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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.
Alright; a lot a bit pervy.
1984’s Sixteen Candles is one of the most revered movies in ’80s movie king John Hughes’ repertoire and marked his directorial debut.
Character actor Paul Dooley played the father of protagonist Samantha “Sam” Baker, who was played by Molly Ringwald. Over the years he has also made appearances in tons of shows and movies like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Cars. He even had a bit part in the iconic hockey movie Slap Shot.
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.
Dooley’s Quick Thinking Avoided A Creepy Moment
In the scene, Dooley’s character is having a heart-to-heart with his onscreen daughter.
“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.”
Uh, pardon me?
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.
That’s definitely a more palatable line. Good save, Mr. Dooley.
“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.”
Fortunately, Dooley’s quick thinking spared the film the ire of the Cancel Culture mob decades later.
Well, the mob still found the movie, but I think that had more to do with the Donger and not a weird father-daughter scene.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle