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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


You can always count on your friends. Don't ever let the fire go out. 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?


Andrew McCarthy started smoking while making this film, as his character is a smoker. He eventually quit. 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 »


Kirby: There are several quintessential moments in a man's life: losing his virginity, getting married, becoming a father, and having the right girl smile at you.
See more »


References Stardust Memories (1980) See more »


Written by Otis Redding
Performed by Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Well, you know, it ain't easy being me
30 May 2010 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Other than his Batman flicks, Schumacher is relatively dependable for delivering something that, at the very least, does the job. Watch A Time To Kill, 8MM, Bad Company, Phone Booth(OK, that one is arguably downright good), or The Number 23(the ones I've seen of his). Know what I mean? They sorta stay with you somewhat, but you don't find yourself calling them "great". This is another addition to that. I'll start by addressing complaints I've heard about this; it's said to be excessively 80's, and I basically get what they mean(not growing up in the decade, being 4 years old when it ended, I have no recollection of it), and if that is likely to bother you, then yeah(the man often does not know when to say stop to the designers; I refer you to his short stint at superhero movies... you know, the ones that nearly killed the genre, with the murder weapons being neon and camp), you may wish to steer clear. Another is that these characters, credible and well-written though they are, are spoiled, selfish, superficial, and at times empty-headed, brats. Yes. They are. The film is aware of this(which always makes it considerably easier to tolerate), and it doesn't pretend that those are attractive traits. No, they are not necessarily likable; however, they are relatively interesting to follow. Think Election. And the things they go through are quite easy to recognize. Life after high school, love vs. obsession, relationship issues and dealing with various problems that young people face are dealt with, and it comes across pretty convincing and genuine. It can be funny here and there, when it goes for it, a little of that being black comedy. This is fairly engaging, and there is some tension. There are a few stereotypes in this, such as the presentation of a gay man; meanwhile, when you look at how the straight people in this are, it would have stood out more(as Joel points out in the informative and amusing director's commentary on the DVD; it also comes with theatrical trailers for About Last Night and Mortal Thoughts) if it had been toned down. There's the prostitute and the Jews, as well, I suppose. The acting tends to be spot-on. There is a bit of sexuality(not graphic, only brief nudity) and strong language in this. I recommend this to anyone looking for pictures about the troubles of growing up. 6/10

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