"Blane? His name is Blane? That's a major appliance that's not a name!" Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, Annie Potts, James Spader, the late Harry Dean Stanton, a script from John Hughes and those killer songs by OMD and Psychedelic Furs? It's Pretty in Pink, one of the greatest teen dramadies of all time. Here, we'll take a look at 10 things you never knew about Pretty in Pink.
The other Andie.
Jennifer Beals Flashdance
John Hughes wrote Pretty in Pink specifically for Molly Ringwald after the pair made Sixteen Candles together. But the studio, Paramount, wanted the producers to look for a bigger name. Executive producer and screenwriter Hughes and director Howard Deutch offered the part to Flashdance star Jennier Beals, who turned it down. Thankfully, the pair went back to their original choice. Incidentally, Andie awesome thrift store aesthetic was based on Ringwald's real life personal style.
The other Blane.
Charlie Sheen Lucas
Charlie Sheen was in the running to play Blane, who John Hughes and the film's director saw as more of a traditional jock. But according to Andrew McCarthy in an interview for the DVD, Molly had seen him in St. Elmo's Fire. As he remembers it, she told producers something like, "That's the kind of guy I would fall in love with, not some square-jawed, hunky guy." He sent her a 4-foot tall Gumby doll as a thank you gift.
The other Duckie.
Anthony Michael Hall Duckie Pretty in Pink
Pretty in Pink could have reunited Ringwald with her Sixteen Candles costar Anthony Michael Hall, who had already played multiple Hughes-written characters. As since reported by author Susannah Gora, after Hall passed on the part, Ringwald hoped to see it go to "somebody like Robert Downey, Jr." because "he was different and he was quirky, but it was completely imaginable that we would end up together."
The other man.
Dweezil Zappa Pretty in Pink
The chemistry may have been fantastic with her onscreen suitors, but Molly already had a guy at the time. Ringwald was dating guitarist Dweezil Zappa, one of the children of late iconoclastic musical legend Frank Zappa. A onetime MTV VJ, Dweezil had a small role in Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Running Man and shows up in Pretty in Pink as Andie's rocker friend, Simon. Dweezil later dated fellow musician Lisa Loeb. Molly married her second husband in 2007. They have three children.
The other Duckie song.
Mick Jagger State of Shock
One of the most memorable scenes in Pretty in Pink is when the heartsick Duckman throws his very essence into "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding. All it said in the script was, "Duckie comes in lip-synching a song with great energy." Cryer's original pick was "State of Shock" by Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson. The director preferred The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" but they couldn't obtain the rights. For those moves, which the actor said in a 2006 interview were definitely meant to be comedic, Cryer worked closely with Kenny Ortega, choreographer on Xanadu, St. Elmo's Fire, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Dirty Dancing. Ortega went on to direct as well, taking on several episodes of Ally McBeal and Gilmore Girls, and directing a bunch a movies including Newsies, Hocus Pocus, and the High School Musical movies.
The other Pretty in Pink.
Psychedelic Furs Pretty in Pink
Speaking of music, the movie didn't inspire the song of the same name. It was, in fact, the other way around. After Molly turned Hughes on to the Psychedelic Furs, the title stuck in his head. "I thought about your predisposition toward pink," he said to his young star in a Seventeen Magazine article published the year the movie was released. "I wrote Pretty in Pink the week after we finished Sixteen Candles. I so desperately hate to end these movies that the first thing I do when I'm done is write another one, then I don't feel sad about having to leave and everybody going away."
The other ending.
Original Pretty in Pink ending
In one of the best-known bits of trivia, the film originally concluded with Blane bowing to peer pressure and ditching Andie, who defiantly takes the dance floor with Duckie. The duo cut a rug to David Bowie's "Heroes" like nobody was watching. As the Hollywood story goes, a test audience of teenagers booed that ending, so it was reshot to put Andie with Blane instead. It was Hughes' idea to have Blaine show up to the prom alone, demonstrating that he'd chosen Andie instead of his friends. What's lesser known is that McCarthy is wearing a wig in those scenes thanks to the close crop he was sporting for a play when the reshoots rolled around. As he later joked, "It looks like a rodent on my head." By the way, the Pretty in Pink novelization was written before the change was made.
The other OMD song.
OMD Pretty in Pink
It's hard to imagine Pretty in Pink without "If You Leave," the moving synth-pop hit by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark. But the song OMD had originally given the movie was "Goddess of Love." But once the ending shifted, the filmmakers felt like it no longer fit. So the English group was tasked with writing a new song and had less than 24 hours to do it. The result, "If You Leave," is of course, a masterpiece. Thanks to OMD, Psychedelic Furs, INXS, New Order, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths and other artists, the Pretty in Pink soundtrack landed at Number 11 in Rolling Stone's list of the 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time, alongside undeniable classics like Purple Rain, The Harder They Come, Singles, and Saturday Night Fever.
The other dialogue.
Duckie Pretty in Pink
"Duckie should have the girl and it was all built for that and it was designed for that," the film's director said in Susannah Gora's 2010 book You Couldn't Ignore Me if You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation. "And I could have ended that way, had I not fucked with one thing: I cast Jon Cryer." But whatever one's feelings about Duckie as played by Cryer vs. what a Robert Downey Jr. type might have done, the actor's contributions are undeniable. At least a few of the movie's best lines weren't written by John Hughes, they were devised by Jon Cryer himself. The bit about "a major appliance"? Jon Cryer. And so was the bit in the girl's bathroom, which was based on a real life experience from Junior High, where Cryer mistook the tampon machine for a candy machine.
The other John Hughes and Molly Ringwald movies.
Molly Ringwald John Hughes Breakfast Club
Molly Ringwald and John Hughes made three genre-and-decade-defining films together: The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink. Though Pretty in Pink was the last of them, there were a handful of near misses. Oil and Vinegar which have been directed by Howard Deutch (DOYCH) and paired Ringwald with Matthew Broderick, but for various reasons, it was never made. The other near miss was Some Kind of Wonderful, from the same writer/director duo. Ringwald passed on the part that went to Mary Stuart Masterson. The movie also stars Lea Thompson, who went on to marry Deutch. Their daughters, Madelyn and Zoey, are both actresses. And for the record, we here at MovieWeb love Jon Cryer as the Duckman.