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  • This was a great movie made better by a brilliant performance from Virginia Madsen. She was the star of the movie beyond doubt. Virginia plays a girl in a Catholic school who falls in love with a boy from a prison camp. She organizes a dance at her school just to meet him, and when she does, sparks fly all around. It's a shame that there was'nt a soundtrack that was released with this film because it has some catchy numbers. Fire With Fire is easily one of Virginia Madsen's best films. Not only does she look more beautiful than ever but she also displays her tremendous acting ability.
  • Hollywood-323 March 1999
    > I really enjoyed this movie. Virginia Madsen looks absolutely ravishing. Terrific performances from Madsen and Craig Schiffer. One of their early movies. It's not a teenage love story as some would believe, so you should really check this one out. Good music as well, the title song 'Fire with Fire' is a real treat. Rent this one NOW!
  • Two teenagers fall in love--one is in a prison camp (Craig Sheffer), the other is at a Catholic school (Virginia Madsen). He escapes and they run with the law in hot pursuit...

    I was one of the few who saw this theatrically back in 1986. I had seen Sheffer and Madsen in movies before. I knew they were good actors (although Madsen is a little better) and very physically attractive (especially Sheffer). The whole audience consisted on me and a bunch of teenage boys (I was 24 at the time). The guys hated it but I loved it! The soundtrack, the direction, the acting--all were just great. Sheffer and Madsen also worked well with each other which helped. Purportedly Madsen couldn't stand Sheffer but you'd never know it watching this movie.

    It was being pushed by the studio as an updated version of "Romeo & Juliet" (the similarities are there) without the unhappy ending. But with no stars to "sell" it this died quickly and disappeared. That's too bad--it's one of the better teen romances of the 80s. See it if you get a chance.
  • I am in my 30's now and i saw this movie when it was released. it has stayed with me all these years. for any romantic young teen it is a must! i have not revisited it in years but specific images are still very clear in my memory. i will rent it soon!
  • I saw this movie only 2 days ago..and it has turned into one of my favorites. Their chemistry is incredible, for you start to believe their passion for each other is real.Trust me, don't waste your time trying to find a 1980's movie with a good love story, watch this one! This movie makes you feel happy,intense,and love stricken.Once you watch it, you can never forget it. It is one of those movies where you will always remember watching.The first time you watch it, you will want to play it over again. For any hopeless romantic person wanting to watch a good romantic drama, well with this movie you are in for one. So take a chance with this movie, you won't regret it.
  • Boy sees girl, girl sees boy, they fall in love and everything's great! It could be if wasn't the fact the boy's detained on a juvenile facility while the girl is studying on a girl's institution run by nuns. So, the young couple's challenge is try to visit each other, escaping from the places they're stuck, disobeying its authorities and rules.

    "Fire with Fire" is short and sweet (maybe too sweet), simple, heavily clichéd, doesn't have much space for originality or clever moments, yet it's good to watch. Maybe because Craig Sheffer and Virginia Madsen made a nice couple, or perhaps because the kind of situation they're in is something some of us might have dreamed , who knows, but there's some bright appeal in here. Better: perhaps because we don't have flicks like this one now. Yes, it's corny, silly and very predictable (even though the ending isn't really what we were hoping for, could have been more plausible), but it's totally enjoyable.

    Worths of a view for some inspiring and cool moments like the ball planned by the girls school to "help" the poor boys of the facility in dealing with their problems, the awkwardness between boys and girls before dancing with each other; the couple dancing to the sound of "Slave to Love"; Sheffer's best friend, the funny mapmaker (J.J. Cohen) who helps him in escaping from their prison; and Jon Polito playing the chief of security of the boys facility.

    A sweet escape, very unpretentious and a good entertainment. 6/10
  • kbouck3 November 1999
    I saw this movie for the first time about 10 years ago when I was still a teenager. I fell absolutely in love with Craig Sheffer. Virginia Madsen looked absolutely beautiful in this movie and this is truly one of the most underrated romances of all time. The love story between Lisa( Virgina Madsen) a catholic school girl and Joe (Craig Sheffer) an honor camp prisoner was beautifully created and even dance scene had some funny parts to it. I thought the ending was awesome. The soundtrack to the film was also good except one was never officially made.A definite must see for anyone who loves a good romance. I give this 8/10 stars.
  • Mick-13918 February 1999
    A very romantic tale, made specially for teenagers girls, who certainly, will be seduced by the situations. Here we have Graig Sheffer and Virginia Madsen in the beginning of their careers. It's not a big production, but has the ingredients for a good "Romeo and Juliet of the 80s" (a beautiful couple in love, a youth climax and some obstacles for they love). Worth seeing, specially for romantic teenagers.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Why is it that the 80s produced so many great movies? Uncanny but true.

    Have been recently one by one re-discovering them but on the strength of comments from this site and the obvious talent of Virginia Madsen both then and now, I found and bought this on DVD.

    All in all this is a very entertaining movie where 2 teenagers fall in love - Madsen the teenage Catholic schoolgirl and Craig Sheffer as the Prison Camp bad boy. They seem to interact very well together in this movie - some great scenes especially the dance sequence.

    They fight all foes to be together: her parents, the Nuns at the Catholic School and the Prison Camp Boss ... scenery is fantastic in this movie and the music to die for - again the 80s produced some great music - Huey Lewis, Price, Bryan Ferry the list goes on.

    Madsen as an actress in her mid twenties really carries off this teenage role - perhaps in the best performance of her 80s career. She does an excellent job in this one - you really believe she is a school girl from the soft voice to the hair, the eyes, the school uniform.

    Sheffer as Joe Fisk also is very good as the bad boy with 1 redeeming quality his love for Lisa Taylor Madsen's character - he is in a word - very attractive in this movie. They share humor, danger and their love for each other in this movie in their attempt to escape the forces that chase after them at the end ... will leave the ending for you to watch yourself! As for music some of it seems unavailable - but one of the songs "I'm In It For Love" by James House - a version of this song by Donny Osmond is on his Soldier of Love album ... also on a Best of product as well ...

    Nonetheless great entertaining movie from the 80s
  • I have loved this movie since I was a kid. I have a tradition with my daughter (who is now an adult), of showing her all of the great movies I loved when I was growing up....pretty woman, Beaches, Desperately seeking Susan..ect. This is one of the movies we watched together. Over 20 years later, and this is still one of my favorites, and also became a favorite of my Daughter's. Virginia Madson was amazing in this movie. I highly recommend this movie, it will always be great.
  • Saw a pic of Virginia Madden and remembered this movie from my youth. It was a really good teen love story, and kept me a fan of hers for years to come. If you get a chance, check it out. It's worth your time.
  • ahlehs31 July 2007
    just like everyone else post their comments. i love this movie so much. my sister and i rented this movie way back in 87. we watched this over and over again. its just too bad there's no soundtrack available in the market. i also wanted to buy a copy for my collection. where can i bought it? CD or DVD will do. i'm dying to have a copy of this. i love to watch it again. even though, i've seen this movie 20 years ago, i still cannot forget the scene at the dance. Craig sheffer and Virginia madsen did great on this movie. they have chemistry. the holing hands, their eyes. the way they look at each other plus the song. oh my! i love the song I'M IN IT FOR LOVE. please please, if you know where can i buy it. please email me.
  • Next to "Electric dreams", this is my FAVORITE Virginia Madsen movie.

    Though you would not expect her to always play such an angelic creature, if she had been more thoughtful in her choice of future roles, she probably would have avoided the big 'crash and burn' that her career would later go through.

    But considering the love story, this was almost perfect !!!

    Also, since she played this when she was well into her 20's, obviously this was among her last 'teen' roles, and what makes this so enjoyable is Virginia's ageless beauty, and that she is able to pull this off.

    She also seems to present a great deal of herself in this role; like her obvious love of music and photography, and her not being able to cook !!! Well, who knows !!! In any event, the tastefulness in the love scenes are also a plus !!! Though she would go on to play more adult roles, and turn strongly towards 'femme-fatales', it is good to return to something like this, to show how well she can play the virginial innocent.

    Too bad she didn't stick to what she was good at, perhaps either Hollywood didn't have much to offer her, or she decided to experiment in other genre,

    But after "Sideways", she will have nothing more to be sorry about.
  • MySplitPersonality23 August 2001
    Even though this movie is kinda old, i really really love to watch it over and over again..its one GREAT love story..that IS DEFINITELY WORTH SEEING! trust won't regret..the acting is wonderful and the movie is perfect..i especially love the ending!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Shakespeare knew his stuff, but there does not always have to be a tragic ending. Joe and Lisa find a way to defy everything that stands in their way. Love conquers all! This is supposed to be based on a true story, and I know it parallels my life... More than twenty years later and this movie still makes my heart beat faster as I root for the young lovers to beat all odds! With beautiful sweet scenes that make your heart melt and exciting edge-of-your-seat moments that have you screaming for the bad guys to falter, Fire With Fire makes it all real. When the love of my life and I find ourselves in a challenging situation, all I have to say is "Fire With Fire, baby!" Cheesy though it may be, this is a love story that truly holds up well over the years. What a horrible shame that there is no soundtrack available as the music is brilliant. And when will it be coming out on DVD?!?
  • chow9137 September 2013
    Since it's not clear which came first the juvenile offender boot camp, or the Catholic school for girls, I don't know whom to blame. But the mere fact that these two facilities are only a few hundred feet away from each other screams, "TROUBLE BREWING!" What could possibly be a more dangerous combination? A toxic waste dump next to a farm? A daycare center next to an attack dog training school? Or a nuclear plant next to an artillery range? Anyway... despite its unrealistic plot premise this really is a great forbidden love film.

    Craig Sheffer stars as a hunk from the wrong side of the tracks now imprisoned in an "honor" boot camp without any wall or fences. Come on! That's just too tempting. Give them at least one fence with razor wire.

    The camp's ONLY security is Jon Polito randomly threatening people with his double barrel shot gun. Shockingly the young Jon Polito isn't fat but he's still bald. Much like Patrick Stewart and Kevin Spacey he never had hair at any point in his life.

    Since this is Hollywood only 10% of the prisoners are token blacks. Everyone else is a clean shaven English speaking Caucasian. Or perhaps the camp represents those criminals too clean to be in a real jail where everyone is black, has AIDS, and is gang affiliated.

    The camp doesn't really seem that bad as we are never shown any horrors of prison life like gang rapes, beatings, or harsh conditions. Again, it's unclear if this is the film's intention to show a nice camp or just careless for not showing any hardships? Craig Sheffer predictably falls for Princess Irulan of 'Dune' (Virginia Madsen) during a dance arranged by the nuns for their sex starved teenage girls and the camps' criminal teenage boys. Again, this is just asking for trouble! The dance scene will go down in history as the only film to feature Prince's 'Computer Blue' besides 'Purple Rain' itself.

    It's love at first sight for Sheffer and Madsen whom predictably agree to escape their respective prisons and meet later for a tryst at... a mausoleum. I've heard about people being too cheap to get a motel room but a mausoleum is just ridiculous. Are they trying to put on a show for the people inside? Sex in a mausoleum is just plain wrong even if both partners are alive.

    Sheffer and Madsen's run off into the sunset also provides for even more unrealistic sequences, such as their race through the school electronic gate. See? Even the school has a gate. The boot camp should learn from the nuns. And Madsen failing to hear a helicopter approach until it's only a few feet away from her.

    As I said, don't try and take this film too seriously otherwise you won't enjoy it. It's cute 80s fun.
  • rogersjctt4 October 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    this is one of my favorite movies of the '80s. me and my best friend went to see it the week it opened in my home state. we just adored everything about it! Virginia and Craig, as Joe and Lisa, are simply beautiful together. the romance between those two Rocks. has the Best dance sequence, in my humble opinion, in any film I've seen. trust me,people, That's how a dance should be! along with the romance, you get both action and humor. the soundtrack, which I'd still wish would be released, it fabulous! it also has gorgeous looking scenery. honestly, you won't go wrong by viewing this film. get it a whirl, see if I'm right!
  • I really loved this movie when I saw it back in 2000. A friend and I had rented it and watched it over and over. If you love romance movies, then you should watch it especially for the scene at the school dance. The music playing, the whole setup. That was probably one of the best scenes in a romance movie to date. Sure, the acting wasn't Oscar worthy, but they did their part in making you believe they would have done anything for each other. I am a big fan of Virginia Madsen and she really did steel the scenes she was in, but Craig Sheffer is wonderful to look at and plays a great "bad boy". To all those hopeless romantics out there, its a fun one for a rainy Saturday afternoon.
  • When I saw this movie for the first time I was going through a hard time. I was a lonely teenager and I felt that love would never come to me. This movie made me dream and believe that unexpectedly love would appear in my life. Joe is the perfect man; he is beautiful, romantic and so in love with life.... Lisa is also beautiful and I think all teenagers would like to be like her. They live a story who talks about freedom. A love without frontiers that always win... it's a simple movie, but the beauty lives in simple things. I'm sorry that the sound track is not available. If anybody loves this movie like me, contact me...
  • I saw fire with fire for the first time when I was 11 years old and fell in love with it, then as an adult found it again in the video store. I now own two copies of it and watch one of them over and over again (the other is sealed still hehe) This movie is so much like my real life it isn't funny and makes me remember the times I had to struggle in the same way with the love of my life :0) but, when your meant to be........your meant to be, and no one can keep you apart :0) You have to watch this movie.....if you like romance, comedy (oh I thought you said radish hehe) when you watch the movie you will get it, or if you just love to see the good guys win! I give it a 9 :)

  • Craig Sheffer was a promising actor since "A River Runs Through it" probably his best work ever, something happened in his career, this picture starts well, point out a creative sequence on the lake, Virginia Madsen as Lisa was like an angel floating on clear waters, really an astonishing scene, Sheffer as Joe a young inmate who serve a small sentence of Prison camp, maybe by little mistakes at his age, John "Thin"Polito was the Boss of the camp, which ruled by heavy hands, a cruel mad dog, insane and bloodthirsty, they falling in love, too sugary to my taste, Joe escape at night to meet her at Cemetery, the Boss track down and finds them, even in prison he escapes to unknown place, at last the movie reach the highest point, a breathtaking landscape provides a perfect backdrop to close so imaginative ending having the tireless Boss at their boots!!!


    First watch: 2019 / How many: 1 / Source: DVD-R / Rating: 7
  • Warning: Spoilers

    Joe (Craig Sheffer) is in a boy's correctional camp for driving a car that he did not own into a department store window. The movie starts with the camp's Boss (Jon Polito) directing Joe on a run and having a bunch of other boys chase after him. While Joe traverses the woods he spots Lisa (Virginia Madsen) posing for a picture that she is taking of herself. Lisa gets a glimpse of Joe before he runs off. Later they notice each other again when they walk into the same movie house. Because it is against the rules for Lisa to visit Joe in his correctional camp she advises a plan in the form of a school dance to get them together, but this soon proves not to be enough time together for the couple so Joe plans with his best friend the Mapmaker (J.J. Cohen) to find a romantic getaway for two.

    Character Development

    Like Romeo and Juliet this is a tale of love that was not meant to be and pretty much all the character development that took place was in this relationship. All the other characters were lightweight and one dimensional, which at times reacted poorly just so the plot could be moved along.


    The principal actors did a fine job and some of the other cast did pull their weight. Others did a little over acting like Jon Polito playing the character "Boss". One reaction that stood out as comical was when an officer aimed a rifle at the lovers and someone had to knock the gun up in the air and it went off. That is definitely going overboard on the drama and not making it realistic.


    For an 80s film it does seem a little dated and with the only characters of interest being the two lovers there is something to be said about this not being the best of films. Still if you desperately wanted to see Virginia Madsen in one of her earlier features this would be a good bet because the one film that I really would like to see released onto the market is "Electric Dreams" (1984). I thought that was a much better film and one that is nearly impossible to get a copy of, though they do sell the soundtrack. It is funny how in that movie she is playing a young woman who is much older than the character Lisa in "Fire with Fire", even though she was two years older in that younger role.
  • The title song "Fire with Fire," by Wild Blue is one of those perfectly catchy 80s tunes that make you dance like a dork.

    Virginia Madsen. What can I say? Simply exquisite, and you don't have to feel like a creepy perv, because she was not really a teen. Heck, Craig Scheffer is quite a self-assured stud himself. Interesting that neither ever hit it really big.

    Beautiful scenery in British Columbia. I needed much more character development. That was the big problem. Her character was especially shallow and vague, although we do see her hobby and talent.

    Catholic boarding school did not look fun. Yet I hate the way these films depict religion as being only a buzz-kill, without any redeeming value. I do however understand why a teen would feel stifled at such a place.

    This picture was missing something. I didn't really care about the leads, and that detracted from my enjoyment. I also think the villain was too small and chunky to be taken seriously, and you never find out why he is the way he is, nor why he hates the Scheffer character, unless I missed it.
  • I have adored this film since it released in 1986. I know every line and every beautiful scene by heart...yet it never gets old. This is the trademark of any truly great film. Plus it's timeless. Hey, I'm not saying it's in the same league of "Gone with the Wind". I'm simply telling you that it is a wonderful teenage love story. And it contains so much powerful chemistry, angst and present day challenges between teens, that this makes it a timeless love story.

    The WAY these two look at each other is to DIE for. Great acting! This definitely put Virginia Madsen on the map - and thankfully, she's so back and better than ever today! AND unlike "Pretty in Pink" and "St. Elmo's Fire" this film is not about the 80's. It's just a wonderful little love story with a classic undertone, "good girl falls for bad boy".

    Enjoy it with the 16 year old heart that still beats inside of you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A young teenager (Craig Sheffer) from a prison camp falls in love with a young teenager (Virginia Madsen) in a Catholic School. Their current predicaments are preventing them from seeing each other as much as they want too, so they plan to evade the law, and run away together.

    Ah, yes. Young love. I thought this movie was OK. The story itself is potentially powerful, but that's the key word "potentially" The movie fails to capitalize on its immense potential, and instead goes a rather conventional route for the most part. My main problem with this movie is the underdevelopment of the two leads. Craig Sheffer (Joe) and Virginia Madesen (Lisa) we are only given a brief explanation as to why Joe is in a prison camp, and we barely know anything about Lisa. Not to mention that their love story feels awfully contrived and fairly bland as well. I didn't buy them as a couple fully in love, no matter how hard they tried to make me do so. Sheffer and Madsen's performances are fine, but they aren't given enough to work with, and that's a crying shame, because the potential for a classic romance film was here. They just lacked that special connection I was looking for. The ending will most likely split viewers in half. It is happy, but some will like its ambiguity, others will be like me, and not care for it too much. It kind of ended abruptly for my liking, after a fairly exciting chase in the woods. The song "Fire with Fire" Is an unheralded 80's classic, though.

    Final Thoughts: It's far from terrible. It certainly keeps your attention, but it's just sort of there, and disappointing. Worth a look, but keep your expectations in check

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