Pretty in Pink: Paramount Presents Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Paramount has been rolling right through releases for their new Paramount Presents line.  I have been looking forward to each release, finding interesting choices (Ahem…some of these were already available…) in each wave of releases.  My colleague Brandon Peters has been ripping through the releases, giving amazing commentary on the films and the tech specs.  I hope to live up to his astute reviews as I delve into the Paramount Presents edition of Pretty In Pink.  I am a John Hughes fanatic, and love even his lesser efforts so I was super excited to see this one added to the Paramount Presents line and finally getting a blu-ray release. Dive in below and If you’ve been wanting to own Pretty In Pink on Blu-ray, as always, feel free to use the paid Amazon link following the review. It both helps our site and helps you to get the product for which you’ve been seeking.



Andie (Molly Ringwald) is a high school senior in Chicago.  She is from “the wrong side of the tracks” and lives with her father Jack (Harry Dean Stanton), who is next to never employed.  At school she is treated like trash by her more well to do classmate and worshipped by Duckie (Jon Cryer) a long-time friend who despite it being painfully clear, can’t seem to tell Andie that he loves her.  Andie has her sights set on Blaine (Andrew McCarthy), a “Richie” who drives a BMW.  Despite herself Andie is smitten and finds herself questioning everything.  She is lower middle-class and sort of despises the wealthy kids who pick on her.  Often coming to her aide is her boss, Iona (Annie Potts), who runs TRAX, a hip record store.  Iona is able to give Andie the words of wisdom she needs to go for love and to be her true self.

Blaine is friends with Steff (James Spader), a venomous “Richie” who is already drinking and drugging his life away.  When Andie refutes his own advances, he becomes verbally abusive to her at any moment possible.  When Blaine and Andie go on their first date, things don’t go well and a proverbial monkey wrench is thrown into their relationship progress.  Does Ducky finally have a chance with Andie? Maybe.  Will Andie stop being judgmental towards herself for her feelings for the rich kid? Will Jack ever get a job or will he continue to pine for his wife who abandoned them 3 years prior? So many questions are raised in the quick 96 minute runtime.

I tried to give a brief summary but not give away too much for those who haven’t seen the film.  Pretty In Pink is one of the more serious John Hughes films. It’s also one of the ones he didn’t direct.  Under Howard Deutch, the look and feel is still very much of the Hughes variety.  So much so, they worked together next on The Great Outdoors.  The aesthetic of 80’s Chicago and of the new wave scene therein are like a time capsule.  We see similar in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the look of the films really give way to an unintentional film series like continuity.

Pretty In Pink also never shies away from darker teen life subject matter.  The bullies in the film are horrible.  They have no redeeming qualities and say mean things to Andie simply to make her feel bad about herself.  Steff is the kind of guy you’d love to see get beat up by a stronger, tougher guy.  He is a teenaged yuppy and is one of those 80’s movie villain types that you just can’t help but hate.  Leave up to James Spader to deliver such a good performance as a sleaze.  Duckie is love obsessed and truly does have deep feelings for Andie.  He is always keyed up around her.  He is trying to balance between being funny and sensitive and is also just so excited to be in her presence.  For some viewers, it may be frustrating to see Andie consistently brush him off.  He has one of the most iconic moments in the film, doing a dance to Otis Redding inside TRAX.  Iona is another gem.  She’s out there in more ways than one, but is sensitive, sweet, and mature.  She is a great mother figure for Andie as she navigates her last year of high school, and her first true love feelings.  Jack as played by Harry Dean Stanton though is the true standout.  His understated, full bodied performance is a real treat.  He was always a great actor!


  • Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio:  2.39:1
  • Layers: BD-50
  • Clarity/Detail: Pretty In Pink debuts on Blu-ray with a freshly minted 4K scan. The clarity is miles better than the previous DVD release from 2006. Right away there are many instances of improvement over the previous format and the HD streaming version.  Andie’s home is rife with detail, from the lived-in rooms to the tiny kitchen.  TRAX is another location filled with the lived-in look. Viewers well versed in the film will be finding new things they haven’t seen before. The image retains very little, if any softness.
  • Depth: Another place the image shines is in the depth department.  Great spacing is shown in scenes with dense interiors like nightclubs or the record store.  The few outside scenes look great as well, with nice dimension for vehicles and trees.
  • Black Levels: Blacks are great here. Despite the age of the film, there are no muted or flat blacks here. There are also no instances of crush.
  • Color Reproduction: Colors are fantastic. From the many shades of pink, to the eccentric color palette of the record store or Iona’s apartment, you’ll find a lot to love about the color reproduction of this disc.
  • Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural overall. Some characters have a rosy glow at times but it seems to be from the source and not from the new transfer.
  • Noise/Artifacts: 80’s film grain is lovingly intact, but never intrusive or annoying.



  • Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
  • Dynamics: Pretty in Pink has never been a home theater showcase, but this new mix makes it clear that any movie can sound exactly as intended when given the proper treatment. The sound mix is predominantly front heavy. Dialogue and music fill the front end and light ambience is heard in the surrounds.  The original intent rings true with this mix and fits the events on screen to a T.
  • Height: N/A
  • Low Frequency Extension: LFE is saved for music cues. Not every soundtrack selection is bass heavy, but certain selections add a significant bump to the track.  Besides that, there aren’t many other chances for your subwoofer to work.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Surround sound is used for ambience and used lightly at that, but the use is fitting for the film as it’s a dialogue driven one and not huge on scenes with crowds or action.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is the primary focus of the track and is perfect throughout the presentation. No dropouts and no need for a volume adjustment.



Pretty in Pink is a part of the Paramount Presents line of Blu-rays and ships with a slipcover with a gatefold showing the original poster.  The clear blu-ray Amaray case shows stills from the film and has a quote from Howard Deutch.  There are no digital codes. Extras are scant, with a featurette and trailer from the DVD and two new additions for this release.

  • NEW: Filmmaker Focus: Howard Deutch on Pretty in Pink
  • NEW: Isolated Score
  • LEGACY: The Lost Dance – Original Ending
  • LEGACY: Theatrical Trailer

The new Filmmaker Focus featurette is just like the others in the Presents line.  The feature plays like it was meant to play before a special screening at a movie theater.  The isolated score will be a treat for fans of the music of the film and The Lost Dance revisits the original (and better) ending that we missed out on.  Oh, what might have been.


Looking at it in this new presentation, Pretty In Pink sparkles.  The story would probably be a little bit different now, but the themes are all still relevant.  There isn’t a bad performance in the film, and all the leads give some career best work here.  John Hughes’ writing and understanding of teenage life was second to none and this is a film that emphasized that thought fully. Not everything in the film is fluffy and easy to swallow and that’s definitely part of the charm, and as a comic drama this one is still a great watch. If you haven’t seen or have wanted to see this one get a Blu-ray release, this is well worth the pickup!

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