The 1980’s were truly the pinnacle of teen comedies and launched the career of the director most associated with the 80’s, John Hughes. No era has matched such classics as Risky Business, Weird Science, Teen Wolf, Pretty in Pink, the list goes on and on. At, or near the top of the list is the John Hughes classic Sixteen Candles. Not only was this Hughes’ first directorial foray, but it is also considered one of the top entries in a resume that includes Home Alone, Uncle Buck, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The movie was Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall’s breakout hit and has been a much-loved tradition ever since. However, as the famous dad from the movie, character actor Paul Dooley (face it we all wanted him as our dad) explains in his new book, had he not gotten a ‘pervy’ vibe from a certain scene, the movie could have taken a very dark turn. Check this out.
One of the most beloved movies of the 1980s — Sixteen Candles — almost had a very, very weird moment had someone not realized that it may read as just a bit pervy.
Character actor Paul Dooley played the father of protagonist Samantha “Sam” Baker, who was played by Molly Ringwald.
Dooley is now 94, and he recently released a memoir titled Movie Dad: Finding Myself and My Family, On Screen and Off. In it, he discussed a brief moment in the script that got the ol’ red pen treatment. Had it been left in, it would have drastically changed the perception of the scene between himself and Ringwald.
Ok, if we are being honest, the movie is pretty pervy by today’s standards. Sexual harassment, underage drug use, a playful “did we or didn’t we” sex scene between a senior girl and an underage boy; hey the 80’s weren’t perfect, just funnier than today. However, had Dolley not gotten a bad feeling about one particular scene this movie might have been canceled in 1984.
In one of the more memorable scenes, Paul Dooley is talking to Molly Ringwald after he remembered everyone had forgotten her birthday. Being the perfect dad, Dooley had a heart to heart with Ringwald. What didn’t happen next likely spared this movie from the woke gallows.
Sixteen Candles actor Paul Dooley says a scene between himself and Molly Ringwald almost had a very different ending. https://t.co/Q0naBoxH0z
— OutKick (@Outkick) January 1, 2023
“Near the end of their talk, the script had the dad giving a friendly pat on his daughter’s behind while saying, ‘Where the heck are your panties?’” Dooley wrote.
“A pat on the behind? If you can detect missing panties, that’s more like copping a feel.”
Dooley wasn’t the only one who thought this would be weird. So did Ringwad’s real-life mom who was with her on set.
“I would have the dad say, ‘When you finally meet your Mr. Right, make sure he knows you wear the pants in the family,’” Dooley writes.
“Molly’s mom loved it,” the actor wrote. “We took it to John Hughes, who liked it too. That became the ending to the scene.”
Oh my. It should be recalled that her character Sam gave her panties to the geek, Anthony Michael Hall so he could charge admission and show them to his geek fans to prove he scored. Ok, so maybe the movie wasn’t all that clean and wholesome. We never gave it a second thought in the 80’s! Looking back, the scene where Jake dumped his blackout drunk girlfriend in the car with Farmer Ted (Hall), and they eventually ended up asleep in a church parking lot assuming they had sex together (Farmer Ted didn’t have a license and was underage), is also a little troublesome. I better stop here before I ruined the rest of the movie for myself. Good save Paul Dooley, and thanks for being the world’s best dad!
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