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

Susannah Gora, Author
Susannah Gora, Author Crown $26 (367p) ISBN 978-0-307-40843-3
Reviewed on: 01/11/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
Paperback - 367 pages - 978-0-307-71660-6
Open Ebook - 978-0-307-46006-6
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-01982-9
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The phrase was coined by David Blum in the headline “Hollywood’s Brat Pack,” heralding his cover story for the June 10, 1985, issue of New York magazine with its cover photo of Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and Judd Nelson. The label stuck, Gora notes, and extended to describe other actors: Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, and Anthony Michael Hall. A former editor at Premiere , Gora guides the reader through the creation of the teen cinema of the 1980s, described by the American Film Institute as “the cultural phenomenon which helped make us what we are today.” To recall the era, she interviewed two dozen actors, plus the directors and producers behind the Brat Pack’s memorable movies, including The Breakfast Club , Fast Times at Ridgemont High , Sixteen Candles , Pretty in Pink , St. Elmo’s Fire and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off . As Gora sees it, “The films changed the way many young people looked at everything from class distinction to friendship, from love and sex to fashion and music.” Writer-director John Hughes’s ability to capture adolescent angst is highlighted. The 1980s youth films maintain their popularity on TV and DVDs, and Gora gives them near-encyclopedic, comprehensive coverage. (Feb. 9)

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