St. Elmo's Fire (movie)

From Academic Kids

St. Elmo's Fire was a defining movie of the 1980s brat pack genre.



(no spoilers) The film revolves around a group of friends that have just graduated from Georgetown University and their adjustment to their post-university lives and the responsibilities of adulthood.

Main characters

  • Kirby Keger (Emilio Estevez) - unsure about which path to follow in life, he starts the film as a waiter at the "St Elmo's Fire" bar
  • Billy Hicks (Rob Lowe) - perceived as still being the "frat boy" of the group, he is unable (or unwilling) to keep a job
  • Kevin Dolenz (Andrew McCarthy) - a depressed writer, employed as a obituary writer at the start of the film
  • Jules Jacoby (Demi Moore) - despite a career in "international banking", she is seen as the "party girl" of the group
  • Alec Newbary (Judd Nelson) - a ruthless, ambitious yuppie, hoping for a career in politics
  • Leslie Hunter (Ally Sheedy) - Alec's yuppie girlfriend who wants to pursue an unstated career before thinking about marriage and children
  • Wendy Beamish (Mare Winningham) - from a rich family, she is seen as the "innocent" of the group and devotes her life to helping others

The film also features Andie MacDowell as Dale Biberman, the object of Kirby's affections.


The Breakfast Club was another brat pack film released in 1985 also starring Estevez, Nelson and Sheedy. It is noted that in The Breakfast Club, these actors play high schoolers while in the same year they play college graduates in St. Elmo's Fire.

The title and subsequent song come from a quote at the climax of the movie: "It's St. Elmo's Fire. Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere. Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them... there was no fire. There wasn't even a St. Elmo. They made it up. They made it up because they thought they needed it to keep them going when times got tough, just like you're making up all of this. We're all going through this. It's our time at the edge." Unfortunately this quote is erroneous in just above every aspect.

  • St. Elmo's fire is a real, documented phenomenon
  • St. Elmo's fire didn't appear in the sky, rather it gathered around the masts of the ship. Thus making it impossible to chart a course by.
  • St. Elmo was a nickname for Saint Erasmus of Formiae, the patron saint of sailors; a very real person.
  • Perhaps most critically, St. Elmo's fire was considered to be a very ill omen. Certainly not something a sailor used to give them hope and keep them going.


  • The theme song was written by Canadian composer David Foster.


io:Fairo di Santa Elmo (cinemo)


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