In a time when the box office is overflowing with superhero smash-'em-ups and sequels to franchises that will never die, it seems almost quaint that the biggest films at the cinema were once teen comedies about hooking up and hanging out. Starring the "it" girls and handsome heartthrobs whose faces graced the glossy pages of Tiger Beat - and any screen tuned to MTV - these nostalgic teen films still hold a place in our hearts.
Travel back in time with this list and discover some of the coolest behind-the-scenes stories about these teen classics.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
According to writer/director Amy Heckerling, Silverstone's naïveté and accidental mispronunciation of certain words was comedy gold. During the debate scene when Cher calls Haitians "Hey-tee-ans," that wasn't a comedic choice, but the star making a mistake. Heckerling recalled Silverstone's innocent error in an interview with Vogue:
[Silverstone] had the script and she was doing her lines and as soon as I said "cut," the script woman and everyone in the crew started to walk up to her to tell her the right pronunciation and I had to run interference and go, "Step away from the actress. Stand clear of Alicia Silverstone."
...I didn’t want her to know that she had it wrong, I wanted that assurance without her thinking this is funny or a joke - which changes how you say things. There’s something you do when you’re completely confident that just can’t be replicated when you know you’re doing something wrong.
- Photo: Columbia Pictures
Ralph Macchio, playing ostracized teenager Daniel in 1984's The Karate Kid, catches a fly with a pair of chopsticks. On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2018, Macchio shared how they filmed the popular scene:
We went through like five incarnations of how to figure out how to catch this fly. First they had a big metal pipe frame, maybe a 4-foot frame with a piece of fishing line and a plastic fly, and there were two crew guys off-camera going like this [motions showing how they held the frame] and I was going like that [shows how he held the chopsticks].
It just looked hideous. And the next thing... they were catching flies, crew guys were catching flies and taking thin monofilament and fishing line and lassoing flies. Like putting them on a leash. And so they said, "Just find the thing and go down to the fly." Well, I was decapitating, like, heads going here, there... and yeah, I [eventually] caught it, I caught it.
Two of the actors in Weird Science (1985) commented on the relationship between John Hughes and Anthony Michael Hall. According to Bill Paxton, who played Chet, the collaboration between Hughes and Hall was incredible to watch. As Paxton saw it, "Although all the characters he wrote were characters he could relate to, it seemed like Michael was like his on-screen avatar in a way."
During the casting process, Robert Downey Jr. (who was given the role of Ian) noted the same kind of connection between the two men. When Downey auditioned for Hughes, Hall was there, "playing with John's stereo system... he kind of looked at me, like I'm going to tell John to get you this job."
Hughes's relationship with Hall wasn't something the actor took lightly. While making Weird Science, Hall was approached by Stanley Kubrick to be in Full Metal Jacket. Hall remembered speaking to Kubrick, who told him, "I want you to know: I just screened Sixteen Candles three times... and you’re my favorite actor since I saw Jack in Easy Rider!" After receiving what he called, "the greatest compliment" of his life, Hall admitted, "I owe that to John Hughes."
- 4446 VOTES
While filming The Breakfast Club, Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson bonded, primarily because they were older than the other actors and closest in age (Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were still in high school and had to attend classes during the day).
Nelson told the A.V. Club:
Emilio and I, every Saturday night, would go into Chicago because we were shooting outside of Chicago in Des Plaines. It’s so funny, because even though we might be adversaries in the film, we certainly weren’t off camera. He’s a very funny guy... We ended up at a jazz club, where you go downstairs and there’s a very cool place. And they stayed open late. They didn’t care what we wore. And we would go there every Saturday night.
- 5534 VOTES
When casting the role of Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles (1984), Molly Ringwald auditioned with several potential actors. It wasn't Michael Schoeffling - AKA Jake Ryan - who really got Ringwald's attention. According to the actress, "Jake Ryan was almost Viggo Mortensen (my first choice). He kissed me in the audition and almost gave me a heart attack."
Mortensen obviously lost out, but at least he didn't have to endure sitting next to that cardboard cake - which could have caught on fire - at the end of the movie. He never did work with Hughes, but appeared in the movie Fresh Horses with Ringwald and fellow "Brat Pack" actor Andrew McCarthy in 1988.
- Photo: Orion Pictures6344 VOTES
Anyone who has seen Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure knows it features a lot of characters in a lot of different time periods. Although the filmmakers somehow managed to cram all those characters and set pieces into one compact, hour-and-a-half-long film, they almost didn't.
One of the scenes that didn't make it into the movie was a complicated dance routine performed by the boys while they waited for the bus. Even more interesting is the fact Reeves and co-star Alex Winter practiced their dance for this scene at Stevie Nicks's private dance studio at her Arizona residence.
According to Winter, the young actors were horrible dancers, so to pull off the scene, they "rehearsed this number for weeks in, of all places, Stevie Nicks’s house in Phoenix. Because for some reason, Stevie Nicks had a full ballet studio in her desert ranch house, with a full ballet barre and mirrors and wood floors - literally the whole thing."
Winter doesn't elaborate on why they couldn't have learned to dance somewhere other than Nicks's home, but still, it's pretty cool that it happened.