‘The Breakfast Club’: Original Screenplay Found In Chicago High School Filing Cabinet

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While packing up boxes, an assistant at Chicago’s District 207 Maine North High School stumbled upon the original screenplay of the popular 1985 film, The Breakfast Club. The screenplay was found in a filing cabinet that’s been at the school for over 30 years.

Chicago Tribune reports that the assistant was preparing boxes for the school’s upcoming move to a new building, right next door to the old school that the five Breakfast Club characters spent an entire Saturday in. The school district’s superintendent, Ken Wallace, states that the manuscript, dated 1983, was a surprise finding.

“One day a few weeks ago, one of the assistants was going through a filing cabinet and found a file that had a manuscript from ‘The Breakfast Club’ dated Sept. 21, 1983. It’s a first draft of the screenplay by John Hughes.”

The cover of the screenplay states that it was left to John Murphy, the school district’s superintendent, in 1984. According to Wallace, this is a common procedure so that the school district can review what locations are used for the film and what content is used.

Although it’s unclear how much the original screenplay differs from the final version of the film without dissecting the entire manuscript, one noticeable difference, according to Fox News, was Molly Ringwald’s character. Her name could have been Cathy Douglas, but was changed to Claire Standish. Additionally, the screenplay, per Wallace, has what seems to be a pizza stain on the top left hand corner of the first page.

“In the upper left, there is what appears to be pizza grease. I can imagine somebody taking this out over lunch and saying, ‘I wonder what this is all about.’ “

Breakfast Club Manuscript

Don Kenney, who worked as District 207’s chief financial officer while the movie was being filmed, remembers seeing the cast and crew on set at the school. Yet, he was more concerned that the filming crew would damage the gym floors.

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

Meanwhile, The Breakfast Club recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in March. Two of the film’s actresses, Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, appeared at Austin’s SXSW festival for a reunion, where they answered fan questions and reminisced over the film.

Although the other actors in the film weren’t at the 30th-anniversary reunion, they are still in the entertainment industry. Judd Nelson, who played the rebel John Bender, recently appeared in the FOX television show Enterprise.

Anthony Michael Hall, who played the geeky yet lovable Brian Johnson, has starred in numerous films and television series, including Psych and Awkward. Emilio Estevez, who played the athlete, Andrew Clark, has also made a mark in the entertainment industry with roles in movies such as Bobby and The Way.

For anyone interested in viewing the original manuscript, you’re in luck. Wallace indicates that he wants The Breakfast Club manuscript preserved and placed on display for public viewing at the new Maine North High School.