The plot follows five students at fictional Shermer High School in Shermer, Illinois as they report for Saturday detention on March 24, 1984. While not complete strangers, the five teenagers are each from a different clique or social group. The five students, who seem to have nothing in common at first, come together at the high school library, where they are harangued and ordered not to speak or move from their seats by the antagonistic principal, Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason). They are to remain for a period of eight hours and fifty-four minutes (from 7:06 A. M.to 4 P. M. , the only indication of time being on a clock that is 20 minutes fast). He assigns a 1,000 word essay (in which each student must write about who he or she thinks he or she is) and then leaves them mostly unsupervised, returning only occasionally to check on them. Bender, who has a particularly negative relationship with Mr. Vernon, disregards the rules and riles the other students; mocking Brian and Andrew, and sexually harassing Claire. Allison remains oddly quiet except for the occasional random outburst. The students pass the hours in a variety of ways.
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Gradually they open up to each other and reveal their inner secrets (for example, Allison is a compulsive liar, Bender comes from an abusive household and Brian and Claire are ashamed of their virginity). They also discover that they all have strained relationships with their parents and are afraid of making the same mistakes as the adults around them. However, despite these developing friendships the students are afraid that once the detention is over, they will return to their very different cliques and never speak to each other again.
At the request and consensus of the students, Brian is asked to write the essay Mr. Vernon assigned earlier (the subject of which was to be a synopsis by each student detailing “who you think you are”), which challenges Mr. Vernon and his preconceived judgments about all of them. Brian does so, but instead of writing about the actual topic hewrites a very motivating letter that is in essence, the main point of the story. He signs the essay as “The Breakfast Club” and leaves it at the table for Mr. Vernon to read when they leave.
Page 2 The Breakfast clubb Essay
There are two versions of this letter, one read at the beginningand one at the end, which are slightly different; illustrating the change in the students’ judgments of one another and their realization that they truly have things in common. The beginning letter is as follows: Brian Johnson (although that is unknown at this point): Saturday, March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois. 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was that we did wrong…and what we did was wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write this essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us… in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at seven o’clock this morning. We were brainwashed. The end letter is as follows: Brian Johnson: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong…but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain… Andrew Clark: … and an athlete… Allison Reynolds: … and a basket case… Claire Standish: … a princess… John Bender: … and a criminal… Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club. [Cast of characters Judd Nelson as John Bender Emilio Estevez as Andrew “Andy” Clark Molly Ringwald as Claire Standish
Ally Sheedy as Allison Reynolds Anthony Michael Hall as Brian Johnson Paul Gleason as Principal Richard “Dick” Vernon John Kapelos as Carl Reed Background Cast Each of the film’s young stars became part of the Brat Pack (whose other members include Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy and Demi Moore), a group of actors who found fame at the same time and were sometimes cast in films together. John Hughes appeared in an uncredited role as Brian’s father. Of the entire cast, only Hall and Ringwald were actually high school age upon the film’s release; Nelson was 25, while Sheedy and Estevez were both 22 years old.
Casting Emilio Estevez was originally cast to play John Bender, but because Hughes couldn’t find anyone to play Andrew Clark, Estevez agreed to take the role. Nicolas Cage was being considered for the role of John Bender. Bender was the last role to be cast, and it was between John Cusack and Judd Nelson. Hughes eventually cast Cusack to play John Bender, but decided to replace him with Nelson before shooting began because Cusack didn’t look threatening enough for the role.  Molly Ringwald also wanted to play Allison Reynolds, but Ally Sheedy had already been promised the part.
Rick Moranis was originally cast as the janitor; he left due to creative differences and was replaced by John Kapelos. Judd Nelson’s performance was influenced by his method-style technique of staying in character off set. He was accused of bullying Molly Ringwald due to his insistence on remaining in character when the camera was not rolling. This behavior nearly forced Hughes to fire Nelson, but Nelson was defended by Paul Gleason, his on-screen nemesis, who stated that Nelson was just trying to stay in character and did not mean any wrong by it.
Ringwald and Hall dated briefly after filming ended.  Filming Shooting began on March 28, 1984, in Des Plaines, Illinois, and ended in May 1984. Maine North High School was used in the filming of The Breakfast Club, the same school used for some of the school-based scenes in John Hughes’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which was released just a year after The Breakfast Club. Some of the posters on the walls during filming of The Breakfast Club were still there when Ferris Bueller was filmed.
On the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off DVD commentary (featured on the 2004 DVD version), John Hughes reveals that he shot the two films back to back to save time and money, and some outtakes of both films feature elements of the film crews working on the other film in each case. Hughes never disclosed, however, whether Ferris Bueller was intended to be a student at the same school as The Breakfast Club students a year later. Maine North High School was closed for two years before John Hughes stepped in and used it as a filming location for The Breakfast Club.See More on Ally Sheedy, Literature