Pretty in Pink
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Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American teen romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in American high schools in the 1980s. A cult classic, 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. The film was named after a song by the Psychedelic Furs, and the film s soundtrack, which has been acclaimed as among the most brilliant in modern cinema, features a re-recorded version of the song. 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, the outsider 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 finds Andie attractive and secretly resents having been rejected by her.

While working after school at a record store called TRAX, 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 enters and asks Andie to go out with him, but she ignores him. When Blane arrives, Duckie becomes upset and argues with Andie before storming off. Blane brings Andie to Steff s house party, where Andie is mistreated by the rich partygoers. Andie then brings Blane to a local nightclub, where Iona is sitting with Duckie, who is hostile toward Blane. After another argument with Duckie, Andie and Blane walk out of the club. Andie tells Blane that she wants to go home, but refuses to let him bring her there, 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 and they share their first kiss. Andie visits Iona the next day to talk about the date. Meanwhile, Blane, pressured by Steff and his rich friends, begins distancing himself from Andie.

Jack presents Andie with a pink dress that he has bought for her. However, they begin to argue because Jack has been lying about going to a full-time job. 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 the 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 because he knows his rich friends will not approve. Andie runs away as a teary-eyed Blane leaves, with Steff trashing Andie as he passes. Duckie overhears Steff and attacks him in the hallway. The two fight before teachers intervene. Andie goes to Iona, upset about what happened, and asks for Iona s old prom dress.

Using the fabric from Iona s dress and the dress that her father had bought, Andie creates a 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. He calls Steff out on his spoiled and entitled attitude, saying that he no longer wishes to associate with him. Blane shakes Duckie s hand and apologizes 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 will never take her to another prom if she does not. 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.


  • Molly Ringwald as Andie Walsh
  • Harry Dean Stanton as Jack Walsh
  • Jon Cryer as Philip F. Duckie Dale
  • Annie Potts as Iona
  • James Spader as Steff McKee
  • Andrew McCarthy as Blane McDonough
  • Kate Vernon as Benny Hanson
  • Andrew Dice Clay as Bouncer
  • Kristy Swanson as Duckette
  • Alexa Kenin as Jena Hoeman
  • Dweezil Zappa as Simon
  • Gina Gershon as Trombley
  • Margaret Colin as English teacher
  • Maggie Roswell as Mrs. Dietz

Charlie Sheen was considered for the role of Blane but Ringwald convinced the filmmakers to cast McCarthy instead.

Anthony Michael Hall turned down the role of Duckie because he didn’t want to be typecast. Ringwald lobbied for Robert Downey Jr. to be cast as Duckie but agreed that Cryer made sense in light of the film s revised ending.

Jennifer Beals turned down the role of Andie Walsh. Jodie Foster, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tatum O Neal and Lori Loughlin were also considered.

Changed ending

Originally, the film portrayed Andie and Duckie ending up together. However, test audiences booed this ending. John Hughes wrote a new five-page ending where Andie and Blane get together instead. This was shot several months after the film wrapped production, and was filmed in one day on a soundstage designed to look like the Los Angeles hotel ballroom where the first ending had been filmed. When called back to film the new scene, Andrew McCarthy was in pre-production for a stage play, and had lost weight and cut his hair for the stage role, so he was fitted with a wig for the re-shoot. Molly Ringwald had anticipated that audiences would be dissatisfied with the original ending, saying: It didn t make sense to have the entire movie be this Cinderella story she doesn t get to end up with the guy she wants. Ringwald has said Duckie was based on her best friend, who was gay and with whom she had an extremely nonromantic relationship. Jon Cryer has stated that he was shocked that the test audience was unhappy about the pairing, and felt that the whole film was built around Andie and Duckie ending up together. Hughes aimed to protect Duckie s character in the new ending by having another girl at the prom show interest in him, played by Kristy Swanson in her first theatrical film role and credited as Duckette. Paramount executives were also apprehensive about the original ending, worried that the film might be perceived as classist and as suggesting that wealthy people and poor people should not 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. Paramount has said that they have been unable to locate the footage of the original ending.


The film was adapted into a novel written by H. B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfield, 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 ends up with Duckie instead of Blane.


Pretty in Pink was the top-grossing film for the week of March 12, 1986. 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 of 1986.


Rotten Tomatoes reported as of May 2021 that 73% of 55 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 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.

Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, criticizing the old, old, old plot but praising the performances of Molly Ringwald and Annie Potts, and calling it a heartwarming and mostly truthful movie, with some nice touches of humor. Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, Fortunately, the actors are mostly likable, and the story is told gently enough to downplay both its trendiness and its conventionality. James Harwood of Variety wrote, In his mid-30s, John Hughes much-vaunted teen thinking now seems to be maturing a bit in Pretty in Pink, a rather intelligent (if not terribly original) look at adolescent insecurities … Teamed with Hughes for the third time, Molly Ringwald is herself growing as an actress, lending Pink a solid emotional center that largely boils down to making the audience care about her. Pauline Kael of The New Yorker wrote that Ringwald carries the movie, though she has nothing particularly interesting to do or say, and called the film slight and vapid, with the consistency of watery Jello. Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film one-and-a-half stars out of four, faulting a tired script and Cryer s one-note performance, though he found Ringwald absolutely beguiling. Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times called the film delightful, adding that what makes Pretty in Pink such a satisfying, big-hearted film isn t its creaky story line or its somewhat unconvincing conclusion, but the way it lets us watch kids through their own eyes, exploring feelings instead of making caricatures of them. Written by Hughes and directed by newcomer Howard Deutch, the movie neatly captures the nuances of youth, reminding us how the most casual remark can unleash a flood of insecurities. Paul Attanasio of The Washington Post wrote that for the most part, Pretty in Pink works from a standard formula—rich boy, poor girl—and does little to tweak or reinvent it.


The main cast of Pretty in Pink was featured in an October 15, 2010 issue of Entertainment Weekly that featured reunions with the casts of landmark films and television shows.


Pretty in Pink
Soundtrack album by

various artists
Released February 28, 1986
Genre Post-punk, new wave
Length 39:35
Label A&M
Producer David 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

As with 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 version that appeared on the 1981 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 specifically for the film. In addition to their soundtrack song Shellshock , New Order also contributed an instrumental version of Thieves Like Us and the instrumental Elegia , both of which appear in the film but not on the soundtrack. The Rave-Ups, who 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 on the soundtrack in a version by former Three Dog Night vocalist Danny Hutton s band, Danny Hutton Hitters. The Smiths Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want appears on the soundtrack and was later covered by the Autumns for the 2000 Isn t She Still… The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Revisited album. 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 , to which Duckie lip-synchs in the film, the Association s Cherish and Talk Back s Rudy . These three tracks do not appear on the official soundtrack album.

The soundtrack was released on vinyl by A&M Records in 1986. It was re-released in 2013 as a limited edition on pink-colored vinyl.

The album was listed on the Best Movie Soundtracks: The 15 Film Music Compilations That ll Change Your Life list in The Huffington Post and The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time list in Rolling Stone. AllMusic rated it four stars out of five.

No. Title Writer(s) Performer(s) Length
1. If You Leave Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys, Martin Cooper Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4:25
2. Left of Center Suzanne Vega/Steve Addabbo Suzanne Vega with Joe Jackson 3:32
3. Get to Know Ya Johnson Jesse Johnson 3:33
4. Do Wot You Do Andrew Farriss, Michael Hutchence INXS 3:17
5. Pretty in Pink John Ashton, Tim Butler, Richard Butler, Vince Ely, Duncan Kilburn, Roger Morris The Psychedelic Furs 4:40
6. Shellshock New Order, John Robie New Order 6:04
7. Round, Round Belouis Some Belouis Some 4:06
8. Wouldn t It Be Good Nik Kershaw Danny Hutton Hitters 3:43
9. Bring On the Dancing Horses Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas Echo & the Bunnymen 3:59
10. Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want Johnny Marr, Morrissey The Smiths 1:50
Total length: 39:35


Weekly chart performance for Pretty in Pink
Chart (1986) Peak
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report) 6
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 5
US Billboard 200 5
Year-end chart performance for Pretty in Pink
Chart (1986) Position
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report) 45
US Billboard 200 50
US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard) 3

Singles released

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
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

Year 1986
ReleaseDate 1986-02-28
RuntimeMins 97
RuntimeStr 1h 37min
Plot A poor girl must choose between the affections of dating her childhood sweetheart or a rich but sensitive playboy.
Awards Awards, 1 nomination
Directors Howard Deutch
Writers John Hughes
Stars Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton
Produced by Michael Chinich,John Hughes,Lauren Shuler Donner,Jane Vickerilla
Music by Michael Gore
Cinematography by Tak Fujimoto
Film Editing by Richard Marks
Casting By Paula Herold,Marci Liroff
Production Design by John W. Corso
Set Decoration by Jennifer Polito,Bruce Weintraub
Costume Design by Marilyn Vance
Makeup Department Paul Abascal,Tommy Cole
Production Management Arne Schmidt
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Carol Green,Vicki Jackson-Lemay,Stephen Lim
Art Department Tom Burzinski,Gerald Gates Jr.,Gordon Hackman,Louis M. Mann,Jeff Passanante,Paul Powers,John Rozman,Don Schlicher,Arthur Shippee,Craig Staley,Gene Triol,Frank L. Brown
Sound Department George H. Anderson,George Berndt,Ruth Bird,Donald A. Bolger,Charles J. Bond,Gary C. Bourgeois,Chris Carpenter,Dennis Drummond,Joan Giammarco,Robert Grieve,Jeffrey A. Humphreys,C. Darin Knight,Mel Metcalfe,Linda Whittlesey,Greg Orloff,John Roesch
Special Effects by John Frazier
Stunts Erik Cord,Dick Hancock,John S. Platt,Pat Romano
Camera and Electrical Department Mike Brooker,Joseph Graham,Jack N. Green,Conrad W. Hall,Danny Jimenez,William A. Lowman,Melton Maxwell,Jack E. McLean Jr.,Laurel Moore,John T. Ramsey,Ed Reilly,P. Scott Sakamoto,Gary Scalzo,Chuck Sharp,Steve Sibenick,Tim Staubs
Casting Department Dorian Dunas
Costume and Wardrobe Department Darryl M. Athons,Michael W. Hoffman,Julene McKinney,Donna Roberts
Editorial Department Jane Schwartz Jaffe,David Moritz,Bob Noland,Pamela Jule Yuen,Peter Lonsdale
Location Management Charles Newirth
Music Department David Anderle,Michael Boddicker,Joel Moss,Leon Pendarvis,Richard Stone,Bruno Coon
Script and Continuity Department Pamela Alch
Transportation Department Sam Edelman,Rick Vallencia,Gaston Veilleux
Additional Crew Elinor Bardach,Bruce A. Block,Irene Brafstein,Frank L. Brown,Wayne Fitzgerald,Matt Freeman,Gary Gero,Mary Sutton Hallmann,Renee Humphrey,Art ‘Klondike’ Jones,Tony Kerum,William Kolber,Karen Kovacevich,John Maguire,Kenny Ortega,Ronald W. Payne,Michael Roberts,Steven Jay Rubin,Elena Spiotta,Ellen Vogt,Jeanne Weber,Adam Hill
Thanks Alexa Kenin,Bruce Weintraub
Genres Comedy, Drama, Romance
Companies Paramount Pictures
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating PG-13
ImDbRating 6.7
ImDbRatingVotes 81788
MetacriticRating 56
Keywords teenage girl,dysfunctional family,class differences,prom dress,teen angst