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You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation Paperback – February 22, 2011


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You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation + Don't You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes + John Hughes and Eighties Cinema
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307716600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307716606
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Concentrating on the making of such seminal films as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Say Anything, Home Alone, and, of course, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Gora’s celebration of writer-director John Hughes (1950–2009) tends to be exhaustive and often exhausts. Gora cites the New York Times’ A. O. Scott on Hughes—he “was our Godard”—and Roger Ebert’s characterization of him as “the philosopher of adolescence” to orient her essay exploring what she calls cine-sociology, “the concrete sociological impact that movies can have on our lives.” She discusses the origin of the sobriquet Brat Pack, offers biographical portraits of Hughes and many of the actors most associated with his movies, discusses the music of the so-called Brat Pack films (it was a crucial factor in their success), and considers how the Brat Pack films changed a generation. Although probably too self-important for its own good, this is still a must for Hughes admirers and students of American pop culture. --June Sawyers --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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If you are true movie buff of John Hughes and the 80's and early 90's teen films you will love this book.
Missy Zap
This, to me, made the book feel more personal, instead of being some stodgy academic work that relied almost solely on previously published sources.
Courtney Clements
I would recommend this book as a fun read for people who want to learn about the movies they so loved during the 80s.
Speedreader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ria Darling VINE VOICE on March 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Other reivews of this book convinced me to buy it and they're very on target. It's not full or pictures and the interviews prove that hindsight is 20/20, but there is a gossip-feel to it. It's not a serious film text and it's not People magazine but somewhere in between. For someone like me who saw the films a million times it's interesting to hear about how the characters were formed and the filming and how it all came together. A really enjoyable read and each chapter stands on its own.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Crabby Abby TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This was a truly addictive read. Author Gora has broken down the fascination that we had and continue to have for movies directed at the teen audiences of the '80's. While providing running synopsises of the movies that captured audiences when they were made, Gora has interviewed the actors, writers, and directors and assorted key players that made the movies inordinately popular box office blockbusters.
Reading this book helped me to revisit the movies themselves. I think that a certain amount of distance enhanced the experience of reading this book. Gora informs her reader that John Hughes extracted a lot of what went into his scripts from real life experiences that happened to himself and his friends. One occured when a friend of his took Hughes and their girl friends to the Union League Club in Chicago because the friend's father had a membership there. I roared because anyone who has ever been there would know that the Union League Club is one of the stodgiest exclusive clubs west of Boston. And so it goes that Ferris Buehler became the sausage king of Chicago.
The term 'brat pack' was bandied about a lot when these films were made, but there seemed to be solid evidence from the actors that there was an extended family of sorts forged and many of these relationships exist in one form or another today.
While it wasn't all love and kisses while these films were being made, for the most part these productions became classic examples of really good ensemble acting and it all worked amazingly well.
The major suprise that the book had for me was that this book was not all about John Hughes who died in 2009. This book looked at other popular teen movies made in that era. One film analyzed was a critical failure SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Lester on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm not a big reader of behind-the-scenes Hollywood books but I found this one to be an outstanding piece of social and cultural history. Its the story of how John Hughes and a group of young actors known as the "Brat Pack" redefined the genre of teen movies in the 1980s with hits like "Sixteen Candles", "Pretty in Pink" and "The Breakfast Club." The author contends that these films made Hughes the J.D. Salinger of the Gen Xers and suggests that his work has dominated every high school novel and movie since then.

Along with a good bit of social commentary, Gora offers some interesting portraits of the young actors who starred in Hughes' films--Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall and others. In addition she includes an excellent section of the power of the music in the films which Hughes used to catapult his movies into the realm of legend and another section on how the careless use of the term "Brat Pack" in an obscure article substantially altered the careers of many of the young stars. All in all this book is both a fine piece of Hollywood history and a thoughtful analysis of the impact of the movies on American culture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barry on January 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ah, the 80s. Never was there a better time to be a little kid growing up. Also, there was never a better time for teenage/high school movies. John Hughes, his films, and the few others this book talks about, came along at the right time, with the right actors, the right messages, the right music, the right pop culture. This genre of movie has never been as classic or impactful since, so it was only a matter of time that we would get the ultiimate book on the 80s teen movie/John Hughes craze, and boy did we get it!

Susannah Gora has written one exceptional book on a subject that so many people and fans love and hold near and dear to their hearts. The impact of such 80s teen/brat pack movies such as "Sixteen Candles", "The Breakfast Club", "St. Elmo's Fire", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Pretty In Pink", "Say Anything" and "Some Kind Of Wonderful" are all documented here in their own lengthy, well written and informative chapters that are all engrossing from start to finish and there is nary a sight of filler. Besides the movies themselves, the book also gives us a peek into who these people were. Perhaps the most fascinating is reading about John Hughes, a man who is a true genius. He is a complex and engaging character that he could of been a character in one of his own films. It truly details who this man was, where he came from, and how he thought and worked. It's very well done. Still, you get insides into Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, and all the others you know. The human side of this book is one of the many pluses here, that it's not just above the movies, but about the people who made it happen.
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