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St Elmo’s Fire

Year: 1985
Director: Joel Schumacher
Writer: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Mare Winningham
The movie that defined the generation that grew up in the 1980s. What other story spoke to Generation Xers about the gulf between being an irresponsible kid and the world of adulthood and how to leap between them with heart, soul and self respect intact.

The characters are the story; the Peter Pan archetype in Billy (Lowe), the overachiever who can see the path to the top in Alec (Nelson), to the point where he starts to lose the woman his loves, Leslie (Sheedy). There's Jules (Moore, the only one whose career continued throughout her own adulthood), the party girl whose refusal to grow up might do her serious harm, Kevin (McCarthy), the sensitive loner with a deep secret, Kirby (Estevez), the idealist who has to learn that life - and love - aren't like the movies and Wendy, a nice girl trying to keep her heart together in a hostile world.

The film follows the ensemble cast through their trials and tribulations and examines the angst, dislocation and pain of growing up when you're butting heads against people you respect, want to be like, and love.

It both starred and helped crystallise the brat Pack that made some of the most memorable films of the 80s, and this is one of the finest among them. It also produced one of the most enduring instrumental tracks of the time and a writer/director who'd go far and continues to run the gamut of filmed entertainment across genres.

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