First draft of "The Breakfast Club" screenplay found tucked away in Shermer High file cabinet

The school where John Hughes filmed finally cleaned out its storage -- the movie was almost called something else

By Erin Keane

Chief Content Officer

Published April 21, 2015 10:32PM (EDT)

Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson in "The Breakfast Club"        (Universal Pictures)
Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson in "The Breakfast Club" (Universal Pictures)

Don't you forget about me ... in a filing cabinet for more than 30 years?

Staff of a Chicago suburban school district had the most '80s moment ever a few weeks ago. As the Chicago Tribune reports, while packing up a Maine Township High School office in preparation for a move to a new building next door, a district assistant stumbled across an original copy of John Hughes' screenplay for "The Breakfast Club," dated September 21, 1983.

District 207 superintendent Ken Wallace identified it as a copy of a first draft, which was approved by then-superintendent John Murphy in January 1984. The now-iconic all-day detention set — Shermer High School's library — was filmed in Maine Township's gym, after the school closed, and school district approval of scripts was a standard step for filming on school grounds.

According to the Trib, there's at least one huge difference in this version of the script and what became the 1985 teen classic: rich girl Claire Standish, played by Molly Ringwald, was originally named Cathy Douglas. And according to other correspondence in the file, the film almost had a different title: "Saturday Breakfast Club."

Then-district CFO Don Kenney recalled the filming as not quite as glamorous as you might think:

"That was my biggest concern — that there was not damage to the gym floor," Kenney said. "So they came in and put down big felt pads and built the set on top of the pads."

Kenney also spent some time on the set, though he did not meet John Hughes or interact with the young cast.

"I may have met Molly Ringwald to say 'hi' and that's it," he said. "I don't think we exchanged any words. She just nodded her head."

Read the whole story.


By Erin Keane

Erin Keane is Salon's Chief Content Officer. She is also on faculty at the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University and her memoir in essays, "Runaway: Notes on the Myths That Made Me," was named one of NPR's Books We Loved In 2022.

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Film John Hughes The Breakfast Club