OLV Quickie Road Trip: Visit ‘The Breakfast Club High School’ & the church in ‘Sixteen Candles’

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Over the years we’ve published several stories about the locations of John Hughes’ movies, including one of our first ever Road Trips.

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But, last year there was some controversy over where exactly that famous fist-pumping scene at the end of The Breakfast Club was filmed. For years it seemed like common knowledge that the scene was filmed at Glenbrook North High School, located at 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook, IL. But, last winter, that claim was challenged after the film’s cinematographer said they never left the premises of Maine North High School in Des Plaines (now a police station) where the rest of the movie’s exteriors were filmed.

So, while on a recent road trip through the mid-west, we couldn’t resist making a couple of pit stops in Northbrook and determining for ourselves whether or not we thought that famous final scene was filmed on Glenbrook’s football field or not.

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As soon as we pulled into the school’s parking lot (we were there during a break from classes so we didn’t look like total creepers) we immediately thought this was the right place. There are new bleachers and a new turf, but the treeline and the fence around the field looked very much the same to us. As soon as we held up a screenshot from the movie, it seemed unlikely the scene was shot anywhere else. Take a look at our photo above and compare it the GIF of Judd Nelson in TBC and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Since we were already in Northbrook, we decided we also had to check out Glencoe Union Church, at 263 Park Avenue, the same church where Sam (Molly Ringwald) walks out of the church to find her crush Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) waiting for her in Sixteen Candles. The church, and the park across the street where Jake parked his car, still look very much as they did in the 1984 film!

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Northbrook makes the perfect quickie road trip as it is just 45 minutes north of Chicago. And, after taking a few selfies at these famous John Hughes’ filming locations, take a stroll through the village and have lunch or visit a few of the town’s local shops.

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