Theme Times – The Brat Packers!!

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Brat Pack Line Up by Sporcle

Can you recognise all of the above line up?

Yes l can, because these guys and gals, gals and guys were the bee knees in the 80’s!!

Can you however ‘pick out the original Brat Pack members?’

The Brat Pack

The Brat Pack is a nickname given to a group of young actors who frequently appeared together in teen-oriented coming-of-age films in the 1980s. First mentioned in a 1985 New York magazine article, it is now usually defined as the cast members of two specific films released in 1985—The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire—although other actors are sometimes included. The “core” members are considered to be Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy.

The term “Brat Pack”, a play on the Rat Pack from the 1950s and 1960s, was first popularized in a 1985 New York magazine cover story, which described a group of highly successful film stars in their early twenties. David Blum wrote the article after witnessing several young actors (Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and Judd Nelson) being mobbed by groupies at Los Angeles’ Hard Rock Cafe. The group has been characterized by the partying of members such as Robert Downey Jr., Estevez, Lowe, and Nelson.

However, an appearance in one or both of the ensemble casts of John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club and Joel Schumacher’s St. Elmo’s Fire is often considered the prerequisite for being a core Brat Pack member. With this criterion, the most commonly cited members include …

Emilio Estevez

Anthony Michael Hall

Rob Lowe

Andrew McCarthy

Demi Moore

Judd Nelson

Molly Ringwald

Ally Sheedy

Absent from most lists is Mare Winningham, the only principal member of either cast who never starred in any other films with any other cast members. Estevez was cited as the “unofficial president” of the Brat Pack. He and Demi Moore were once engaged. In 1999, McCarthy said he was never a member of the group: “The media made up this sort of tribe. I don’t think I’ve seen any of these people since we finished St. Elmo’s Fire.”

The initial New York article covered a group of actors larger, or more inclusive, than the currently understood meaning of the term “Brat Pack”. For example, most of the cast members of The Outsiders were mentioned, including Tom Cruise, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, and Ralph Macchio, none of whom starred in any other 1980s movies with any “core” Brat Packers, besides Patrick Swayze. Charlie Sheen appears in several lists – more for his family relationship to Brat Pack leader Emilio Estevez and his partying than for his collaborative film work with other members.

James Spader and Robert Downey Jr. have also been considered members, and performed alongside other Brat Packers: both of them with Andrew McCarthy in Less Than Zero; Spader with McCarthy in Mannequin and with McCarthy and Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink; and Downey with Anthony Michael Hall (Weird Science and Johnny Be Good; and the cast of Saturday Night Live) and with Molly Ringwald (The Pick-up Artist). Other actors who have been linked with the group include Kevin Bacon, Matthew Broderick, Jon Cryer, John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Jami Gertz, Timothy Hutton, Michael Schoeffling, Liane Curtis, Jonathan Chapin, Mary Stuart Masterson, Andie MacDowell, Olivia Barash, Jennifer Grey, Sean Penn, Kiefer Sutherland, and Lea Thompson. In her autobiography, Melissa Gilbert connects herself with the Brat Pack, as her social life centered on Estevez and Lowe (to each of whom she was engaged at different times). Through frequent collaborative work, the actor Harry Dean Stanton, then in his late 50s, became a mentor for the group of young actors.

I love the 80's JPEG

So l figured … well everybody loves the 80’s!! You know? If you don’t, then sorry but you weren’t there – not properly! Maybe head only, but not heart, body and soul … so for all of December we are going to review the 80’s Bratpacker films – the originals and the others too and next month, well next month we will look at The Rat Packers!

Are you a Brat Packer Fan like me?

However for the time being, let’s look at the classic Brat Pack Movies!

These are the core films, there are many. But the line up – Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe,  Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Demi Moore – are the corists here. This initial line – up will hold others too…

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First …

1983 – The Outsiders

A teen gang in rural Oklahoma, the Greasers are perpetually at odds with the Socials, a rival group. When Greasers Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny (Ralph Macchio) get into a brawl that ends in the death of a Social member, the boys are forced to go into hiding. Soon Ponyboy and Johnny, along with the intense Dallas (Matt Dillon) and their other Greaser buddies, must contend with the consequences of their violent lives. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends.

1984 – Sixteen Candles

Samantha faces a lot of embarrassment on her sixteenth birthday when her parents conveniently ignore her and the answers she wrote for a private quiz lands up in the wrong hands.

1986 – Pretty in Pink

Andie, a young girl, is not popular at school. She mostly kept to her friend Iona and childhood sweetheart, Duckie. But what happens when one of the popular guys at school, falls in love with her.

1985 – St. Elmo’s Fire

Seven close but self-centred friends in Georgetown struggle to deal with the transition from adolescence to adulthood and realise that life is not as easy as expected.

1985 – The Breakfast Club

Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal (Paul Gleason). The disparate group includes rebel John (Judd Nelson), princess Claire (Molly Ringwald), outcast Allison (Ally Sheedy), brainy Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) and Andrew (Emilio Estevez), the jock. Each has a chance to tell his or her story, making the others see them a little differently — and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same.

….. Then by association

1988 – Young Guns

John Tunstall (Terence Stamp), a distinguished British gentleman, employs downtrodden youths to tend his herd on the New Mexican frontier. When Tunstall is gunned down by the crooked Lawrence G. Murphy (Jack Palance), a ragtag group of cow hands — including Doc Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland), Richard Brewer (Charlie Sheen) and young William “Billy the Kid” Bonney (Emilio Estevez) — ride forth in search of bloody vengeance for the death of their beloved mentor.

1984 – Oxford Blues

Nick De Angelo (Rob Lowe) is an American hustler working in a Las Vegas casino. When he falls in love with wealthy Lady Victoria Wingate (Amanda Pays), he follows her to England, where he must con his way into Oxford University in an attempt to win her hand and her heart. His misadventures multiply when he joins the rowing team. Nick quickly discovers Victoria is already in love with another Oxford rower, Colin (Julian Sands), and also learns the importance of being part of the team.

1982 – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a pretty, but inexperienced, teen interested in dating. Given advice by her uninhibited friend, Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates), Stacy gets trapped in a love triangle with nice guy Mark Ratner (Brian Backer) and his more assured buddy Mike Damone (Robert Romanus). Meanwhile, Stacy’s classmate Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), who lives for surfing and being stoned, faces off against Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), a strict teacher who has no time for the slacker’s antics.

1983 – Class

Jonathan, a naive young boy, wins a chance to study at a swanky school in the city. Here, he meets Skip, who helps him fall in love.

1987 – Less Than Zero

Clay (Andrew McCarthy) comes home to Los Angeles after his first semester of college and encounters some disturbing developments. His former lover, burgeoning model Blair (Jami Gertz), has begun to abuse cocaine. But her addiction pales in comparison to the drug dependency of her new boyfriend, Julian (Robert Downey Jr.), who’s also Clay’s childhood buddy. Clay tries to help them get sober, but the process is complicated by Rip (James Spader), a callous dealer Julian is indebted to.

1987 – Some Kind of Wonderful

Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz), an artsy high school outcast, tries to land a date with popular girl Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson) with some help from his tomboy best friend, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson). However, his advances draw the ire of Amanda’s snobby ex-boyfriend, Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer), who makes plans to get even. Matters are further complicated when Watts realizes she likes Keith as more than just a friend and tries to convince him to stop pursuing Amanda.

1987 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller, a high school student, fakes sickness to stay at home and spends the rest of the day with his best friend and girlfriend. Meanwhile, his dean is trying to spy on him.

1986 – About Last Night

In this adaptation of David Mamet’s hit 1974 off-Broadway play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” Danny (Rob Lowe) and Bernie (James Belushi) are a couple of single guys who live in the Windy City and struggle to balance their desire for sex with the possibility of love. When Danny meets cute Debbie (Demi Moore) at a bar the friends frequent in Chicago’s luxurious Gold Coast, the two start a sexually charged courtship that leaves jangled nerves and questioned motives all around.

1986 – Blue City

The late mayor’s angry son (Judd Nelson) cleans up his corrupt Florida town with another guy (David Caruso) and girl (Ally Sheedy).

1983 – War Games

High school student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer while searching for new video games. After starting a game of Global Thermonuclear War, Lightman leads the supercomputer to activate the nation’s nuclear arsenal in response to his simulated threat as the Soviet Union. Once the clueless hacker comes to his senses, Lightman, with help from his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy), must find a way to alert the authorities to stop the onset of World War III.

1983 – Fresh Horses

Drama and complications follow when a college student breaks off his engagement to an heiress after falling for a backwoods Kentucky belle who turns out to be just 16 and already married.

1983 – Johnny Be Good

High-school quarterback Johnny Walker (Anthony Michael Hall) is being courted by elite colleges nationwide. To get the sports star to enroll, an army of recruiters entices him with everything a young, hormonal teenager could want. While his best friend, Leo Wiggins (Robert Downey Jr.), advises him to wait for the most lucrative offer, Johnny’s girlfriend, Georgia Elkans (Uma Thurman), wants him to attend their state college — with her. The trouble is the state school has offered him nothing.

1985 – Heaven Help Us

In the 1960s, a group of teen pranksters finds it difficult to toe the line in a strictly disciplined Catholic school.

1984 – No Small Affair

Charles Cummings (Jon Cryer) is a 16-year-old high school student and an aspiring photographer. One day, he happens across 22-year-old Laura (Demi Moore), a singer at a local night club, and becomes enraptured with her. While she shoots down his romantic advances, she allows him to photograph her. Using the photos, Charlie launches a publicity campaign for the singer without her consent. His idea does help get her singing career off the ground, but what will it do for his romantic aspirations?

1990 – Betsy’s Wedding

Betsy and her fiance Jake want an intimate wedding. But Betsy’s doting father Eddie decides to impress his rich future in-laws and invests everything he has to give his daughter a grand wedding.

1981 – Taps

Bunker Hill Military Academy has been targeted by real estate developers for demolition. The students, outraged at the thought of their school being turned into condominiums, vow to fight back. Led by Cadet Maj. Brian Moreland (Timothy Hutton), they stage a school-wide rebellion that ends with them in charge of the campus. After winning over the headmaster (George C. Scott), Brian and his fellow cadets, Alex (Sean Penn) and David (Tom Cruise), face their toughest battle yet — with the Army.

1985 – Weird Science

Teen misfits Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) design their ideal woman on a computer, and a freak electrical accident brings her to life in the form of the lovely, superhuman Lisa (Kelly LeBrock). She outfits Gary and Wyatt in cool clothes, surprises them with a Porsche and helps them stand up to jerks Ian (Robert Downey Jr.) and Max (Robert Rusler). But, all the while, the boys must hide Lisa’s existence from Chet (Bill Paxton), Wyatt’s nightmare of a big brother.

1985 – Mannequin

Jonathan Switcher (Andrew McCarthy), an unemployed artist, finds a job as an assistant window dresser for a department store. When Jonathan happens upon a beautiful mannequin he previously designed, she springs to life and introduces herself as Emmy (Kim Cattrall), an Egyptian under an ancient spell. Despite interference from the store’s devious manager (James Spader), Jonathan and his mannequin fall in love while creating eye-catching window displays to keep the struggling store in business.

1987 – The Pick Up Artist

Jack Jericho, a womanizer, is smitten by Randy Jensen, a tour guide with an alcoholic father, who gets in trouble with the mob. Later, Jack helps her father in order to woo her.

1986 – One Crazy Summer

The story is about two people who eventually fall in love and help each other out. Hoops is a cartoonist working on a teen love story while Cassandra is a troubled young woman about to lose her home.

1986 – Wisdom

John Wisdom (Emilio Estevez) cannot land a job, dogged as he is by having served time in prison. Frustrated with his situation and in need of some cash, he sets off on a cross-country journey with his girlfriend, Karen (Demi Moore), on which the pair rob banks and then donate some of their earnings to farmers struggling in the tough economic climate. But, when Karen accidentally shoots a cop during a holdup, the couple become the target of a massive manhunt.

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26 coming of age Brat Pack movies, these films in my eyes are the reasons that the eighties rocked, it ruled the silver screen – and it can never be replicated… As a guy who loves connections – the beauty of connections is 100% apparent here with these movies, you can see how they all made for the iconic cult term by originality and association of the brat pack terming. But l am knowingly biased, l am a hard core eighties fan – how about you?

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9 thoughts on “Theme Times – The Brat Packers!!

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  1. I love 80s movies! (Though I am a hard-core 70s music fan.) About Last Night is probably my fave on the list, with Fast Times and War Games in the next slots. Dirty Dancing, Footloose, and Flashdance were great too in the musical genre… and included some of these brats. Fun post!

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