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I first watched this film when I was very young, probably around 10 years old and since then, it has always been one of my favourites. I was recently working nights and got talking about films and found out that my colleague had never seen this film so I took it into work and watched it once more.
Stand By me is based on the short story 'The Body' which was written by Stephen King. The film is narrated by one of the main characters in the film, Gordie Lachance. He narrates the film as a 40 something man, with children who is looking back on his life, at a time when he was 12 years old.
Gordie and his three friends set out on the biggest adventure of their lives when they decide to go and find the body of a missing boy who was the same age as them. They're plan is to find the body and as a result, get fame and fortune.
However, they come across many problems along the way, one of them being a local gang of bullies, known as the Cobra's who have the same ideas as they do. The big question is who gets to the body first and what each of the boys discovers about themselves and each other on their journey?
Personally, seeing as I was only born in 1984, most of the cast are not names that I am familiar with. Having said that, this doesn't change the fact that although there may not be many 'big names' starring in this film - I would still class it as an all time classic and a must see for everyone.
Bearing in mind this was released in 1986, the biggest star in the film at the time was River Phoenix who died of a drugs overdose, aged only 23. Phoenix was only 16 when he starred in this film and I think he gives an amazing performance. He plays Chris Chambers who comes from the local 'rough family' of alcoholics and criminals. Everyone knows he is never going to make anything of himself because of this, despite that fact that he is actually a really bright lad. Chris and Gordie are best friends and the bond they share is beautiful to watch throughout the film - although they are entirely different and come from very different family, they have un-unbreakable bond.
Vern Tessio is played by Jerry O'Connel. Vern is the typical fat kid who always gets picked on by everyone else and the rest of the gang always take the micky out of him as he is an easy target. Jerry O'Connel was only 11 years old, and the youngest member of the cast when he starred in this film. It is very difficult to believe that he grew up to play his roles in Jerry McGuire and Scream and he is actually quite a good looking man, although you would never have guessed it from seeing this film.
Teddy DuChamp is played by Corey Feldman. Teddy is a bizarre little boy, whose dad turned crazy and is locked away in the local nut house. You can see that Teddy adores his family, although you never understand why because he Dad treated him awfully, once pinning him down and burning half his ear off! Corey Feldman has starred in lots of films; the main ones I know of are Gremlins, The Goonies and The Lost Boys.
Gordie LaChance is played by Will Wheaton. He narrates the film and is best friends with Chris Chambers. Gordie is the quiet boy of the group who enjoys telling stories and writing. As the film progresses, we discover that Will's older brother, who was adored by his parents, died in a car accident. His parents haven't coped very well with the death and as a result, Will is practically ignored by his father. You can see this has a deep affect on him.
Another member of the cast is a very young Keifer Sutherland who actually has a relatively small role, playing a member of the rival gang. However, he is probably the actor with the most success out of the entire cast.
The reason why I love this film so much is because when you break it down, it is actually a very simple film. There are no big fighting scenes or massive special effects; it simply follows four young boys on a journey of self discovery. The film really gets across the fact that one event can change someone's life totally.
This film really makes me reminisce about my life and friends that have come and gone throughout it. At the very end of the film, Gordie is writing his memoirs (and narrating it to the viewer) and he says one simple statement that I think is very true. He is informing the viewer about what happened to each of the characters 20 years later and at the very end he says; "Although I had not seen him in over ten years, I know I will miss him forever. I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?" I love this statement because I think it is so true, everyone has a time in their life that will stand out for them as being an amazing point in their life. Mine is when I was at college between the ages of 17-19, when I had an amazing group of friends and we did the craziest things. Although most of us are settled or in different countries and don't see each other like we used to, nothing will ever be able to take away my amazing memories of our time together and Stand By Me really brings that point home.
Normally I don't find the extras that come with the DVD very interesting but I thoroughly enjoyed watching the extra for Stand By Me. It shows interviews with the cast, obviously excluding River Phoenix.
Many parts of the film are explained to you which makes you think about things from a different perspective and understand why certain things were included. For example, there is a scene involving leaches which you learn comes from Stephen King's childhood.
One part I did find amusing what that apparently Keifer Sutherland (who plays a bully in the film) stayed on character for the duration of filming so the four younger boys were genuinely scared of him.
Personally I bought this DVD on eBay where I got it for the bargain price of £1 and free postage! It is also available at all the normal online stores such as amazon and play.
As you have probably gathered, I love, love, love this film! It is really easy watching and gives across a very simple yet extremely affective message. I wouldn't really class this as a feel good film as there are parts which are sad but I love films that make you sit back and think about your own character and the way you live you life, and for me, this film really does that. Another great bonus of this film is the soundtrack which features songs such as Stand By Me - Ben E King, Everyday - Buddy Holly and Great Balls Of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis.
Well I am sure most of you have seen this old classic film Stand By me made in 1986. The film is a where a writer is recounting a boyhood journey to find a missing body, he starts off by telling his story, and then it goes back into his youth days.
The four friends find out about a dead body and decide to go on a long journey to find the missing body. The friends have some fun, some tears and some anger. They also encounter problems that they come across along the way, including having to escape a moving train, leaches attacking them, having a dog set on them, and also having knives shoved in their faces. How will this story end, will they find the body and what will they do once they find it. Well if you have not watched the film you will need to, to find out what happens.
Gordie played by Wil Wheaton, seems to be the quiet and shy one, but he will not let any one stand in his way of what he is going for, his brother had died four months previously and he has found that very hard to cope with, so this journey helps him to escape his problems for a while. The part is played very well, and you can really sympathise with this character in the film.
Chris played by River Phoenix seems to be the closest person to Gordie in this film, and they talk to each other about things. Chris is more out spoken than Gordie and he will not take any rubbish off anyone and he seems to stand his ground, he is yet another well played out character.
Teddy played by Corey Feldman is the really loud mouthed one, who will stand up to any one, but he is agitated by the fact that his dad is mental and a drunk too. And gets really annoyed at anyone who says anything bad about his dad. Corey is a really great actor and I loved the role he played in this film.
Vern played by Jerry O'Connell is the larger sized one that does seem a little bit of an outcast from the group and with not too much in the way of brains. His heart always seems in the right place but any sign of trouble he would try to run. This is another part that was played really well.
These were the main four stars of this film, there was others but I have only mentioned the main roles, as these are who you see most of the way through.
My overall opinion
As I said this is a classic film, I will however say I did enjoy this more when I was younger than I did yesterday when I watched it. The stunts during the film is really good though that they have to do. The acting is also really good, but I do feel that the story for the film could have been a little better, especially as it is a Stephen King film.
I did enjoy watching this though and I would recommend it to watch, but I do think there are better films out there these days. Plus its not a film I would really like my kids to see with the amount of swearing and also the fact that kids are smoking in it. But I would when they get a little bit older and I do think that they would enjoy the film. I was in my teens when I first watched this and I really enjoyed it. Maybe I have just outgrown this film now.
REVIEW INFO: This review was first published on Ciao.co.uk, under the account name b00t, which is rightfully mine. Its design has been optimized for Dooyoo.co.uk, but its contents remain the same! Please don't plagiarize and rate honestly! Enjoy.
I must say, this was a really enjoyable movie for me. The reason for this is, because in it I found characters which heavily reminded me of my friends and I when we were about their age. Despite the fact that the movie is very old and this might be enough of a turn-off for many viewers, I wouldn't pass this classic movie for the world!
The story centers around 4 youngsters, who go on a long journey to find the missing body of a local boy, but on their way there they discover something of far greater value - the meaning of true friendship. As their adventure progresses, they learn why friends are a key part for survival in this cruel world (despite perhaps not fully realising it) and that they can even save your butt in tough times! The movie is narrated by one of the four kids' viewpoint - Gordie Lachance, who recalls their greatest adventure as children.
The movie is based on a short story called "The Body", written by none other than Stephen King himself. The film follows the novella closely and the differences are minor.
[CAST, CHARACTERS & ACTING]
The movie is known to feature big names and in all cases, the movie gives them a high rating (at least in my book). Here they are, in order of how much the actors have impressed me with their performance:
-River Phoenix (Chris Chambers) - in my opinion, his performance in this movie is the most memorable one. It's a shame his fate was so grim. But I'm sure he's proud for participating in such a great movie.
He plays the leader of the gang and the vibe you get when you see him is that he's just a common delinquent, but as the movie progresses we see that's far from the truth and that he's got more heart than expected, he cares about his friends and knows how to protect them.
- Kiefer Sutherland (Ace Merrill) - Before "24", Kiefer had some other great performances and this is one of them!
His role is that of a ruthless punk, who is trying to prevent the four kids from finding the dead body, for his own selfish reasons. We've all seen people like this and this character is a great stereotype of what we were (or still are) used to see and forcedly tolerate.
- Wil Wheaton (Gordie Lachance) - I can not say much about the actor, but I can safely say that his acting in this particular movie was great and very believable.
He plays the main character, the character who "has it all" - as in, we can all relate to some of the things he experiences.
And of course, there are Corey Feldman (Teddy Duchamp) & Jerry O'Connel (Vern Tessio) who also perfectly show what their characters are about. But to me, they were less significant and more "in the shadows".
Overall, however, the acting is superb. Probably the best child acting I have ever seen and heard.
[WHAT I PARTICULARLY ENJOYED ABOUT 'STAND BY ME']
Here are some things that grabbed my attention and left a positive mark after I watched "Stand By Me":
1. The title fits perfectly for the described situations in the film.
2. There is a little bit of the characters in all of us, if we dare to look deep enough to find out.
3. The movie is very inspiring and thought-provoking.
Overall, this is a really nice movie to watch, if you're in the right mood. The acting is phenomenal (keep in mind they are only kids), the story is great and the message is delivered accross! Don't miss this one, I can assure you it was time well spent!
Based on 'The Body', a short story by Stephen King, Stand By Me is a coming of age tale of four boys who decide to go on an overnight trek across the countryside to find a dead body. Aside from the rather basic plot, this is actually a deep and meaningful interaction between four friends, as narrated by one of them, now an adult.
Richard Dreyfuss plays the narrator, Gordie Lachance, now a writer and recounting the story from his memory after one of his close friends dies and reminds him of it. As he flashes back, we see the four friends meet up and the interaction starts. Aside from a few scenes involving some older boys and one where the boys break into a junk yard, it's just the four of them nearly all the way, and this is what makes the film magical.
Any kid who has experienced what they consider an 'adventure' will likely be able to relate to this: it's a tale of innocence and pure determination, and is fantastically acted. The kids could not be more different if they tried. Jerry O'Connell plays Vern, the chubby and easily led kid who is naive and rather gullible; Corey Feldman plays wild child Teddy Duchamp who is on edge all the time; River Phoenix is cool as a cucumber Chris Chambers; and Wil Wheaton plays our narrator, nervous and polite Gordie who is just a very nice kid. It's a great combination of characters, and to be able to act as well as they do in this is highly commendable - it's no surprise they've all continued along acting careers since, even if Phoenix's life was cut short not long into his twenties.
Here, though, the boys are all about to enter their teens, and the conversation very much follows it, tales of school and parents and friends and rumours and ghost stories litter the non stop chatter and banter between the boys, and with a stellar 50s soundtrack to boot, you can't help have a smile on your face as they go about their merry way. Indeed, it's a mark of the innocence of childhood that all nerves disappear despite the fact they're on the way to find a missing body and they've never spent a night away from home before without adult supervision. Camping out in the wilderness doesn't even seem to dawn on them as dangerous until they're actually doing it.
You even get a bit of a back story with Gordie, as he mourns the death of his older brother (played by John Cusack) and receives no love from his parents. We're not so lucky with the other kids, but the inclusion of some of the other kids' older brother's gang is a key part to the tale. Led by Kiefer Sutherland, they're a rather violent gang of older teenagers who also know about the whereabouts of the body, and they are known by our four heroes for being bullies with no remorse. This is key to the coming of age element in the tale, and you get the feeling that a certain sort of confrontation will happen at some point.
Rob Reiner's direction is excellent. The timing of each scene is perfect, and the way the distance is done and the panoramic scenery is filmed really sets the mood and makes things very believable indeed. It's the sort of film that makes you want to live in that era, or to relive your childhood at least, and you get a certain amount of envy for these four who are obviously so comfortable with each other that they don't mind sharing things. There's even a moment where the four are having a little tussle before they realise they're covered in leeches that is very poignant and also reflects on the coming of age, where you see just how close they are. You get the impression they'd go to the ends of the earth for each other.
As the film pans away with Dreyfuss' voice talking to us sounding like the voice from 'The Wonder Years', there's a certain sense of reminiscence about the whole thing, and it's hard to accept that the film, just like this particular tale, is over. However, there's absolutely nothing stopping you rewatching the film over and over again. I certainly have, and I highly recommend watching it. Great stuff from start to finish that'll have you singing, smiling, laughing, and maybe even crying.
Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern are 4 close friends who are about to make their friendship stronger. Vern overhears his brother taking when he is under the porch looking for his penny jar which he buried and hid, he overhears them talking about a boy which they hit n the car when travelling a few days earlier. They speak of the body being at the end of the rail track and how they hope it will not be discovered.
Vern tells his friends what he has heard and they all decided that they will go and investigate the body themselves. It is a hard decision for Gordie to make as a few moths earlier his older brother was killed but he thinks that by seeing the body he will somehow be able to get over the death. With their bags packed and lies told to their parents the boys set off on their way.
Will the gang make it to the body, what will they face along the way and will it leave these boys without their childhood innocence if they do make it?
I have only given a very brief plot outline for this film as it is really only a basic one but told in such a way it has you hooked and I just don't want to spoil it for those who may not have seen it yet. I did find that despite being a basic plot I was hooked from the first 10 minutes of the film as the acting and way the story came across was excellent. I did enjoy how a serious story could have some light heartedness to it with the way the boys acted and the things which they got up to as it showed just how naive and innocent the boys were at that age.
The acting from me was excellent and the cast included, Will Wheaton who played Gordie, he was a sad character in a way as he was almost invisible to his parents and not just since the death of his older brother but before this he was always in his shadow and it was only ever his brother who took an interest in his life. I think he came across as a needy boy who wanted the closeness he got from his friends. River Phoenix played the role of Chris and he was the leader of the gang who nearly always lead the way and had a fag packet tucked into the sleeve of his t shirt. I think he was such a good friend to Geordie and told him he must follow his dreams and work hard to achieve all he wanted to be, he was more of a father role than his own father was to him. I did like how strong his character was and the chemistry which was present between both him and Will Wheaton.
The other two boys were played by Jerry O'Connell and Keifer Sutherland and they too were very good but I think the acting of the other two did outshine these slightly. They did bring a lot of different elements to the film and it did give some diversity to the gang. I did enjoy who the role of Vern was always daft and gave us a few good giggles.
The film was shot on location with the boys travelling along the train tracks in the countryside so we did get some wonderful views of the countryside. I think these only added to the film and one part which really stood out view wise was when the boys were trying to cross the bridge with only enough room for a train to pass as we got an amazing view and also a giggle at Vern! The film was set back in the 1960's and this was very apparent from the clothes and the props which were used. One big thing I noticed was the lack of technology and also the use of a steam train as this would not be used in today's times. I loved how everything still managed to work and jobs get done without all the gadgets and electrical items which are used in modern times and I loved how the children had to make their own fun and not rely on the TV and computer games to be entertained, I think this is one big thing which is so lacking today and this film only pin points that more.
The music was good but I think the constant use of the title track 'Stand By Me' was slightly too much. I did only notice a few other tracks which were used and for me I just felt this song was overplayed and I was getting slightly bored of hearing it towards the end of the film. There were no real special effects in this film but it still all looked good and authentic. I think that even though this film was made back in 1986 it would still stand up in today's market and give some of the modern films a run for their money.
The certificate on this film is a 15 and I do think this is slightly high, I would personally put this film at 12. The running time is 1 hour and 25 minutes and I found this to be a good length with the storyline moving at a great pace from start to finish. I managed to get this DVD for just £3 in Tesco and I think this is a bargain price.
I do think this film deserves a full 5 stars as it has a powerful storyline which is only enhanced by the excellent acting from the 4 childhood stars. Definitely one everyone should see at least once.
I watched Stand by Me on DVD recently after watching it years ago not long after it's release in 1987. It is based on a book called 'The Body' by Stephen King and is a really good movie in my opinion and is another coming of age film featuring some young actors.
It involves four boys who are all sort of misfits in their lives and form a strong bond together when they go on an adventure to try and solve the mystery of a boy from a nearby town who has gone missing. With this mission they manage to find themselves and discover who they really are. The actual story is told as a flashback with narration by the adult version of one of the characters.
The setting for the movie is spectacular which adds to the movie's charm and appeal and is set in Castle Rock, Oregon in 1959. The narrator and main character is Gordie Lachance. He lives with his family who are still grieving following the death of his older brother a year before in car accident. His best friend is Chris Chambers who is bright and strong but from a troubled family. Then there is Teddy Duchamp who is a wild misfit whose father was a war hero but is prone to some fits of rage from time to time that can involve abuse. Finally there is Vern Tessio who tries to never offend anyone and keeps himself to himself.
As the summer ends the mystery begins as a boy named Ray Brower has vanished. Vern and Chris's older brothers find the body by mistake and they overhear them talking about it. So the four boys set off an adventure so they can be the ones to find the body and alert the authorities almost to fit in with the community.
This a great movie that has great scenery and even better acting that make it all seem very believable. It is a real exploration of each other and that they can fit in and they become stronger through their experiences. They each have their own demons to contend with and live with which they try to overcome together.
This film is quite possibly my favourite film of all time. I first watched it in an English lesson to analyse the context of it for a media studies lesson, so it is classed as an educational film as well as for entertainment. Ever since then I've loved it. It's heart warming, funny, sad, exciting and touching. I advise it for anyone who's looking for a quite night in reminiscing about childhood memories and remembering the adventures that had with their own friends as children. It's about a group of male friends who go off on an adventure to look for a missing boy, who they heard had died on the train track. This journey includes the camping experience of the boys in the woods, scared, but safe with each other, and along the way they encounter many other troubles, not just physical things such as their meeting with leeches and their rivals, eyeball and his gang , but moral situations, such as whether or not they should continue following the educational route people expect them to take (not a particularly good education, landing them in jail) or should they fight back for what they believe in and make a stand (objecting to becoming a criminal, as everyone expects and becoming a lawyer). The film shows that with the help of your friends you really can achieve what you have always dreamed so long as you persist along the way. A real heart wrenching, yet heart warming experience for all!
I believe Sundays are meant for staying indoors, in your pyjamas all day and watching a feel good film. "Stand by Me" is one of my favourite films for a Sunday. It successfully brings back childhood memories of searching for an adventure, discovering all the corners of your small town and enjoying the time you have with friends before you set of into the big world of high school.
Four friends set off for their adventure in search of a missing boy that is around their age. Along the way they encounter several dangers including a leach filled lake, a bridge that needs crossing over a river with nowhere to run if a train comes and a gang of older boys with the same objective.
The four boys: Gordie Lanchance (played by Will Wheaton), Chris Chambers (played by the gorgeous River Phoenix), Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman) and Vern tessio (Jerry O'Connell) set off on their adventure not realising the dangers that lurk around every corner.
I first watched this film as part of a school project. We were asked to analyse the plot and create a similar plot of our own. Of course this meant I watched the film many times in the short time we had to complete the project. Most films I wouldn't be able to stand watching over and over however due to the high standard of enjoyment this film brings I thoroughly enjoyed having to watch it repeatedly.
I believe this is film is very enjoyable and allows you to relate to the boys as you remember your childhood. However what I like most about the film is the constant surprise you have as the boys' battle through their journey. There is never a point where you can guess what'll happen next.
I also enjoy the humour Rob Reiner (director) brings to the film. You find yourself laughing out loud even when you're sat on your own. This humour is increased as he has cleverly done the film from a child's perspective therefore you can enjoy the adventure as if you were there with the boys.
As it's an old film special effects aren't up to usual standards however I would still highly recommend buying it for a Sunday afternoon.
I grew up watching Stand by Me, and all my life I have never felt more love towards a film. I could watch this film every day for the rest of my life and still discover something new every time I watch it. I honestly couldn't tell you why.
My life doesn't relate to anything in the story nor does it remind me of anybody special. I guess if you'd been watching it as long as me, you would understand.
Based on a book of short stories called Different Seasons by Stephen King, the film is very different from the book. The book has the exact same story line as the film, but swaps the characters actions in a few scenes. I have to admit I was biased when I read the book as I was already in love with the film. I was excited to find the book on eBay one day for an absolute bargain price, so my love affair was in full swing again.
My problem was I was too used to the film, so any kind of change was just not acceptable to me! I do feel however that if I'd of read the book first; I would've found it adequate. It was an enjoyable story, but I didn't have the likeability factor with the characters and it was quite hard to get stuck into.
Directed by Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men, This is Spinal Tap) in 1986 a true classic was being made. Although it hasn't got cult status of other 80's films such as Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink etc...I think this was mainly down to the fact it was set in the 50s and had a very young unknown cast (and wasn't directed by John Hughes!).
The story is narrated by Gordie Lachance played by Wil Wheaton (and the fabulous Richard Dreyfuss when he gets older) a gentle soul who has just lost his older brother. Gordie dreams of being a writer, but in his parents eye's he will never live up to his brother's reputation.
Coming from Castle Rock a small town where everyone knows each others business, it was easy for new to travel.
Gordie's best friend was Chris Chambers, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who wanted to do better for himself, but would get dragged down by others opinions of him and his dodgy family. The prime example was Chris's older brother who was known as Eyeball. He was a member of the gang that would cause trouble in Castle Rock - their favourite past time being Mailbox Baseball for example! The leader of the gang was Ace, played by Keither Sutherland. He would take no prisoners and always acted the hard man.
Gordie and Chris hung around with two other kids from their school. They all lived close to each other and that was one of the main reasons they hung around. It was convenient. Teddy DuChamp was the crazy kid (played by Corey Feldman); he smoked and generally had a bit of anger inside him. This could've been down to his Dad being admitted in to a mental asylum. When he younger his dad held his ear to the stove and severely burnt it. The last member of their group was Vern Tessio (played by Jerry O'Connell), a fat kid who was a bit clumsy. He was the person that the rest of them would make fun of. Until this one time. The boys were hanging out playing cards in their tree house, Vern turns up and tells them he had overheard his brother Billy (part of Ace and Eyeballs crew) talking about a kid who had been killed by a train and how his body was still in the woods. The boys decided to go on an adventure to find the body and become local heroes. A lot to take on for kids of 12 and 13.
Stand by Me is quite light hearted the whole way through, although you learn a lot about each one of the boys backgrounds and find out why they act the way they do, which isn't always that upbeat.
We hear classic songs from the 50's and it really sets the scene. When you are watching the film, you forget why they are on their journey, you forget what they are looking for and so do they. As you would expect a film about 4 kids trying to find a dead body of a kid their own age, to be quite dark and depressing. This is not the case.
I won't tell you the story, as I don't want to ruin it for those of you who must've been living under rocks and haven't seen it yet! I will however say that if you ask anyone, they almost all remember watching this film at one point in their life. I have yet to meet anyone who didn't enjoy this film. There are some classic moments in film history, without giving too much away, running from the train and the campfire discussions.
I bought the Special Edition DVD when it first came out for £19.99, but I am pretty sure you can buy it these days for about £3! Which is an absolute bargain.
I would recommend that you buy the special edition DVD, if any, as it is packed with bonus features, such as the Ben E King Stand by Me music video, which features River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton and it really is great to see.
Also you can watch the whole film with Rob Reiner's commentary, he reminisces about the boys and how he loved working with them. It really sounds like they all had the time of their lives.
There is a mini documentary Walking the Tracks, where the boys are all grown up. Jerry O'Connell, Wil Wheaton and Corey Feldman look back on their time filming and all speak very highly of the experience. The one man who was missing from the documentary was River Phoenix; he passed away in October 1993 of a drug overdose. It was so tragic as he was only 23; he had a great career up to that point and died so suddenly. Everyone who featured in Walking the Tracks said a few words about him and you can tell he was still greatly missed.
In conclusion, if you are one of the rare people who have not heard of Stand by Me or for some reason has yet to see it, pick it up on DVD for a few quid and discover what you have been missing out on this whole time.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Stand by Me opens as an older Gordie LaChance (Richard Dreyfuss) recalls a period of his life in the 1950s. The younger Gordie (Wil Wheaton), and his friends Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) and Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman) find out from Vern Tessio (Jerry O'Connell) that the body of a young boy who was hit by a train whilst walking near the track has yet to be found, and they set out on an adventure to find the corpse with the hope that it will make them famous. The film also features Kiefer Sutherland in an early role as one of the older punk kids.
This is a very existential film that takes an inverse look at the lives of the kids, and their quest is very much like an odyssey as they re-examine their own loves and what makes them unique. The kids all have very distinct personalities, for Gordie is the quiet, nerdy bookworm, who has had his self esteem destroyed after his father resents him following the death of his older sport star Denny (John Cusack). Chris, meanwhile, is from a family of down and outers and is attempting to break that mould, which is basically an uphill struggle, whilst Teddy suffers physical abuse from his parents, and Vern is overweight and thus has low self esteem.
As much as it is about the central mystery of where the body went, this is a film with deep characterisation - these are people that you care about. It's a very iconic film and it really captures the feel and escence of the 50s.
Whilst overrated, this is still a highly interesting and well-written story. It's quite disturbing how precocious the children seem, and I'm not sure if this was particularly realistically written, but it was engaging all the same.
Stand by Me, based on the Stephen King book the Body is in my eyes one of the greatest films that has ever been made. Supported by a fantastic cast including River Pheonix, Will Wheaton, Corey Feldman and Keifer Sutherland.
The story follows a summertime adventure experienced by four friends who make up a very varied bunch in themselves. The story is centred around their search for a body they believe to be in the woods after overhearing a group of older boys talking.
Throughout this film the more important undertone of the story is that of the friendships and of growing up as a teenager, and the film brilliantly depicts the trials and tribulations of the challenging time in life, bringing into play the individual difficulties each of the friends have faced.
There are so many fantastic scenes of friendship and fun, not least the boys walking along a train track singing Lollipop - a classic moment.
One of the nicest aspects of the film is the unlikely friendship between Will Wheaton and River Pheonix who are very different individuals, but strike up a very close and meaningful relationship.
I wont say much more as you should just watch the film and im sure love it as so many people do - it is beautifuly made!
Stand By Me is at the top of my list of all time favourite films. It was released in 1986 and although it is based on the novel 'The Body' by Stephen King, it is no way sinister or dark as some other Stephen King adaptations can be.
Stand By Me is a heart warming film of childhood innocence and true friendship. It follows the story of four young boys growing up in a fictional town in Oregon who set off to find the body of a missing boy from their town.
As the boys; played by River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell; embark on the journey to find the body - they each go through a journey of their own.
Wil Wheaton's character Gordie, who also narrates the story, is dealing with the death of his older brother whom he was very close to. He feels that he is now ignored by his parents, who are still coming to terms with the loss, and is upset by the lack of love shown to him by his father.
River Phoenix's character Chris Chambers is struggling to seperate himself from the bad reputation that he has been labelled with due to his family, he is actually the most mature of the group and offers a very supportive adult role to all of the boys, especially Gordie.
Although the boys meet several obstacles along their way, both physical (Chopper the Junk Yard Dog!) and emotional, their friendship always holds strong and we see them starting to grow from boys into young men.
If you have not seen Stand By Me then you really are missing out. It's one of those films that you can watch over and over again yet it still fills you with a warm, sunny glow every time and everybody can relate to some part of it.
After you have watched this film you will find yourself wanting to quit your job and ring up your favourite childhood friends to arrange a camping expedition!
One of my favourite films. I think it is because it shows what friendships used to be like before they are lost and people grow up.
There are four friends all very different from each other. They support each other throughout the film which in my eyes is a classic. The leeches scene, and the scene when one boy wants not go to college because he will lose his best friend spring to mind.
The film centres on these four hearing about a dead boy that was hit by a train, they want to find it but aren't exactly sure why. Finding it would involve skipping school so they decide that if they do they would anonymously let the police know, the only problem is that they are up against an older bunch of guys who are also searching for it.
And here is where the story unfolds, the camera follows them on their adventure. They are typical young kids who have conversations throughout the journey, one enjoyable is about who would win in a fight between Superman and Mighty Mouse. It is agreed between them that because Superman is a "real" man that he would win. It is this sort of dialogue that makes the film so good. It reminds you of what it used to belike when you were young, the seriousness isn't there, you just bond and develop a relationship with others. Becoming best friends as this film so clearly shows.
The story telling later on in the film also is one of the highlights, the boy that tells the story also grows up to narrate this film, it is him looking back over his childhood. The classic line goes something alike to "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?" this gets me every time.
You could just be yourself. This film is a cult classic and after you watch it you will see why. Well worth owning.
5 out of 5.
Plot Details: This review reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
River Phoenix. One of the greatest actors of all time- a statement confidently proclaimed as I feel the truth behind it reinforced every time I watch one of his films.
What distinguishes River from other actors is not only his acting ability but also his personality. From what I have seen and heard of him, I am positive of his humanity, depth, intelligence, sensitivity and love and respect for life on Earth.
He was a soulful person who did not simply act, but lived his roles. His most memorable film is Stand By Me, by far my favourite film of all time. Emotional, poignant and bitter- sweet, this coming of age tale is an all-time classic.
The film is about one summer weekend in 1958, focusing on four boys approaching adolescence. They make a pact to find the corpse of a boy, said to be lying next to a railway track. Along the way they bond and become incredibly close, admitting true fears and vulnerabilities to one another. This life-altering experience serves as the turning point in their lives.
River played the part of Chris Chambers, a person mentally older than his years, much like River himself. This is not a singular resemblance: there are aspects of Chris's character that match River's. The irony of at least three of River's roles including My Own Private Idaho and Running on Empty was that he was acting parts that were very similar to his own life.
Although Stand By Me began its life as a low-budget film, primarily given a limited distribution, it had an unpredicted success. It even beat Top Gun to the number one slot.
The director, Rob Reiner, demanded realistic performances and insisted on a week of improvisation before working on the script. This meant that the four boys were friends on and off screen, and the sense of camaraderie in the film is real.
Reiner has always searched for honesty in his films and he found this in River's acting. He said of River: "You just turned the camera on and he would tell the truth". It is also clear here and elsewhere that the most appeal lies where ever River's fragile sensitivity shines through.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why this film has such sustained appeal, or why it is cloaked in a tragic sense of loss. Although the obvious suggestion would be the fact that one of its main stars died in 1996, this fact was not relevant at the time of release. It is the loss of childhood, innocence and the perfect preservation of a moment - the turning point in these young boys lives- that creates the biggest impact on a viewer.
The film is also linked to the hit song Stand by Me which always has the effect of making me resemble a baby needing it's bottle. The song achieved similar high success.
But it was River himself who best described the impact of his greatest role: "In Stand by Me I realised what I was creating was going to live on far longer than anything of me as a person. The characters are more powerful than the person that creates them."
These prophetic words have come true as the film's popularity has continued long after it's release.
I love this film! It's a classic coming of age tale. It shows the boys bond over a fairly bizarre experience and shows them develop and mature- something everyone can relate to, which is why most people will really enjoy this film. In some places it's gritty- this is certainly not a Disney coming of age tale, so be warned! The film and song are perfectly matched and you won't forget this film in a hurry.
This is a film that celebrates the leap from childhood into adulthood, focusing on the memorable experiences that shape that rite of passage. I recommend this to EVERYONE.
I was 12 when I saw Stand By Me (released in 1986) for the first time. It was back in the day when we all had four channels on our televisions which meant more often than not we were all watching the same thing. On the night this movie aired I guess a lot of the UK were watching it because when I went to school the next morning every kid was quoting lines from the script, discussing their favourite scenes and even re-enacting some of them!
This coming of age film can be enjoyed by both kids and adults although the adventure of the film plays out like a Famous Five plot that somehow got mixed up in the dark Stephen King novella this movie is based on. The plot follows the journey undertaken by four 12 year old boys as they embark on a mission to discover the dead body of another kid who has been hit by a train. Overhearing an older gang talking about the possible location of the body, the young boys decide to get there first and become newsworthy heroes.
Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix star as the two main leads, along with Corey Feldman - one of the two ubiquitous 'Corey's' of the 1980's - and future Sliders star Jerry O'Connell. The older bullies of the movie are bossed around by a young Keifer Sutherland, who is in bleached blonde punk mode and who looks like he just stepped off the set of the Vampire movie 'The Lost Boys'. Richard Dreyfuss plays an older version of Wil Wheaton's character, Gordie, and narrates the story at the beginning and end of the movie. There is also a two second flashback role for John Cusack, who plays the deceased brother of Gordie, a talented much-loved kid who has left huge boots to fill.
On route to the dead boy the four friends find themselves having the adventure of a lifetime. Amidst the laughs and conversations about what kind of creature Disney's Pluto actually is though there are more serious events to deal with. Corey Feldman's Teddy Duchamp must confront the fact that his parents are abusive. River Phoenix's character Chris Chambers muses on his school career and whether he is smart enough to make it in the world. Gordie, meanwhile, must deal with his brother's death and the fact that his parent's may never get over it.
Gordie is a writer whose hobby was always unappreciated by his parents who preffered the football skills of their eldest son. Chris helps Gordie overcome his feelings of worthlessness and encourages him to persevere with his writing. River Phoenix's character is really the wisest, most mature of the group and Phoenix's performance is spellbinding. The fact that Phoenix is no longer with us makes his brilliant performance so much more poignant. Also the fact that his charcater's story end up in tragedy also mimics real life and is very thought-provoking and a little eerie.
Watching these boys deal beginning to deal with the adult issues of life whilst still rooted in their childhoods is very moving. There are some particularly sad flashback scenes where John Cusack's character tries to protect his brother as the hurtful favouritism in the family is revealed. In fact all the young cast do a stellar job with the acting. Kiefer Sutherland is quite menacing as mad bad 'Ace', a teenager tearaway who gets kicks from knocking down mailboxes with a baseball bat.
This movie balances comedy and tragedy brilliantly. We have fantasy scenes of pie eating contests alongside one where a tortured kid confesses his sins and agonises about his future. We have scenes where the kids make up dirty poems alongside one where a grown man spits out cruel taunts about the mentally ill father of Corey Feldman's character. Of course, the culmination of the movie where the boys finally discover the dead body is a shock to them and us. There is a dreadful sense of reality and a washing away of some of that childishness that we have witnessed throughout the movie.
This is one of my favourite films and one I'd recommend everybody to watch. The DVD is available to buy on Region 2, PAL.
A sleeper hit when released in 1986, Stand by Me is based on Stephen King's novella "The Body" (from the book Different Seasons); but it's more about the joys and pains of boyhood friendship than a morbid fascination with corpses. It's about four boys ages 12 and 13 (Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell) who take an overnight hike through the woods near their Oregon town to find the body of a boy who's been missing for days. Their journey includes a variety of scary adventures (including a ferocious junkyard dog, a swamp full of leeches and a treacherous leap from a train trestle), but it's also a time for personal revelations, quiet interludes and the raucous comradeship of best friends. Set in the 1950s, the movie indulges an overabundance of anachronistic profanity and a kind of idealistic, golden-toned nostalgia (it's told in flashback as a story written by Wheaton's character as an adult, played by Richard Dreyfuss). But it's delightfully entertaining from start to finish, thanks to the rapport among its young cast members and the timeless, universal themes of friendship, family and the building of character and self-esteem. Kiefer Sutherland makes a memorable teenage villain and look closely for John Cusack in a flashback scene as Wheaton's now-deceased and dearly missed brother. A genuine crowd-pleaser, this heartfelt movie led director Rob Reiner to even greater success with his next film, The Princess Bride. --Jeff Shannon