1984 teen classic movie Sixteen Candles had a very inappropriate dialogue during a father-daughter moment.
Paul Dooley, who played on-screen dad to Molly Ringwald, then 15, improvised to change it.
In his memoir, Movie Dad: Finding Myself and My Family, On Screen and Off, Dooley recalled waiting to film his big heart-to-heart scene with a then-15-year-old Ringwald which reportedly had a perverted and incestuous line, via Page Six.
“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?’” the character actor, 94, writes.
The line bothered not only Dooley but also Ringwald’s real-life mother.
“A pat on the behind? If you can detect missing panties, that’s more like copping a feel,” he wrote.
Ringwald’s mother had asked what could be done and so Dooley improvised another line.
“I would have the dad say, ‘When you finally meet your Mr. Right, make sure he knows you wear the pants in the family,’” he writes, adding that although the remark was innocent, it was also loaded.
“Molly’s mom loved it,” Dooley shared. “We took it to [director] John Hughes, who liked it too. That became the ending to the scene.”
Ringwald previously expressed her dismay over the film from the classic teen movie, now viewing it as an adult. In an interview with NPR in 2018, the actress, 54, said, “There were parts of that film that bothered me then. Although everybody likes to say that I had, you know, John Hughes’ ear and he did listen to me in a lot of ways, I wasn’t the filmmaker.”
Ringwald added, “And you know, sometimes I would tell him, ‘Well, I think that this is kind of tacky’ or ‘I think that this is irrelevant’ or ‘this doesn’t ring true,’ and sometimes he would listen to me but in other cases, he didn’t.”
She further added, “Times were different and what was acceptable then is definitely not acceptable now and nor should it have been then, but that’s sort of the way that it was.”