Molly Ringwald was an icon in the 1980s. Rated as the 3rd best teenage actor of the time, she was particularly well known for just a few movies. Although she’s been in a lot, these are the ones where she really shined.
The Breakfast Club
Generally accepted as Molly’s best movie, The Breakfast Club spoke to several generations at once.
The movie was about a group of five (very) different students who all wound up in detention together. At first, they didn’t get along because they all just thought they were too different from the others. But as time went on, they found out that they were more similar than they’d expected.
“The Breakfast Club” 1985
This movie was important because of the timing. In the 80s, the Cold War was in the back of everyone’s minds. Racial segregation was still not all that distant, and the roles of women in the world were changing. It was this movie that helped shape the older generation to realize that ideas of inequality weren’t right, and it helped reinforce these principles in the younger generations.
That said, this drama was also a lot funnier than you’d expect considering the types of messages that came across to viewers!
Another comedy, Sixteen Candles was more successful at drawing laughs from its viewers. This movie was about a 15 year old girl’s journey to adulthood.
Like any 15 year old, there was a ton of drama. She liked one guy, but the nerdiest kid in the entire school liked her! She had a loving (but very embarrassing) family, and she was friends with a foreign exchange student with the name Long Duc Dong. No, that’s not a typo.
Molly Ringwald and Michael Schoeffling in “Sixteen Candles” 1984
Depending on who you ask, some will say that Sixteen Candles was Ringwald’s best work. It was definitely a bit more lighthearted than The Breakfast Club, and more girls could probably relate to it.
Pretty in Pink
Wouldn’t you know it- a pretty girl gets stuck trying to decide between two guys! That’s a story you’ve never heard before, right?
“Pretty In Pink” 1986
But Pretty in Pink actually does a very good job with it. On the one hand, the main character (Ringwald) has a childhood friend who has grown into a bit of a crush. And when you’ve known someone your entire life, it’s tempting to stick with what you know.
On the other hand, there’s a rich (but surprisingly sensitive) guy that also has a crush on her. A play boy with both money and a feminine side? That’d not easy to say no to, either.
Of course the rich kid wins out though. When you’re popular, you get the girl- simple as that!
A few other good ones from Ringwald include For Keeps, The Pickup Artist, The Stand and Betsy’s Wedding. As you can probably tell, most of Ringwald’s movies tended to deal with some kind of romance/drama, which may be largely why The Breakfast Club stood out among the rest.
Either way, you have to admit that Molly Ringwald was pretty good, and she will be forever immortalized as one of the top movie icons of the 1980s.