that he is never allowed inside. When Andie drives Duckie home, she detours through a wealthy neighborhood with beautiful mansions. She pulls over to admire her favorite and wonders what it looks like inside. Back at school, while working on a computer at the library, Andie receives an on-screen message from Blane, and is flattered by his attention. Meanwhile, Duckie waits for Andie outside her house and confesses to Jack that he has feelings for his daughter and would like to marry Andie. Jack tells him that he is still in love with Andie's mother, who left their family three years ago, and warns Duckie that nothing can be done to force the love of another. Back at Trax, Blane shows up during Andie's shift and jokingly complains about the record she sold him. While Andie plays along and suggests alternatives, the security alarm in the backroom goes off. Andie is annoyed when she finds that it was triggered by Duckie, and, upon returning to the store, is devastated when she sees Blane leave with Steff. When Andie comes home from work, she has several answering machine messages from Duckie, but nothing from Blane. She picks up the receiver to call Blane, but hangs up before dialing. The next morning, Jack tells Andie he has found a job, but is vague about the details. At school, Blane finds Andie outside in the yard where "richies" don't usually go, and asks her on a date. She accepts, but asks him to pick her up at Trax instead of her home. In the school hallway, Steff tells Blane that he disapproves of Blane's friendship with Andie. Later, Andie and Duckie study history at Andie's house and she accuses him of deliberately flunking his classes to avoid graduating. When Andie goes to the kitchen for drinks, Duckie decides that he should tell her about his feelings for her, but when she returns, he loses his nerve and rushes home. When Andie and her friend Jena are expelled from gym class for offending Benny, Andie tells the school principal that she is tired of being treated poorly by the rich students. Hearing about the incident, Duckie rushes to meet her; but when he jokingly provokes the other male students by threatening to beat one of them up, they throw him into a girls' bathroom. While waiting for Blane to pick her up at Trax, Andie and Iona listen to the Otis Redding recording of "Try a Little Tenderness." Duckie enters and lip-synchs the song as a serenade to Andie, who is upset because it seems that Blane has stood her up. When Blane finally arrives, Duckie is devastated and warns Andie that she will get used and hurt. She tells Duckie that judging people negatively because they have money is just as bad as being judged by them for being poor, but he threatens to drop Andie as a friend if she goes out with Blane. Despite her objections, Blane takes Andie to Steff's party, which turns out to be at the mansion she previously admired with Duckie. In her hand-made dress and fake pearls, Andie is uncomfortable around the rich students who do not hide their disdain for her. Blane convinces Andie to go upstairs away from the spiteful crowd, but they encounter Steff and Benny in one of the bedrooms. Benny drunkenly rebukes Blane for bringing Andie to the party. Blane asks Andie to forgive him and apologizes for his friends' behavior. After leaving the party, they go to Cats, where Iona has managed to get Duckie inside by telling the bouncer he is her son. Duckie acts as rudely toward Blane as the kids at the party were with Andie and kisses Iona to make Andie jealous. Embarrassed by her financial standing, Andie does not want Blane to drive her home and see where she lives, but when they arrive at her house, he asks her to the prom and she kisses him. Closing the front door behind her, Andie lets out an excited scream and tells Jack that she is going. When he asks her if she is in love, she says that she thinks she is, but he is a "richie" and their friends will not accept the relationship. He encourages her to follow her heart, regardless of the opinion of others, and expresses regret that her mother could not be acting in his role. The next day, Andie visits Iona at her apartment in Chinatown to tell her about the date. As Duckie watches from outside, Iona shows Andie her pink prom dress and confesses that Duckie's kiss made her thighs burn. When Andie tells Iona that Blane asked her to prom, she becomes nostalgic for the past and dances with Andie in her prom dress and a beehive hairdo. Back at Steff's house, Steff tells Blane that he must choose between his friends and family and his relationship with Andie, causing Blane to doubt himself. During the couple's next date at the Chestnut Hills Hunt Club, Andie tells Blane that if someone does not believe in her, then she cannot believe in them, and he vows to make their relationship work. Meanwhile, Duckie remains tortured by jealousy and loneliness. In preparation for the prom, Andie goes to a store but becomes frustrated by the high prices of dresses and quickly leaves after seeing Benny in the dressing room. Not knowing what is happening with Blane, she tries to reach him over the phone, but he refuses to answer. Although Jack has told Andie he has a job, she notices his car in the driveway at a time when he should be at work. When he comes to her room with a pink prom dress, Andie rebukes him for lying about getting a job and pointedly reminds him that her mother is not coming back into their lives and that he needs to accept this and move on. Telling Andie that he is proud of her mature perspective, Jack leaves her room. She looks at a picture of her mother and cries. The next day at school, Andie confronts Blane and demands that he admit to being ashamed of having her as his girlfriend. Blane lies that he had previously asked another girl to the prom and forgot, but Andie rejects his insincerity as Steff and Duckie look on. Upon hearing Steff tell Blane that Andie is worthless, Duckie attacks him in the hall. Andie decides that she will still attend the prom without Blane and goes to Iona's apartment to ask for her prom dress. At home, Andie constructs a prom dress out of the two pink dresses she has received from her father and Iona. Arriving at the prom, Andie is happy and surprised to see Duckie, who is nicely dressed but still wearing his old white shoes, and they enter the ballroom together. Blane realizes that Steff was after Andie all along and accuses him of being vengeful because he couldn't buy her the way he does everything else in his life. Blane then approaches Andie and tells her that he always believed in her, but she did not believe in him, and that he loves her. As Blane leaves the dance, he kisses Andie on the cheek and whispers "Always" in her ear. Duckie admits to Andie that Blane is not like the others and urges her to pursue him. A beautiful blond girl then notices Duckie and he joins her on the dance floor. Andie and Blane are reunited in the parking lot and kiss. +

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Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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