The film's soundtrack has been rated as one of the best in modern cinema. It features a re-recorded version of the title song by The Psychedelic Furs. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's "If You Leave" became an international hit and charted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1986.
High school senior Andie Walsh lives modestly with her underemployed working class father, Jack. Andie's best friend, Phil "Duckie" Dale, is in love with her, but is afraid to tell her how he truly feels. In school, Duckie and Andie, along with their friends, are harassed and bullied by the arrogant "richie" kids, specifically Benny Hanson and her boyfriend Steff McKee, who is secretly interested in Andie.
While working after school at TRAX, a new wave record store, Andie starts talking about her school's senior prom to her manager Iona, who advises Andie to go, despite not having a date. Blane McDonough, one of the preppy boys and Steff's best friend, starts talking to Andie at school and at TRAX, and eventually asks her out.
On the night of the date, Andie waits for Blane at TRAX, but he is late. Duckie comes in and asks Andie to go out with him, but she ignores him. Feeling like she got stood up, Iona gives Andie a pep talk, while Duckie, still oblivious, asks what's wrong. When Blane arrives, Duckie is upset and starts an argument with Andie, with Duckie trying to convince her that Blane will only hurt her. Duckie storms off and Andie goes on with her date. Blane suggests going to a house party Steff is throwing, but Andie is treated poorly by everyone, including a drunk Steff and Benny. Andie, in turn, suggests going to the local club, where they discover Iona sitting with Duckie, who is hostile toward Blane. After another argument with Duckie, Andie and Blane walk out of the club. Andie, feeling that their night didn't go so well, tells Blane that she wants to go home, but when Blane offers to take her home, she refuses, admitting that she doesn't want him to see where she lives. She eventually allows him to drop her off and he asks her to the prom, which she accepts and they share their first kiss. Andie visits Iona at her apartment the next day to talk about Andie's date. Meanwhile, Blane, pressured by Steff, begins distancing himself from Andie.
Jack comes home one night and surprises Andie with a pink dress he bought for her. Questioning how he was able to afford it, Andie tells him that she knows he has been lying about going to his full-time job. They have a big argument until Jack breaks down, revealing that he is still bitter and depressed about his wife having left him. At school, Andie confronts Blane for avoiding her and not returning her calls. When asked about prom, he claims that he had already asked somebody else but had forgotten. Andie starts calling Blane a liar and tells him he is ashamed of being seen with her. Andie runs away as a teary-eyed Blane leaves, with Steff criticizing Andie. Duckie overhears Steff and attacks him in the hallway. The two fight before teachers intervene. Andie goes to Iona, crying and telling her about what happened, and then asks for Iona's old prom dress.
Using the fabric from Iona's dress and the dress her father bought, Andie creates a new pink prom dress. When she arrives at the prom, Andie has second thoughts about braving the crowd on her own until she sees Duckie. They reconcile and walk into the ballroom hand in hand. As a drunk Steff begins mocking the couple, Blane confronts him and finally realizes that Steff resents Andie because she had turned down Steff's advances. Blane then approaches the two, shaking Duckie's hand and then apologizing to Andie, telling her that he always believed in her and that he will always love her, kissing her cheek before walking out. Duckie concedes that Blane is not like the other rich kids at school and advises Andie to go after him, joking that he'll never take her to another prom if she doesn't. Duckie then sees a girl smiling at him, signaling him to come over and dance with her. Andie catches up with Blane in the parking lot and they kiss passionately.Molly Ringwald as Andie Walsh
Harry Dean Stanton as Jack Walsh
Jon Cryer as Philip F. "Duckie" Dale
Annie Potts as Iona
James Spader as Steff McKee
Andrew McCarthy as Blane McDonough
Kate Vernon as Benny Hanson
Andrew Dice Clay as Bouncer
Kristy Swanson as Duckette
Alexa Kenin as Jena Hoeman
Dweezil Zappa as Simon
Gina Gershon as Trombley
Originally, the film portrayed Andie and Duckie ending up together; however, test audiences disapproved, and the Andie/Blane ending was produced instead. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark had selected "Goddess of Love" from the album The Pacific Age for the original ending. With only two days before going on tour, OMD wrote "If You Leave" in less than 24 hours for the newly re-shot Andie/Blane ending.
The film was adapted into a novel, written by H. B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfield and released in 1986. It was published by Bantam Books (ISBN 0-553-25944-X. ISBN 978-0553259445). The book was written before the last scene was changed, so it has the original ending, in which Andie winds up with Duckie instead of Blane.
The film earned US$6,065,870 during its opening weekend and $40,471,663 during its theatrical run. It was the 22nd highest-grossing film in 1986.
The film was a critical and commercial success. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 80% based on reviews from 44 critics.
The main cast of Pretty in Pink was featured in the October 15, 2010 issue of Entertainment Weekly, whose theme was cast reunions for landmark films and television shows.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated
2004: AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
"If You Leave" – Nominated
Like previous films by John Hughes, Pretty in Pink featured a soundtrack composed mostly of new wave music. While director Howard Deutch originally intended the film to primarily contain theme music, Hughes influenced Deutch's decision to use post-punk music throughout the film. The title song by the Psychedelic Furs acted as a bit of inspiration for the film and was re-recorded specifically for the film's opening sequence in a version that was less raw than the original; it was released in 1981 for the album Talk Talk Talk. "Left of Center" was remixed by Arthur Baker. The first track, "If You Leave", by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, was written in 1985 in advance specifically for the film. In addition to their song "Shellshock", New Order also had an instrumental version of "Thieves Like Us" and the instrumental "Elegia" appear in the film but not on the soundtrack. The Rave-Ups, who do appear in the film performing "Positively Lost Me" and "Rave-Up/Shut-Up" from their Town and Country album, do not have any songs on the soundtrack album. Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good" appears as re-recorded by former Three Dog Night vocalist Danny Hutton's band, Danny Hutton Hitters. Also noteworthy is the inclusion of Echo & the Bunnymen's "Bring On the Dancing Horses", which, according to the liner notes of the CD release of the band's compilation album Songs to Learn & Sing, was recorded specifically for the film.
The film also includes Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness", which actor Jon Cryer's character "Duckie" lipsyncs to in the film, The Association's "Cherish", and Talk Back's "Rudy". These three tracks do not appear on the official soundtrack.
The soundtrack was released on vinyl in 1986. It was re-released in 2013 as a limited edition pink colored vinyl.
The album was listed among "Best Movie Soundtracks: The 15 Film Music Compilations That'll Change Your Life" in The Huffington Post, and "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time" in Rolling Stone. Allmusic rated it four stars out of five.