Jun 302020

Sixteen Candles is another home-run from John Hughes, further proving his amazing influence on the 1980s that still resonates to this day. This Blu-ray release from Arrow Video offers up great video and audio transfers to go along with some good bonus material.



Sixteen Candles

Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Arrow Video | PG – 92 min. / 94 min. – $39.95 | April 14, 2020

Date Published: 06/30/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: John Hughes
Writer(s): John Hughes (written by)
Cast: Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, Anthony Michael Hall, Haviland Morris, Gedde Watanabe, Justin Henry, Paul Dooley, John Cusack, Joan Cusack

Features: Featurette, Interviews, Trailers, TV Spots, Galleries
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 47.84 GB
Total Bitrate: 41.12 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Arrow Video provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 4.0/5

Plot Synopsis: For high schooler Samantha Baker (MOLLY RINGWALD), her 16th birthday might be the worst day of her life. Her entire family has forgotten about it due to her older sister’s impending wedding; her biggest crush, high school hunk Jake Ryan (MICHAEL SCHOEFFLING) has discovered an embarrassing “sex quiz” filled out by Sam in which she details how she is saving herself for him; and to make matters worse, she is hounded by a relentless nerd (ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL) who won’t take no for an answer. But Sam’s sweet sixteen isn’t over yet, and before the end of the night, all her birthday wishes could still come true…

Quick Hit Review: As I recently wrote in my review for Pretty in Pink, there probably wasn’t anybody more in tune with a younger, oft ignored, generation in the 1980s than John Hughes. Sixteen Candles is yet another wonderful film, a coming-of-age story that might not be as serious as The Breakfast Club with some sillier moments but was incredibly entertaining.

Once again, as with Pretty in Pink, the film’s strong suit, beyond John Hughes’s writing and fine direction, was a pitch-perfect performance by Molly Ringwald. The film also has a great supporting cast including Anthony Michael Hall as the leading geek, plus John Cusack as one of his best friends, not to mention his sister Joan Cusack, in a smaller role. The male lead, and love interest to Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling is a bit of a blank slate, nice on the eyes for the female crowd, but not much to his character, though his very few scenes with Ringwald were alright.

This was actually the first time seeing Sixteen Candles and initially I would probably place this third amongst Hughes’s film from the 80s, behind The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and fourth of all of his films behind Home Alone. Only goes to show just how in tune John Hughes was and that his films generally hold up so well all these years later.

Note: This release comes with an “Extended Version” that adds in a 1.5 minute scene that, viewing it on its own (since I watched the original version), doesn’t really add much.



The first run pressing of this comes with a nice matted slip cover and the inner cover is reversible. Inside is a 34-page booklet.

Additional Scene (1:28) – Here you can watch the scene that was added into the Extended Version.

Alternate Home Video Soundtrack – Included on this release for posterity, the original video release featured a different sound mix and ten of the songs either replaced or omitted due to licensing issues.


  • Casting Sixteen Candles (9:06) – New interview with casting director Jackie Burch explains how the ensemble cast as assembled.
  • When Gedde Met Deborah (19:20) – Another new interview, this with actors Gedde Watanabe and Deborah Pollack chatting about tier experiences working together.
  • Rudy the Bohunk (6:26) – Interview with actor John Kapelos on playing Rudy.
  • The New Wave Nerd (8:19) – Filmmaker Adam Rifkin discusses shadowing John Hughes as he worked as an extra on the film.
  • The In-Between (7:38) – Camera Operator Gary Kibbe talks about his experience working with John Hughes and cinematographer Bobby Byrne.
  • Music for Geeks (8:19) – Composer Ira Newborn discusses his first experience working with Hughes.

A Very Eighties Fairytale (17:21) – New video essay written by narrated by columnist Soraya Roberts.

Celebrating Sixteen Candles (37:58) is an older featurette procuded for the 2008 DVD release.

Also included are Trailers and YV Spots and three Image Galleries.


VIDEO – 4.75/5

Arrow Video releases Sixteen Candles onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and has been given a new 1080p high-definition transfer, culled from the original 35mm camera negative and scanned in 4K resolution and underwent some digital grading. The picture here looks absolutely fantastic, detail is incredibly sharp and well defined, black levels stark but not crushed and colors are vibrant. As with many other of these releases, the film grain and noise has been retained and while I can’t compare with the numerous other Blu-ray releases, I have to assume this is the best this film has ever looked.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc comes with a few options in the audio department. The default is a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track, the second is DTS-HD MA 5.1 and last is the “home video” version from the old VHS and Laserdisc releases (with different music and sound mixing), output as DTS-HD MA 1.0. The first track, the default one, sounds decent, providing clear dialogue while the 5.1 option has a bit more depth, mostly with the music and score. I did some testing with the third track which is mostly the same, just with different cues; it’s an interesting feature to include but would not have this one turned on upon further repeat viewings.

OVERALL – 4.5/5

Overall, Sixteen Candles is another home-run from John Hughes, further proving his amazing influence on the 1980s that still resonates to this day. This Blu-ray release from Arrow Video offers up great video and audio transfers to go along with some good bonus material.

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