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You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  980 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
You can quote lines from Sixteen Candles (“Last night at the dancemy little brother paid a buck to see your underwear”), your iPod playlist includes more than one song by the Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds, you watch The Breakfast Club every time it comes on cable, and you still wish that Andie had ended up with Duckie in Pretty in Pink. You’re a bonafide Brat Pack devo ...more
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Published February 9th 2010 by Crown Archetype (first published June 23rd 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,464)
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Marjorie Ingall
To say the writing is workmanlike is an insult to workmen. But those of us who loved John Hughes movies will enjoy this repetitive, gossipy tome ((with bonus random Say Anything chapter! Why is it here? NO CLUE! But I loved Say Anything too!). You don't get any sense of Hughes as a human -- why did he keep repeating his pattern of getting super-close to people (Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald and others), then dumping them cold? Why'd he do all his best work in the 80s, then churn out crap ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Meagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I am a member of the generation that was profoundly affected by the films of John Hughes and the Brat Pack. In fact, the John Hughes movies meant so much to me, and still mean so much to me, that his death brought me to tears. It's almost as if, while he was still living, there was the possibility for more of the movies that so inspired me and defined my youth. When he died, that possibility died too.

It's quite possible that my attachment to John Hughes and the Brat Pack movies influenced my app
Mandy Jo
This week’s headline? Some self-created drama

Why this book? Nineties (VCR) nostalgia

Which book format? Hardback with caricatures

Primary reading environment? Summer dog days

Any preconceived notions? Hated Say Anything

Identify most with? Who’s Dawn Steel?

Three little words? “…your heart dies”

Goes well with? Cap’n Crunch sandwich

Alan Ruck says he and Matthew Broderick, buddies in real life, were encouraged to improvise during the filming of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

“He wanted that layered quality t
Apr 23, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun read. Gora clearly did her research, but relied a little to heavily on direct quotes in her writing.

I'm a little young for this era (I was 10 when Say Anything, the last of the movies discussed, came out), so I had no idea that the phrase "Brat Pack" originally came from an article that portrayed Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson in a pretty negative light. I thought it was solely a play on "Rat Pack".

I especially enjoyed the info about casting and the discussion of how the music was
Feb 12, 2016 CM rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I came of age during the reign of John Hughes. Movies like Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off are seared in my consciousness forever. Those films defined a generation. I even revisited a few of Hughes's films like The Breakfast Club and Some Kind of Wonderful while reading this. John Hughes was a genius at giving honest voices to teenagers in a way that hadn't been done before. I read about 110 pages of this book and honestly, I am pretty sure I got what I needed out of this book. Thi ...more
Apr 22, 2010 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a must-read for anyone who loved the great teen movies from the 1980's like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Say Anything, St. Elmo's Fire. I never knew anything about the casting and filming process for these movies, so that was fascinating. There are a few parts that get a little slow and repetitive, but overall it's a captivating book.
May 15, 2010 Simone rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-read

So I think I heard about this book on the Entertainment Weekly Pop Culture blog. The second half of the title is what sold it for me, I thought there would be an analysis of the impact of the films. Not so much. I hated the writing of this, which read for me like a long extended magazine cover feature on John Hughes.

The writing was so over the top, the sentences were way too wordy and sycophantic.

Examples: "There were indeed plenty of deeply happy moments on screen and off. But this was a John
Jul 15, 2014 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
I liked getting inside info on some of my favorite movies -- The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Home Alone -- and finding out what some of the stars of the films were thinking while they were making them.

How the term "Brat Pack" came about was interesting, and its affect on the people grouped into it -- either correctly or incorrectly -- was just as interesting. She also goes into non-Brat Pack movies the group did to rid themselves of the moniker.

The only thing I re
I have to admit the book read like a long article from EW magazine. However, it is an article about the movies that was in the background of my childhood, adolescents, and early adult years. Either sympathizing withSamantha in 16 candles when her grandmother felt her up (made it not so odd when my Aunt Bill kinda of did the same thing to me), to the disappointment I had that my school did not have Saturday detention like Breakfast Club. My brother being banned from watching Ferris Buller because ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Tlingit rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brain damaged fans that love to read magazines like People and Teen Beat.
I'll begin by writing that I left this book in my bathroom so I could have something interesting to read there. This was a good book to leave in the bathroom. I also read another book simultaneously which cleansed my palate after this love confection.
I thought this book was going to be a serious examination of John Hughes, the actors he worked with and the movies he made with them. Instead (I'm 109 pages in of a 337 page book,) it's more of a gathering of media quotes assembled with tons of rep
Erin Martin
Dec 01, 2015 Erin Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-a-copy
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I LOVED this book. The movies discussed - Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful and Say Anything - were my favorite movies as a teenager and shaped my growing up years. Even today, they are still my favorites and are the ones I can watch over and over again. The interviews with all the major players give you a huge insight into the behind the scenes happenings and what the ac ...more
Tracy Fleming-Swehla
It’s quite possible that every single person feels fortunate and lucky to have spent their impressionable teen years during the decade they got to experience. I love the 80’s. I truly did…and do. Growing up during the ‘80’s was fabulous, and reading this book brought so much back to me. I spent so many weekends at the movies, and loved Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, etc. John Hughes movies are just GREAT movies that I've shared with my kids and they love them too, and it’s so fun to enjoy the ...more
Monica Albright
Very detailed...can be read by skipping around at chapters that you are interested in...took longer to read than I thought.
Brought back memories...gave a run for its money looking up things and now I have to rent a lot of these just to see them again with new eyes.
Jul 19, 2014 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big John Hughes fan. The Breakfast Club is one of my all-time favorite movies. I watch Sixteen Candles every year near my birthday. I would watch Pretty in Pink multiple times during my junior year of high school, when my boyfriend and I broke up a few weeks before my junior prom. John Hughes GOT me. He "got" teenagers, and this book delves into just how deeply Hughes understood and empathized with his target demographic, and how his films revolutionized the film industry to make teenager ...more
Nov 19, 2015 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A must-read for anyone who is obsessed with 80's teen movies!
Feb 03, 2011 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read if you're a fan of movies like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, etc. The author is obviously a BIG fan and sometimes the writing was a bit fawning, but overall I enjoyed it.
Mar 19, 2014 Marissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-culture
A well-written assessment of John Hughes' more influential teen films, as well as more information on the enigmatic Hughes himself. There was an inclusion of St. Elmo's Fire (by Joel Schumacher) and Say Anything (by Cameron Crowe), presumably for padding and a tad unnecessary (though I do love Say Anything, so it was neat to read about the making of that one), but it all comes back to Hughes.

The man was definitely a genius, but with the good came the bad. I didn't realize for example, how he wou
Some interesting details from behind the scenes of these movies, but I felt like the book was still missing something that I can't quite put my finger on.
Jason Nassi
Aug 24, 2012 Jason Nassi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Makes me want to watch the movies and listen to 80s music :)
Oct 11, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book occasionally took itself too seriously, but I loved it.
Jan 08, 2015 Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books I put on hold after hearing something on NPR. Or at least that's how I remember it. Funny though, I don't remember being especially hooked on Sixteen Candles or Breakfast Club. I only vaguely remember St Elmo's Fire and Pretty in Pink. In the middle of reading this book I rewatched Breakfast Club and still it didn't particularly hit me even as a memory. Ferris Beuler I appreciated. And Some Kind of Wonderful I appreciated. And I got a feel for how much other people app ...more
Aug 23, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation, caters to a very specific audience. And when I say "a very specific audience" what I'm REALLY trying to say is that it was written for people like ME.

This is the anecdotal account of all things related to eighties teenage cinema. While I was always a bit younger than the target audience for these films at the time, once I found their magic early on, I quickly realized, for me, there would be no let
Jun 05, 2013 Brandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, own, movies
The Breakfast Club was my favorite movie growing and, while I was born the same the first of the 1980s youth movie Susannah Gora writes a out in this book came out (Sixteen Candles, btw), the films of John Hughes and the Brat Pack were the movies of my youth. Gora does a great job of providing detailed accounts of the production, reception, and impact for each of the seven films she focused on--without falling into the academic trap of knowledgeable dullness. The films--and their casts and crews ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was that person who's dorm room and college apartment had a Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles poster hanging on the wall. You can often catch me randomly quoting lines from John Hughes movies, no doubt garnering strange looks from those around me. Anyone who has ever watched a movie with me knows that I spend half the movie with my nose glued to IMDb and Wikipedia while I research every possible thing I can about the actors and the movie.
This being said, this book was written
Robert E.  Kennedy Library
Even though I wasn’t a teenager when the John Hughes teen movies of the 80s first hit the big screen, I loved watching them on DVDs, at slumber parties, with my BFFs. Being a red-head I wanted to be Molly Ringwald, dancing in the street to a Beatles tune like Ferris (Ferris Buller’s Day Off) with my own Duckie lip-syncing in a record shop (Pretty in Pink) and have a bad-boy Bender (Breakfast Club) around to worry my parents.

Being such a fan of the era of cinema I had to check out “You Couldn’t
First Line: "The lavender-hued poster of The Breakfast Club has hung on the walls of countless childhood bedrooms and college dorm rooms over the past quarter of a century."

You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried explores the impact of John Hughes and seven iconic teen movies of the eighties: Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club (my personal fave), St. Elmo's Fire, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Say Anything (my other fave). I thought Gore did a decent analysis,
Jul 27, 2011 Jessi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book offered a thorough and nostalgic look back at the John Hughes era of 80s movies. Though I loved movies such as “Sixteen Candles” and “Breakfast Club” while growing up, I was a few years shy of being a teenager and missed much of the actual fandom and personal affinity for the Brat Pack that took place during those years. Being able to read, now, about the behind-the-scenes relationships and work that went into these movies was a very enjoyable experience for me.

Particularly fascinating
Jan 10, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that is for those of us who are in love with John Hughes and "The Brat Pack" (although they hate that term.) It takes us through each movie from the 80's that defined the entire era. From "The Breakfast Club" to "Some Kind Of Wonderful" this book takes a look at all of the movies that are still to this day looked at as iconic of a generation. It is a detailed telling of each movie, looking at the filming process, the casting, the music chosen, and everything in between. The book a ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Sarescent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
An enjoyable behind-the-scenes look at some of the best-loved teen movies of the 1980s, focusing mainly on writer-director John Hughes. I liked the format of the book for the most part-- the opening chapters focus on Hughes's early life, such as his work for National Lampoon, with a particular focus on his adolescence and how it impacted his later films. Each of his major works (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off) gets a chap ...more
Brady Dale
I don't know what I wanted from the book. In a way, it made me a little disappointed in myself. I thought of myself as a John Hughes kid only to get through it and realize that, honestly, THE BREAKFAST CLUB was the only one of these movies I really fixated on. I'm not sure I ever did see SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL. I saw the rest, but most only once and I only saw SAY ANYTHING a few years ago.

There's a lot of behind-the-scenes elements that it reveals about how Hughes worked, which is revealing. Bu
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