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You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation Hardcover – Feb 9 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1 edition (Feb. 9 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307408434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307408433
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #454,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"As readable as it is informative, Susannah Gora’s book sets these influential films into a cultural and cinematic context—and provides compelling behind-the-scenes stories about the people who made them."--Leonard Maltin

"A must-have for fans of '80s teen flicks...what makes it so readable is the juicy, behind-the-scenes stuff."-- Mike Householder, Associated Press

"Gora interviews all the major actors and players anew, and knits together a narrative that, in the end, gives fans a clear, sound understanding of what commercial and cultural forces produced these films — "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," "Say Anything" and more — and why they still mean a great deal to so many." — Chicago Sun-Times

"I've become addicted to Susannah Gora's new book, "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried," her masterful documentation of Hughes and the Brat Pack films." —Steve Spears, St. Petersburg Times

About the Author

SUSANNAH GORA is a filmjournalistwho haswritten for Variety and Elle andwas an editor at Premieremagazine. She appears regularly
on networks like VH1, NBC, and E! to discuss entertainment news and pop culture.

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Most helpful customer reviews

By Jason Perrotta on May 31 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book! Light, informative and interesting read. really covers a lot of areas and doesn't ever feel bogged down or boring. 5\5!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 49 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Truly Not Ignored May 8 2010
By G.I Gurdjieff - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This was a truly addictive read. Author Gora has broken down the fascination that we had and continue to have for movies directed at the teen audiences of the '80's. While providing running synopsises of the movies that captured audiences when they were made, Gora has interviewed the actors, writers, and directors and assorted key players that made the movies inordinately popular box office blockbusters.
Reading this book helped me to revisit the movies themselves. I think that a certain amount of distance enhanced the experience of reading this book. Gora informs her reader that John Hughes extracted a lot of what went into his scripts from real life experiences that happened to himself and his friends. One occured when a friend of his took Hughes and their girl friends to the Union League Club in Chicago because the friend's father had a membership there. I roared because anyone who has ever been there would know that the Union League Club is one of the stodgiest exclusive clubs west of Boston. And so it goes that Ferris Buehler became the sausage king of Chicago.
The term 'brat pack' was bandied about a lot when these films were made, but there seemed to be solid evidence from the actors that there was an extended family of sorts forged and many of these relationships exist in one form or another today.
While it wasn't all love and kisses while these films were being made, for the most part these productions became classic examples of really good ensemble acting and it all worked amazingly well.
The major suprise that the book had for me was that this book was not all about John Hughes who died in 2009. This book looked at other popular teen movies made in that era. One film analyzed was a critical failure SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL. I really liked that one quite a bit and thought it has held up well.
Another element included in this book were short bios of many of the key actors who have managed to have solid adult careers. It gave me a sense of who they were and the process they used to make these parts work from their perspective.
This book was thoroughly researched and well-written. If you are interested in film criticism, teen movies, or the cinema of John Hughes and his contemporaries, I think you would find this book a good choice.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Fun and Lightweight March 21 2011
By Ria Darling - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Other reivews of this book convinced me to buy it and they're very on target. It's not full or pictures and the interviews prove that hindsight is 20/20, but there is a gossip-feel to it. It's not a serious film text and it's not People magazine but somewhere in between. For someone like me who saw the films a million times it's interesting to hear about how the characters were formed and the filming and how it all came together. A really enjoyable read and each chapter stands on its own.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Term "Brat Pack" Kinda Fits Nov. 1 2014
By Laura - Published on
Format: Paperback
I consider this book to be pretty good because of how much information it gives. Obviously a lot of research was done to put it together, taken from years and years of articles and interviews with the people that it's about. So there's a lot of content and a lot here that people would be learning for the first time and unlike Wikipedia, you know you can believe it. However, I thought a lot of stuff was repeated throughout the book, and even a lot repeated within the same chapters which could have been taken out to make it a lot shorter. I came to the conclusion that I couldn't really agree with the author's opinion, which seems to be her siding with the actors who think the brat pack label was the reason some of their careers didn't pan out. The truth is some did and some didn't so it couldn't have been the name. Most actors start out popular and in good movies and then fizzle and/or get bad roles, that's just how it is. I was just a baby during the "brat pack" years but am a big "brat pack" movie fan and it wasn't the book that was disappointing, but more some of the behind the scenes stories about some of the whiny actors and finding out John Hughes was actually a douche.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
John Hughes movies rule April 12 2010
By Lee Lee - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Susannah clearly has an enormous appreciation for John Hughes and his work as shown by the depth of her information. It was amazing to hear stories from the actors about things I had no idea about and found their insights throughly fascinating. The movies are timeless and although John Hughes is no longer with us (RIP) his work continues to live on through his fans and their love for his movies which represent a time and a place (the 80's) like no one else.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Behind the scenes with the Brat Pack April 18 2013
By Jim Lester - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm not a big reader of behind-the-scenes Hollywood books but I found this one to be an outstanding piece of social and cultural history. Its the story of how John Hughes and a group of young actors known as the "Brat Pack" redefined the genre of teen movies in the 1980s with hits like "Sixteen Candles", "Pretty in Pink" and "The Breakfast Club." The author contends that these films made Hughes the J.D. Salinger of the Gen Xers and suggests that his work has dominated every high school novel and movie since then.

Along with a good bit of social commentary, Gora offers some interesting portraits of the young actors who starred in Hughes' films--Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall and others. In addition she includes an excellent section of the power of the music in the films which Hughes used to catapult his movies into the realm of legend and another section on how the careless use of the term "Brat Pack" in an obscure article substantially altered the careers of many of the young stars. All in all this book is both a fine piece of Hollywood history and a thoughtful analysis of the impact of the movies on American culture.

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