20 Things You Never Knew About 'Pretty in Pink'
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the John Hughes, Molly Ringwald favorite.
Some may find it hard to believe, but it's been thirty years since Andie fell for Blane and Duckie got jealous. Writer John Hughes' Pretty in Pink is now three decades old so what better time to reflect on the favorite film of countless American teenagers? Anyone who has grown up in the glass box of the American public school system should identify with the heartbreak of unrequited love and the disappointment of social rejection. As a teen, those things are world-enders.
A star-crossed lovers story, Pretty in Pink places the world between Andie (Molly Ringwald) and her crush, Blane (Andrew McCarthy). They're separated by class, but attempt a romance nonetheless, accepting the fact they'll both have to explain things to their friends and families. The story is as old as Shakespeare, but Hughes invigorates things with his trademark authentic dialogue and director Howard Deutch captures the feel of the moment.
Hughes movies have their own unique magic and Pretty in Pink might be the most John Hughes movie of all of them. For one, it stars Ringwald, Hollywood's It Girl who spoke for legions of young women in the '80s. That's the secret to Hughes' magic as a writer and director: He was able to capture the spirit of the decade on film. So, without further to do, let's dive into one of the most prime examples. Here are 20 things you never knew about Pretty in Pink.
1. Hughes was handed the title "Pretty in Pink" by Ringwald, who told him to write a movie based on The Psychedelic Furs' track of the same name. It was her favorite song at the time. The Furs wrote a new, saxophone-heavy version of the song for the movie's soundtrack once it came out.
2. The original ending of John Hughes' script saw Andie and Duckie (Jon Cryer) getting together with Blane taking a step back. But test audiences didn't like it, and the ending was rewritten so Andie would end up with Blane. Deutch had to reshoot the ending which is why McCarthy looks noticeably thinner in the final scene (and is also wearing a wig). He had lost weight and shaved his head for a play he was in after the film wrapped.
3. The original ending might have been kept if Robert Downey Jr. had been cast as Duckie as planned. He didn't give off the same kind of 'brother vibe" as Cryer, according to Ringwald.
4. Hughes was upset with the studio for changing his ending and got revenge the next year by essentially making the same movie with genders reversed. Some Kind of Wonderful sees the unpopular guy (Eric Stoltz) falling for the school's prom queen (Lea Thompson), but ending up with his best friend (Mary Stuart Masterson) in the last scene. The film also marked the end of Hughes and Ringwald's working relationship after she refused to appear in Some Kind.
5. Pretty in Pink is set in an Illinois suburb (all Hughes' films are set in or outside Chicago), but was shot in Los Angeles. The high school in the film is the same one used in Grease.
6. The movie is dedicated to Alexa Kenin, who plays Andie's friend Jena. Kenin was murdered by her boyfriend just days before the film's release. It was also dedicated to production designer Bruce Weintraub, an Oscar nominee who died of AIDS soon before the film's release as well.
7. Ringwald has said Pretty in Pink is her favorite of her own films.
8. Jennifer Beals, Tatum O'Neal, Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker and Brooke Shields were each considered for the role of Andie. Jodie Foster and Justine Bateman reportedly turned it down.
9. After Downey passed on the role of Duckie, Anthony Michael Hall did as well. Cryer would win it, of course.
10. Charlie Sheen auditioned for the role of Blane and James Spader was offered the role, but he chose to play Stef instead. He wanted the villain.
11. Tracey Ullman was considered for the role of Iona but her British accent tanked her chances. Angelica Huston was also considered. Annie Potts won it in the end.
12. Cryer has said both his co-stars, Ringwald and McCarthy, found him "irritating" from day one. Cryer was much like Duckie, loud and boisterous, and that didn't sit well with the more reserved lead actors.
13. McCarthy and Spader would star in two more films together the following year: Mannequin and Less Than Zero. Both films reprised the Pretty in Pink dynamic of McCarthy the hero and Spader the villain.
14. The film was novelized by author H.B. Gilmour the same year as the film's release.
15. When Andie comes back to her room to study with Duckie, the soda can she's holding says "Coca Cola" on one side and "Pepsi" on the other.
16. Ringwald's boyfriend at the time, Dweezil Zappa, plays Simon.
17. The book Andie hands to Blaine the second time he comes into Trax is In His Own Write by John Lennon.
18. Pretty in Pink's soundtrack is considered one of the best in film history by many publications, including Rolling Stone. In addition to the Psychadelic Furs title song, the soundtrack includes tracks from New Order, The Smiths, INXS, Echo and the Bunnyman, and OMD who composed "If You Leave," maybe the movie's most famous tune.
19. When Andie and Duckie are in the car driving home, "If You Leave" comes on the radio and Duckie proclaims he "hates it." At the end of the movie, the song plays again when Andie chooses Blane instead of her best friend.
20. In 2010, for the 20th Anniversary of Entertainment Weekly, the magazine reunited Ringwald, Cryer, and Potts for a photo shoot and interview. The three guessed at what becomes of their characters after the film ends. Ringwald thought Andie and Blaine would have broken up shortly after, but Andie and Duckie would have remained lifelong friends. She also said Duckie would have long ago come out as a gay man.