Things That Bring Back Memories – St. Elmo’s Fire #MondayMemories 6

Things That Bring Back Memories
elmo's fire

For this week’s “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “MOVIES” and go with ” St. Elmo’s Fire“.  This movie was released in 1985, and was one that a lot of people in school were talking about.

” St. Elmo’s Fire ” had a lot of the same stars that had been in all of the good movies, so you figured that it would be a great one to watch.  I pretty much loved it, solely for the theme song and the instrumental version of it, that I used for my slow skate portion of my figure skate competition piece.  Some said that the story was a bit boring, and not what we were used to from this set of stars.  It always depends on the person, and the part of their life that they are going through if it’s a hit with them, or not.

If, for some reason, you are of an age that makes it difficult to remember the ” St. Elmo’s Fire ” movie, here’s the theme song video with some snippets of the movie included:

Did you ever watch the ” St. Elmo’s Fire “ movie when you were younger? or have you seen it on TV or Netflix later in life?  Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any memories of it in your life!

More Info on the Movie:

elmo's fireSt. Elmo’s Fire is a 1985 American coming-of-age film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film, starring Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Mare Winningham, centers on a group of friends that have just graduated from Georgetown University and their adjustment to their post-university lives and the responsibilities of encroaching adulthood. The film is a prominent movie of the Brat Pack genre.

Recent graduates of Georgetown University Alec, girlfriend Leslie, Kevin, Jules, and Kirby are waiting to hear about the conditions of their friends Wendy, a sweet-natured girl devoted to helping others, and Billy, a former frat boy and now reluctant husband and father, after a car accident. At the hospital, Kirby sees a medical student named Dale, with whom he has been infatuated since college.

The group gathers at their favorite college hangout, St. Elmo’s Bar. Billy has been fired from the job Alec helped him secure and his marriage is unstable. At their apartment, Alec pressures Leslie to marry him, but she is convinced they are not ready. Kirby is telling Kevin of his love for Dale when Billy shows up, asking to spend the night as he cannot deal with his wife.

Kevin worries about his romantic life when Jules accuses him of being gay and loving Alec. When he visits Alec and Leslie for dinner, Alec confesses to Kevin that while buying lingerie for Leslie he had sex with the saleswoman.

Billy and Wendy get drunk together and Wendy reveals that she is a virgin. She and Billy kiss but Wendy insists they just remain friends, especially since she realizes Billy is taking advantage of her crush on him.

During Halloween at St. Elmo’s Bar, Jules reveals to a disapproving Leslie that she is having an affair with her married boss. Billy sees his wife with another man in the crowd and attacks him. Billy is thrown out of the bar but reconciles with his wife. The girls confront Jules about the affair and her reckless spending but she insists that everything is under control.

Kirby takes a job working for Mr. Kim, a wealthy Korean businessman, and invites Dale to a party he is holding at Mr. Kim’s house. Wendy arrives with Howie, a boy her parents set her up with. Alec announces that he and Leslie are engaged, upsetting Leslie. She confronts him about her suspicions of his infidelity and the two break up. Alec is also angry with Kevin, whom he believes confessed everything to Leslie. After the party, Jules gives Billy a ride home. As she is about to confide in him, Billy makes a pass at her. Furious, Jules throws him out of her car.

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Still pursuing Dale, Kirby drives to the ski lodge where she is staying but learns she has a boyfriend. His borrowed car becomes stuck in the snow and Dale and her boyfriend coax him to come inside. The next morning, as Kirby prepares to leave Dale’s cottage, Dale tells him she is flattered by his affections. He kisses her, and she does not resist. Kirby then takes a photo with Dale and departs the lodge, happy.

Leslie goes to Kevin’s place to stay the night after the breakup and discovers photographs of her. Kevin confesses his love for her, and the two sleep together but the next morning, Alec comes by to apologize to Kevin for attacking him the night before. Alec is shocked to find Leslie there and the two argue over his infidelity.

Wendy meets her father at a café and announces she wants to be independent from her family and move into her own place. Jules has been fired from her job and fallen behind on her credit card payments; as a result, her possessions have been seized. Jules locks herself in her apartment and opens the windows, intending to freeze to death. The friends attempt to coax her out, but she is unresponsive. Kirby fetches Billy, who landed a job at a gas station courtesy of Kevin, to calm Jules down. Billy convinces Jules to come back out.

Wendy moves into her own place, where Billy visits and informs her that he is getting a divorce and moving to New York City. The two make love as a going away present. At the bus station, the group gathers once more to say goodbye to Billy. Billy urges Alec to make up with Leslie but Leslie declares that she does not want to date anyone for a while. Alec and Kevin make up and the group decides to get brunch. However, they decide not to go to St. Elmo’s bar and instead choose Houlihan’s because there are “not so many kids” there.

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Some of the Characters:

elmo's fireEmilio Estevez (Kirby Keger) was born on May 12, 1962, in New York City. He is the eldest son of actor Martin Sheen, who at the time was just breaking into the business. His mother, Janet Sheen, was a former New York art student who had met Emilio’s father right after he had moved to Manhattan. Martin and Janet had three other children, Charlie Sheen, Renée Estevez, and Ramon Estevez, all of whom became actors. His father is of half Spanish and half Irish descent, and his mother, whose family is from Kentucky, has English and Scottish ancestry.  He lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side until his family relocated to Malibu in 1968. Before graduating from Santa Monica High School in 1980, Estevez had already had a small role as a messenger boy in Apocalypse Now (1979), that was ultimately cut from the film.  Though his father had opted to use the stage name “Sheen” over his more ethnic birth name “Estevez,” Emilio chose to retain the family name, hoping to avoid riding his father’s coattails. He also thought the double “E” set of initials was “pretty.”

elmo's fireRob Lowe (Billy Hicks) was born March 17, 1964 in Charlottesville, Virginia, to Barbara Lynn (Hepler), a schoolteacher, and Charles Davis Lowe, a lawyer. His brother is actor Chad Lowe. He has German, as well as English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ancestry. Lowe’s family moved to Dayton, Ohio, when he was a child. Rob broke into acting in his teens. He spent the 1980’s as a member of the “Brat Pack”, a group of young, powerful and reckless actors and actresses that included Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen and Judd Nelson, among others. In 1988 Lowe was involved in a scandal centering around a sexually explicit videotape which involved a minor, for which he did 20 hours of community service in Dayton. He subsequently sought help for his problems with drugs and alcohol and has re-emerged in the 1990’s as a clean and sober husband and father.

elmo's fireAndrew McCarthy (Kevin Dolenz) was born November 29, 1962 and grew up in Westfield, New Jersey, until he was 15. He then moved to Bernardsville, and attended a prep school called the Pingry School, where he performed in plays and musicals and played basketball. At 18, he went to New York University as a theatre major and wound up as the lead in the 1983 film Class (1983). He also studied at the Circle in Square Theater School in New York. He has been in several on and off Broadway shows, such as ‘Long Day’s Journey’, as well as over 40 movies. He continues to show his talented acting abilities in upcoming movies and shows.

elmo's fireDemi Moore (Jules) was born on November 11, 1962, in Roswell, New Mexico. Her father, Charles Foster Harmon, Sr., left her mother, Virginia Beverly (King), before Demi was born. Her stepfather, Danny Guynes, did not add much stability to her life, either. He frequently changed jobs and made the family move a total of 40 times. The parents kept on drinking, arguing and beating, until Guynes finally committed suicide. Demi quit school at age 16 to work as a pin-up-girl. At 18, she married rock musician Freddy Moore; the marriage lasted four years. At 19, she became a regular on the soap opera General Hospital (1963) (1982-1983). From the first salaries, she started partying and sniffing cocaine. That lasted more than three years, until director Joel Schumacher threatened to fire her from the set of St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) when she turned up high. She got a withdrawal treatment and returned clean within a week… and stayed clean. With determination and a skill for publicity stunts, like the nude appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair while pregnant, she made her way to fame. Thanks to the huge commercial success of Ghost (1990) and the controversial pictures Indecent Proposal (1993) and Disclosure (1994), she became Hollywood’s most sought-after and most expensive actress.

elmo's fireJudd Nelson (Alec Newberry) was born on November 28, 1959 in Portland, Maine to attorney Leonard Nelson and his wife, Merle Nelson, (attorney and state assemblywoman), Judd attended St. Paul’s preparatory school in Concord, New Hampshire before majoring in philosophy at the prestigious Haverford College in Pennsylvania. The acting bug bit when he went to watch a friend’s audition and was obliged to audition in order to stay. He won the role.  After graduation, Judd headed for New York City and the Stella Adler Conservatory where he was believable in the role as the “street-smart Eddie Keaton” in the comedy Making the Grade (1984). Judd’s next film role was as the stodgy ROTCer, Phil Hicks, in the ensemble comedy Fandango (1985). Important and diverse roles in the brat-pack films The Breakfast Club (1985) and St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) quickly followed. With his privileged upbringing, Judd could have brought the right degree of preppy-smarmyness, (ala James Spader), to any number of vapid roles, but his intense stare and dark smoldering looks gave him a hint of danger which added to his credibility in films like the Billionaire Boys Club (1987), From the Hip (1987) and New Jack City (1991).  While Judd’s career has been peppered with under-promoted films and poorly-written TV appearances, critics have not been overly kind to this misunderstood actor.

elmo's fireAlly Sheedy (Leslie Hunter) was born June 13, 1962 in New York City, to Charlotte (Baum), a press agent and writer, and John J. Sheedy, Jr., an advertising executive. She is of Russian Jewish (mother) and Irish (father) descent. While at New York’s Bank Street School, 12-year-old Ally Sheedy wrote about a mythical encounter between Queen Elizabeth I and an inquisitive mouse. The result, “She Was Nice to Mice”, was published by McGraw-Hill and became an instant best seller. It was an appearance on “The Mike Douglas Show (1961) to promote her book, however, that brought Sheedy work as a performer. Signed by an agent who caught the show, she was sent out on television commercials, immediately. Only 15 at the time, she also performed off-Broadway and on a series of after-school specials. The day she turned 18, Sheedy packed her bags and headed for Los Angeles, where she enrolled in the drama department at USC, and soon landed roles in the television drama The Best Little Girl in the World (1981), The Day the Loving Stopped (1981), Splendor in the Grass (1981) and Homeroom (1981) and played a recurring character on Hill Street Blues (1981). The strength of her performances led directly to her film debut as Sean Penn’s naive-but-knowing girlfriend, “J.C.”, in Bad Boys (1983). That same year (1983), she starred as Matthew Broderick’s zany partner in WarGames (1983). After starring as Rob Lowe’s would-be romantic interest in Oxford Blues (1984), the withdrawn adolescent of The Breakfast Club (1985) and Gene Hackman’s adoring daughter in Twice in a Lifetime (1985), Sheedy played her first fully-adult role in St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), the 1985 hit about college friends.

elmo's fire

Did You Know?

Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson all portrayed college graduates in this 1985 film, the same year all three actors also portrayed high school students in John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club (1985). St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) producer Lauren Shuler Donner has said all three were cast in the film due to strong recommendations from Hughes.

The street that the St. Elmo bar is on is in the Universal back lot with several fill in buildings in between sets. About two to three buildings to the left is the Hill Valley Clock Tower from Back to the Future (1985).

The “booga-booga” cheer that the friends do when they are celebrating or just in a good mood was not originally in the script. In a later interview, Rob Lowe stated that the cheer came out of observing fans whispering about the stars of the movie and then laughing. The cheer itself makes fun of what these whispered conversations sounded like from a few feet away.

One of the bars used in the film was torn down in Washington, DC with several of the cast members in attendance.

At the time of production, actor Rob Lowe was the youngest of the lead cast and aged about nineteen years old, whilst actress Mare Winningham was the eldest having had already borne two children.

Playing roommates in the movie actors Emilio Estevez and Andrew McCarthy roomed together to prepare for their roles in the film.

The movie’s title theme song “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” was originally written for disabled three time Paralympic Games gold medalist Canadian wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen who was raising awareness on a promotional “Man in Motion Tour” for spinal cord injuries at the time the film was being made.

Shooting locations in California included sites in the Los Angeles area and at the Columbia Pictures filming facilities at The Burbank Studios.

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8 years ago

Looks like a lot of juicy drama with those love affairs! I’d want to see this movie and I love a lot of the actors in the cast.

8 years ago

I haven’t seen this movie. But it looks interesting, I’ll have to see if I can find it and watch it. Thanks for sharing!

tara pittman
8 years ago

This was a great movie. I remember this one very well.