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When The Night...Has Come...
Stand By Me (DVD)
Member Name: MollyWH
Stand By Me (DVD)
Advantages: Great film, likable characters
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.
Summary: When The Night...Has Come...