Duckie in Pink / The original (superior) ending to the 80s classic

Here’s what I remember of seeing Pretty in Pink in the 80s: Molly Ringwald wore nifty hats! Molly Ringwald could sew cool stuff! People told me that I looked like Molly Ringwald! Yay!!!

Oh, and Duckie! I loved Duckie! He wore nifty hats too!

Other than that, the movie has been pretty much a blur in my gray matter for the last few decades until a day or so ago, when I sat down to watch Pretty in Pink once again… this time with my teenage daughter. I still love the hats. And Molly Ringwald can still sew amazing things (though the prom dress was much much uglier than I remembered it).

So here’s an unexpected revelation I had this go around:

Andrew McCarthy has semi-psycho eyes and there is absolutely no reason for Andie (aka Molly Ringwald) to like him.

Seriously. He doesn’t do or say anything particularly likeable. Not even wear a cool hat. So I did a little digging and found out that in the original ending to the movie, Andy ends up with Duckie!

SO MUCH BETTER!!

Here, from the Tampa Bay Times, is the script for the final shots:

Andie takes Duckie’s hand and walks him on the dance floor. The crowd separates and opens a large circle. Andie and Duckie stand at the center of the floor. Andie takes Duckie in her arms. She looks at the band leader.

BAND LEADER: He turns his back to his band and they begin to play again.

DUCKIE: He’s terrified.

DUCKIE:

“I can’t dance.”

ANDIE:
“Neither can I.”

DUCKIE:
“Are we crazy?”

ANDIE:
“Completely.”

Andie takes a few steps and starts dancing. Dukie follows clumsily. A few steps and they get in step. They dance without shame or concert for what anybody thinks.

BLANE: He turns back to watch Andie and Duckie.

STEFF AND BENNY: They glare at the new couple. Steff can’t hide the anger he feels at being undone by Duckie.

KATE: She glowers at Blane for his gesture to Duckie and Andie. He could care less.

ANDIE AND DUCKIE: The look at each other and smile. Duckie laughs. Andie squeezes him tight and lifts him off his feet.

FREEZE. MUSIC AND TITLES.

I’m pretty sure Will, a sweetheart of a character in our upcoming novel DreamBoy (coauthored with Madelyn Rosenberg), owes a good dose of his aesthetic to Duckie. In fact, I think it’s quite possible that on the subliminal level, the novel was a sort of mis-wired protest on my part against Blane and all his supposed perfection. Hmmmm… Ok, that might be an overstatement. Sort of.

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