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St. Elmo's Fire (1985)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  28 June 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 26,379 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 38 critic

A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood.


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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Beamish
Dale Biberman
Mrs. Beamish
Jon Cutler ...
Howie Krantz
Ron Dellasandro


Seven friends - Alec, Billy, Jules, Kevin, Kirby, Leslie and Wendy - are trying to navigate through life and their friendships following college graduation. Alec, who aspires to political life, has just shown his true colors by changing his allegiance from Democrat to Republican, which freaks out girlfriend Leslie, who he wants to marry. Budding architect Leslie, on the other hand, has an independent streak. She believes she has to make a name for herself to find out who she is before she can truly commit to another person in marriage. But Leslie and Alec have decided to live together. Because Leslie refuses to marry Alec, he believes that justifies certain behavior. Kirby, who wants to become a lawyer and who pays for his schooling by working as a waiter at their local hangout called St. Elmo's Bar, and struggling writer Kevin are currently roommates. They are on opposite extremes of the romance spectrum. Kirby has just reconnected with Dale Biberman, a slightly older woman he knew ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The heat this summer is at Saint Elmo's Fire. See more »


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El primer año del resto de nuestras vidas  »

Box Office


$37,800,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to director and co-scriptwriter Joel Schumacher's audio-commentary, co-screenwriter Carl Kurlander reportedly based Kirby Keger (Emilio Estevez)'s obsession with Dale Biberman (Andie MacDowell) on his own true-life university crush on a fellow student he had known on campus whilst at studying at uni. See more »


When Dale looks at the photograph taken of her and Kirby, the perspective of the photograph looks as if it was taken by the movie camera (from the profile) rather than from her boyfriend who took the photo, which would be from the front. See more »


Kevin: How come you never ask me if I want a date?
Naomi: I thought you were gay!
See more »


Referenced in Bones: Boy in the Time Capsule (2007) See more »


Written by David Foster and John Parr
Produced by David Foster
Performed by John Parr
Courtesy of Atlantic Records and Phonogram International
See more »

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User Reviews

A very good movie about the complexities of life
26 July 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

When I first saw this film I was about 14. I loved it back then because there were so many cool actors in it. That is why, nothing more and nothing less. But now, as I am a young adult perhaps going through some of the same scenarios and fears and insecurities that these people are in the movie, I can appreciate it a whole lot more. Not only is it a film that has an incredible young cast in it, but it is a film that does a great job of dealing with a plethora of issues. My favourite character was Billy, the Rob Lowe character. Sometimes his intentions weren't always spelled out for us, but there are subleties about the way he plays his character that really hit home. You can tell that he misses the easier days of college. The days where all he had to do was play sports and smoke up a bit. But now he is in real life and he can't quite seem to find his niche. He is still the good looking playboy that can get laid whenever he feels like it, but as for dealing with real life issues, he is confused and scared. And he masks that insecurity by being a playboy. It's a great character study. Many of the other characters in the film have interesting stories as well. None of them have quite figured out what the meaning of life is yet and all of them are kind of living on the edge. All are attempting to get by with what they have, but what it ultimately comes down to is that none of them really knows the answers. Maybe some have become more successful than others but deep down they are all scared of life. Now I don't know about other mid 20's people, but I can sure relate to what they are feeling and going through. And this movie made me feel like I am not the only one that may not have all the answers. If this is a film that you haven't seen in a few years, watch it. Admire what it wants to say. Take it for what it is. I really enjoyed what this film was about. And it made me feel a bit better about life, after all, we're all going through St. Elmo's Fire.

51 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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