Pretty in Pink

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Pretty in Pink
Pretty In Pink poster.jpg
North American film poster
Directed byHoward Deutch
Produced byLauren Shuler
Written byJohn Hughes
Music byMichael Gore
CinematographyTak Fujimoto
Edited byRichard Marks
Distributed byParamount Pictures[1]
Release date
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$9 million[2]
Box office$40.4 million (US)

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American teen romantic comedy film about love and social cliques in American high schools in the 1980s. A cult classic,[3][4] it is commonly identified as a "Brat Pack" film. It was directed by Howard Deutch, produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, and written by John Hughes, who also served as co-executive producer. It was named after the song by The Psychedelic Furs.

The film's soundtrack has been rated as one of the best in modern cinema.[5][6] It features a re-recorded version of the title song by The Psychedelic Furs. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's "If You Leave" became an international hit and charted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1986.


High school senior Andie Walsh lives with her underemployed working class father, Jack, in a Chicago suburb. Andie's best friend, Phil "Duckie" Dale, is in love with her, but is afraid to tell her how he truly feels. In school, Duckie and Andie, along with their friends, are harassed and bullied by the arrogant "richie" kids, specifically Benny Hanson and her boyfriend Steff McKee, who is secretly interested in Andie.

While working after school at TRAX, a new wave record store, Andie starts talking about her school's senior prom to her manager Iona, who advises Andie to go, despite not having a date. Blane McDonough, one of the preppy boys and Steff's best friend, starts talking to Andie and eventually asks her out.

On the night of the date, Andie waits for Blane at TRAX, but he is late. Duckie comes in and asks Andie to go out with him, but she ignores him. Feeling like she got stood up, Iona gives Andie a pep talk, while Duckie, still oblivious, asks what's wrong. When Blane arrives, Duckie is upset and starts an argument with Andie, with Duckie trying to convince her that Blane will only hurt her. Duckie storms off and Andie goes on with her date. Blane suggests going to a house party Steff is throwing, but Andie is treated poorly by a drunken Steff and Benny. Andie, in turn, suggests going to the local club, where they discover Iona sitting with Duckie, who is hostile towards Blane. After another argument with Duckie, Andie and Blane walk out of the club. Andie, feeling that their night didn't go so well, tells Blane that she wants to go home, but when Blane offers to take her home, she refuses, admitting that she doesn't want him to see where she lives. She eventually allows him to drop her off and he asks her to the prom, which she accepts and they share their first kiss. Andie visits Iona at her apartment the next day to talk about the date. Meanwhile, Blane, pressured by Steff, begins distancing himself from Andie.

Jack comes home one night and surprises Andie with a pink dress he bought for her. Questioning how he was able to afford it, Andie tells him that she knows he has been lying about going to a full-time job. They have a big argument until Jack breaks down, revealing that he is still bitter and depressed about his wife having left him. At school, Andie confronts Blane for avoiding her and not returning her calls. When asked about prom, he claims that he had already asked somebody else but had forgotten. Andie calls Blane a liar and tells him that he is ashamed of being seen with her. Andie runs away as a teary-eyed Blane leaves, with Steff criticizing Andie. Duckie overhears Steff and attacks him in the hallway. The two fight before teachers intervene. Andie goes to Iona, crying and telling her about what happened, and then asks for Iona's old prom dress.

Using the fabric from Iona's dress and the dress her father bought, Andie creates a new pink prom dress. When she arrives at the prom, Andie has second thoughts about braving the crowd on her own until she sees Duckie. They reconcile and walk into the ballroom hand in hand. As a drunk Steff begins mocking the couple, Blane confronts him and finally realizes that Steff resents Andie because she had turned down his advances. Blane then approaches the two, shaking Duckie's hand and then apologizing to Andie, telling her that he always believed in her and that he will always love her, kissing her cheek before walking out. Duckie concedes that Blane is not like the other rich kids at school and advises Andie to go after him, joking that he'll never take her to another prom if she doesn't. Duckie then sees a girl smiling at him, signaling him to come over and dance with her. Andie catches up with Blane in the parking lot and they kiss.


Charlie Sheen was originally considered for the role of Blane, but Ringwald convinced the filmmakers to cast McCarthy for the role instead. [7]

Alternate ending[edit]

Originally, the film portrayed Andie and Duckie ending up together;[8] however, test audiences disapproved,[9] and the Andie/Blane ending was produced instead. Executives at Paramount were also apprehensive about the original ending as they were worried that the message of the film could end up coming across as classist and suggest that wealthy people and poor people should never interact. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark had selected "Goddess of Love" from the album The Pacific Age for the original ending. With only two days before going on tour, OMD wrote "If You Leave" in less than 24 hours for the newly re-shot Andie/Blane ending.[10]


The film was adapted into a novel, written by H. B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfield and released in 1986. It was published by Bantam Books (ISBN 0-553-25944-X. ISBN 978-0553259445). The book was written before the last scene was changed, so it has the original ending, in which Andie winds up with Duckie instead of Blane.


The film was the top-grossing film for the week of March 12, 1986.[11] The film earned US$6.1 million during its opening weekend and $40.5 million during its theatrical run. It was the 22nd highest-grossing film in 1986.[12]


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 78% of 46 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6.3/10. The site's consensus reads: "Molly Ringwald gives an outstanding performance in this sweet, intelligent teen comedy that takes an ancient premise and injects it with insight and wit."[13]

While praising the performances of Molly Ringwald and Annie Potts, Roger Ebert criticises the unoriginality of the plot, although he does admit "Pretty in Pink is a heartwarming and mostly truthful movie, with some nice touches of humor."[14]


The main cast of Pretty in Pink was featured in the October 15, 2010, issue of Entertainment Weekly, whose theme was cast reunions for landmark films and television shows.[15]


Pretty in Pink
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedFebruary 28, 1986
GenrePost-punk, new wave
ProducerDavid Anderle (soundtrack executive producer)
Singles from Pretty in Pink
  1. "Shellshock"
    Released: March 17, 1986
  2. "If You Leave"
    Released: April 21, 1986
  3. "Left of Center"
    Released: June, 1986
  4. "Pretty in Pink"
    Released: October, 1986

Like previous films by John Hughes, Pretty in Pink featured a soundtrack composed mostly of new wave music. While director Howard Deutch originally intended the film to primarily contain theme music, Hughes influenced Deutch's decision to use post-punk music throughout the film. The title song by the Psychedelic Furs acted as a bit of inspiration for the film and was re-recorded specifically for the film's opening sequence in a version that was less raw than the original; it was released in 1981 for the album Talk Talk Talk. "Left of Center" was remixed by Arthur Baker. The first track, "If You Leave", by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, was written in 1985 in advance specifically for the film. In addition to their song "Shellshock", New Order also had an instrumental version of "Thieves Like Us" and the instrumental "Elegia" appear in the film but not on the soundtrack. The Rave-Ups, who do appear in the film performing "Positively Lost Me" and "Shut-Up" from their Town and Country album, do not have any songs on the soundtrack album. Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good" appears as re-recorded by former Three Dog Night vocalist Danny Hutton's band, Danny Hutton Hitters. The Smiths song "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" makes a notable appearance on the film's soundrack. The song was later rerecorded in the "Isn't She Still... the Pretty in Pink Soundtrack revisited" by The Autumns. Also noteworthy is the inclusion of Echo & the Bunnymen's "Bring On the Dancing Horses", which, according to the liner notes of the CD release of the band's compilation album Songs to Learn & Sing, was recorded specifically for the film.

The film also includes Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness", which actor Jon Cryer's character "Duckie" lipsyncs to in the film, The Association's "Cherish", and Talk Back's "Rudy". These three tracks do not appear on the official soundtrack.

The soundtrack was released on vinyl in 1986. It was re-released in 2013 as a limited edition on pink colored vinyl.

The album was listed among "Best Movie Soundtracks: The 15 Film Music Compilations That'll Change Your Life" in The Huffington Post,[5] and "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time" in Rolling Stone.[6] AllMusic rated it four stars out of five.[16]

1."If You Leave"Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys, Martin CooperOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark4:25
2."Left of Center"Suzanne Vega/Steve AddabboSuzanne Vega with Joe Jackson3:33
3."Get to Know Ya"JohnsonJesse Johnson3:34
4."Do Wot You Do"Andrew Farriss, Michael HutchenceINXS3:16
5."Pretty in Pink"John Ashton, Tim Butler, Richard Butler, Vince Ely, Duncan Kilburn, Roger MorrisThe Psychedelic Furs4:40
6."Shellshock"New Order, John RobieNew Order6:04
7."Round, Round"Belouis SomeBelouis Some4:07
8."Wouldn't It Be Good"Nik KershawDanny Hutton Hitters3:44
9."Bring On the Dancing Horses"Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de FreitasEcho & the Bunnymen3:59
10."Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want"Johnny Marr, MorrisseyThe Smiths1:51
Total length:39:35

Singles released[edit]

Year Title Artist Chart positions
1985 "Bring On the Dancing Horses"
  • Released: November 1985
Echo & the Bunnymen 78 15 31 21
1986 "Shellshock"
  • Released: March 1986
New Order 14 26 23 18 8 28
"If You Leave"
  • Released: April 28, 1986 (1986-04-28)
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4 31 15 5 5 48
"Left of Center"
  • Released: June 1986
Suzanne Vega and Joe Jackson 35 28 32
"Pretty in Pink"
  • Released: October 1986
The Psychedelic Furs 41 61 18
"Round, Round" Belouis Some


  1. ^ a b "Pretty in Pink". American Film Institute. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  2. ^ Box Office Information for Pretty in Pink. Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Falcone, Dana (February 28, 2016). "Pretty in Pink: Director Howard Deutch looks back on the famous ending 30 years later". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  4. ^ Tan, Emily (February 29, 2016). "Rough Trade Goes Back to the '80s for Pretty in Pink's 30th Anniversary Party". The Village Voice. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Ostroff, Joshua (May 9, 2013). "Best Movie Soundtracks: The 15 Film Music Compilations That'll Change Your Life". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  7. ^ Heller, Corinne. "OTRC: Andrew McCarthy talks 'Pretty In Pink' wig, travel writing: 9 facts". KABC-TV. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  8. ^ Original ending to 'Pretty in Pink' uncovered along with other John Hughes scripts Archived 2013-05-16 at the Wayback Machine, at the Tampa Bay Times; by Steve Spears; published May 7, 2010; retrieved March 29, 2013
  9. ^ Don't You Forget About Duckie, at Entertainment Weekly, by Mandi Bierly; published August 24, 2006; retrieved March 29, 2013
  10. ^ The Plot Against Rock, at New York Times, by Hugo Lindgren; published 10 May 2013; retrieved 10 May 2013
  11. ^ "Pink Sitting Pretty In Box Office Ranking". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  12. ^ "Pretty in Pink (1986)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
  13. ^ "Pretty in Pink (1986)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Pretty in Pink movie review & film summary (1986)". Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Cast Reunions Video" (video). Entertainment Weekly. October 15, 2010.
  16. ^ Pretty in Pink (Original Soundtrack)

External links[edit]