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

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Overview

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 devotee—and you’re not alone.

The films of the Brat Pack—from Sixteen Candles to Say Anything—are some of the ...

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

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Overview

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 devotee—and you’re not alone.

The films of the Brat Pack—from Sixteen Candles to Say Anything—are some of the most watched, bestselling DVDs of all time. The landscape that the Brat Packmemorialized—where outcasts and prom queens fall in love, preppies and burn-outs become buds, and frosted lip gloss, skinny ties, and exuberant optimism made us feel invincible—is rich with cultural themes and significance, and has influenced an entire generation who still believe that life always turns out the way it is supposed to.

You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried
takes us back to that era, interviewing key players, such as Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, and John Cusack, and mines all the material from the movies to the music to the way the films were made to show how they helped shape our visions for romance, friendship, society, and success.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As readable as it is informative, Susannah Gora’s book sets these influential films into a cultural and cinematic context—and provides compelling behind-the-scenes stories about the people who made them."—Leonard Maltin

"A must-have for fans of '80s teen flicks...what makes it so readable is the juicy, behind-the-scenes stuff."— Mike Householder, Associated Press

"Gora interviews all the major actors and players anew, and knits together a narrative that, in the end, gives fans a clear, sound understanding of what commercial and cultural forces produced these films — "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," "Say Anything" and more — and why they still mean a great deal to so many." — Chicago Sun-Times

"I've become addicted to Susannah Gora's new book, "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried," her masterful documentation of Hughes and the Brat Pack films." —Steve Spears, St. Petersburg Times

Publishers Weekly
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307716606
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 256,005
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Susannah Gora

SUSANNAH GORA is a filmjournalistwho haswritten for Variety and Elle andwas an editor at Premieremagazine. She appears regularly on networks like VH1, NBC, and E! to discuss entertainment news and pop culture.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    If you watch Sixteen Candles EVERY time it's on, or if you've ever wished Duckie Dale ended up with Andie at the end of Pretty In Pink, then this is the book for you.

    I love this book. I bought it over a year ago for my Kindle and allowed myself to read tiny bits of it between basketball practice, tennis lessons and doctor's appointments. It provided me with a year's worth of joy. What IS it about the 80's anyway? Is that decade particularly special, or is it just special to me because those were my high school years? I wonder sometimes.

    Gora covers all the movies of that time.the Brat Pack films that include Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, just to name a few. With interviews of the key players and inside scoops on casting.You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried is basically a touching collection of memories. These young actors grew up to depict the characters of our youth, yet the issues they dealt with were authentic and often issues that they were struggling with in real life. The struggle for acceptance, the awkwardness, the angst. it's all here.

    What I especially love about this book is that Gora gives you all the behind-the-scenes info on casting, who was seeing who, how the directors and producers influenced these actors on a daily basis, etc. Just the bits on casting alone were fascinating. There was so much going on with these actors that it's hard to imagine that the movies were ever made!

    After each chapter, I found myself pulling out all of my DVDs and loading up my iPod with songs of that time. I just can't say enough about the book. If you loved the 80's, you simply have to read it. I will leave you with one of my favorite clips from Pretty in Pink.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    This was a great book about the Hughes films and others in the g

    This was a great book about the Hughes films and others in the genre. It is a must read for fans of John Hughes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Was a delight to read! It was great to find all the hidden secrets behind my favorite 80's movie.

    Great read for the 80's movie geek!

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    A walk down memory lane for 80s movies fans

    This book discusses the behind the scenes, production, and casting aspects of several of the top 80's John Hughes movies including interesting trivia. Several actors and behind the scenes people apparently thought that Hughes was an overly sensitive and hot and cold person. Not so much a tribute to Hughes as this book is to the 80's teen movie genre, it's worth reading if you were a teen in the 80's and/or enjoy 80's teen movies.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    You Couldn't Ignore This Book - If You Tried!

    If you like books that tell you how movies are made (the inside dish) from casting to sets, etc, this is the book for you! As I was reading it, I couldn't wait to see some of the movies again just to look for what I read in the book. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the length of the chapters (I'm not fond of lots of pages between chapters). So if you have time, once you pick this book up, it's very hard to put it down. An excellent read!

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