Following the success of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, filmmaker John Hughes explored teen angst once again, with Pretty in Pink. Premiering on the U.S.A. on January 29, 1986, screenwriter John Hughes (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) showed he continued to have his finger on the pulse of that era’s youth. Not afraid to showcase the difficulties of growing up in the “Me Generation,” where status was the criteria by which you were judged. Hughes also understood how unforgivingly awkward being a teenager can be.
Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald), is creative, but misunderstood by classmates at her economically unbalanced high school. She lives with her father Jack (Harry Dean Stanton), a lay about, who can’t move past the fact that his wife left him, four years earlier. Duckie (Jon Cryer) is Andie’s best friend, and the cool school nerd who absolutely adores her. When she meets Blane (Andrew McCarthy), they both find themselves instantly smitten with each other. However, Andie is viewed as white trash among her school’s more affluent peers. While Blaine doesn’t care about such things at first, the pressure among peers not to be seen with someone who is “nothing” makes him wonder if he can risk losing friends and upsetting family to stay with her. Does he have the backbone to take her to the prom?
As simple as the plot sounds, Pretty in Pink stands as a well-crafted teenage romance. Every character is incredibly well drawn. Even in the flush of first love/infatuation Andie stays true to herself, and Duckie is completely lovable. Say what you want about Blane, but his sense of conflict is believable. The story is rounded out by an excellent supporting cast. Despite obvious emotional issues, Harry Dean Stanton’s Jack has a rapport with Andie that is deep and touching. Annie Potts looks like she had a ball playing Andie’s boss, Iona, the owner of a cool record store where she works. Pretty in Pink marks the first time most of us ever saw James Spade play a genuine slime ball (in his mid-20’s, Spader looked too old to be playing a high school student).
Pretty in Pink emerged as an instant teen classic, a quintessential film for anyone who was a teenager in the mid-eighties.
Presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this 1080p transfer is a fairly good representation of a dated source. Sharpness varies but is pretty sharp. Interiors can be a bit soft at times, but most of the film has a nice level of delineation and accuracy. There are no real print flaws. There’s an ample amount of grain suggesting DNR was used only during club shots, when grain dissipates noticeably. Still, any DNR use was infrequent, and didn’t affect the overall viewing experience. Colors appear fairly bright and vivid. Blacks are deep, and shadows are solid.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack’s forward dominating spectrum shows good stereo imaging. The music spread cleanly across the front speakers. Discreet effects panned relatively well across all channels. The surrounds did well to bolster many 80’s era rock/pop hits that fill out the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue is clean, clear, and concise throughout.
English, German, French, and Japanese subtitles are available.
The following extras are available:
- NEW! Filmmaker Focus: Howard Deutch (HD, 7:38) Deutch discusses how he got the job, his experiences working with John Hughes, Working with the cast, Critical response to the film, The alternate ending.
- The Lost Dance: The Original Ending (HD, 12:15) A look at the Deleted material includes remarks from cast and crew.
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:27)
- Isolated Score: Watch the film with music only. Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
Pretty in Pink (Paramount Presents Edition) (1986)
Movie title: Pretty in Pink
Duration: 97 min
Director(s): Howard Deutch
Actor(s): Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts , James Spader , Andrew McCarthy
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Coming of Age, Drama