The Breakfast Club: John Hughes, Hollywood, and the Golden Age of the Teen Film, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Breakfast Club

John Hughes, Hollywood, and the Golden Age of the Teen Film, 1st Edition

By Elissa H. Nelson


116 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138681927
pub: 2019-04-02
SAVE ~$12.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315545486
pub: 2019-03-28
from $12.50

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Breakfast Club is a quintessential teen film. This book analyzes how multiple factors coalesced to solidify the status of The Breakfast Club as one of the most emblematic films of the 1980s and one of the most definitive teen films of the genre. The film brings together genre-defining elements – the conflicts between generations and peer pressure, archetypical characters and breaking down stereotypes, the celebration and survival of adolescence, and the importance of this time in life on the coming-of-age process – and became a significant moment for John Hughes as an auteur and for teen films in the 1980s. More than just embodying these elements of the genre, filmmaker Hughes and the Brat Pack stars helped introduce and popularize multiple generic features that would come to be expected with the teen film formula. The content of the film combined with its context of production in the middle of a boom in teen filmmaking in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the marketing that focused on contemporary music, peer group dynamics, and oppositions between Generation X and baby boomers, merged with an enthusiastic reception by youth audiences. Its endurance speaks to the way the film’s level of importance as a critical, commercial, and influential film with tremendous impact has grown since its initial debut.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Breakfast Club and the Golden Age of the Teen Film

Chapter 1: The Right Place at the Right Time: How the Market Was Primed for the Production of The Breakfast Club

Chapter 2: Rules of the Genre: Creating Iconic Characters while Breaking Down Stereotypes

Chapter 3: Teen Problems in the 1980s, and Generation X and Baby Boomers Just Don’t Get Along

Chapter 4: The Synergistic Effects of the Marketing and the Music

Chapter 5: The Lasting Legacy: Historical Reception, Contemporary Impact, and Hughes as Auteur

About the Author/Editors

Elissa H. Nelson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Bronx Community College, CUNY. She has published work on 1980s Hollywood, digital distribution, and teen films. Her current research focuses on media industries, genre, soundtracks, and representations of youth.

About the Series

Cinema and Youth Cultures

Cinema and Youth Cultures engages with well-known youth films from American cinema as well the cinemas of other countries. Using a variety of methodological and critical approaches the series volumes provide informed accounts of how young people have been represented in film, while also exploring the ways in which young people engage with films made for and about them. In doing this, the Cinema and Youth Cultures series contributes to important and long standing debates about youth cultures, how these are mobilized and articulated in influential film texts and the impact that these texts have had on popular culture at large.

Series Editors: Siân Lincoln (independent scholar) and Yannis Tzioumakis (University of Liverpool)

Published volumes:

Clueless (1995)

Grease (1978)

Boyhood (2015)

L’auberge Espagnole (2002)

The Hunger Games (2012)

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

Easy A (2010)

The Freshman (1925)

Breakfast Club (1985)

Halloween (1978)

American Pie (1999)

Y Tu Mama También (2001)


Bande de Filles (2014)

American Graffiti (1973)

Rock Around the Clock (1956)

Precious (2009)

Gidget (1959)

Mary Poppins (1964)

The Beatles on Film: A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Help! (1965), The Yellow Submarine (1968)

Big Wednesday (1977)

Moonlight (2016)

The Commitments (1990)

Clerks (1994)

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies