The Breakfast Club turned 30 this year, which means it’s beginning to move from “modern classic” to just plain “classic” in the pantheon of iconic movies that we just can’t get away from even if we’d like to. It’s a film that its most devoted fans tend to cling to in ways they don’t cling to other movies. Case in point: I own the Blu-ray but I still won’t get rid of my ragged VHS copy that I wore out when I was 15 – and that makes today’s news a particularly cheerful thing for people of the “John Hughes Gets Me” persuasion.
According to The Chicago Tribune, staff at Maine Township High School District 207, about 30 miles from Hughes’ Chicago stomping grounds, were cleaning out offices in preparation for a move recently when they found what seems to be a first draft of The Breakfast Club screenplay. The script is dated September 21, 1983, and also bears the signature of Maine Township’s then-superintendent John Murphy, who gave his approval to the script in early 1984 shortly before Hughes and his crew rented out the district’s empty Maine North High School campus for filming. The script differs from the final film, most notably that Molly Ringwald’s character is named Cathy and not yet Claire, and it also features something that makes it a true 1980s American artifact: a pizza grease stain.
Maine North closed in 1981, so Hughes and crew were given 24-hour access to the building. They filmed in the halls, built the iconic library set in the gym, and even returned later to film scenes for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The Maine Township district sold the building in 1988, but I’d like to think John Bender’s still roaming the halls, thinkin’ about tryin’ out for a scholarshiiiiiip.