14 December 2009

Random musings and St. Erasmus of Formiae

Yesterday, for what reason I do not know, I watched St. Elmo's Fire for the first time in forever. A few comments and observations:

1. Yes, the movie was as 1980's cheesy as I remember it.

2. In the same year, Brat Pack-ers Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy played recent college grads (St. Elmo's Fire) and high school students (The Breakfast Club).

3. As many people know, "St. Elmo's Bar" is based upon The Tombs, a popular and iconic bar about a block from Georgetown's campus. When I attended Georgetown, my classes were primarily at night, and I remember stopping in for a few drinks after classes. Maybe I didn't stay late enough, or go often enough on the weekends, but the atmosphere just wasn't the same in the late 90s as it apparently was in 1985 (not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation). In fact, I hadn't seen the movie in so long that during my entire time at Georgetown I had completely forgotten that The Tombs was the inspiration for the movie.

4. While the "inside the bar" scenes were shot on a sound stage, apparently at least some of the exterior scenes were shot in Georgetown, but not at The Tombs. Instead the location was Third Edition, a bar located at 1218 Wisconsin Avenue (a few blocks to the east). Although I can't really tell from the movie. Completely unrelated, except for the reference to Wisconsin Avenue, is Rocklands BBQ, which is also located on Wisconsin Avenue. Although they must have moved further up north, because I could have sworn they were once located at the Georgetown end of Wisconsin.

5. Another part I did not remember was that the campus of Georgetown University was not included in any part of the movie. Instead, the few campus scenes were filmed at the University of Maryland.

6. In one scene, Rob Lowe's character Billy Hicks returns to his old frat house on campus to play football with his college buddies. Georgetown does not recognize any fraternities or sororities, and (unless I am mistaken) there are no such houses on the campus.

7. In the opening scene, Billy gets arrested for drunk driving. He gets released and they apparently go right back to the bar? Really? There is an unnatural obsession with drinking, smoking and drugs. Of course, much of this is a reflection of the times. But still.

8. And finally, completely unrelated except for the title. This reminded me of an instance during an EA-6B flight from Whidbey Island to San Diego (or maybe it was the other way around) when our crew experienced an interesting case of real life St. Elmo's Fire, which appeared near the refueling probe just in front of the cockpit.
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