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  • *Sky*22 January 1999
    I find it hard to comment on this film without simply repeating what has already been said. It's not that I can't think of anything original, but that others seem to have felt the exact same emotions as I did when watching this film.

    I saw this movie when I was about 12, 13, maybe 14 years old. So it didn't have the same nostalgic sense it had for so many. But what it did, was make me ache for those memories. I wanted (in the words of another reviewer) to be 12, and *that* cool. I wished I had been like that, that I had had friends like that, laughed like that, and had adventures like that.

    The 'milk-money' scene was probably one of my all-time favourite scenes in movie history. Up until I saw this movie I had never held much regard for River Phoenix, but the poignancy and sincerity which River added to the role of Chris Chambers touched me to the point of tears. I read in yet another review that in this scene, River was asked to think of a time when he had been hurt by an adult, and that even after the cameras stopped rolling, River sat there still, sobbing and hurting. And I felt every tear and heard every word as though I were there with Chris.

    This movie made me laugh, cry, rejoice and fear with Chris, Gordie, Teddy and Vern. I loved the campfire scenes, and today I look back on my own childhood, and remember with a laugh the amazingly similar things I used to laugh and wonder about with my friends. I remember dreaming about being a writer and an actress, I remember standing up to bullies, I remember walking or riding with my friends, I remember being afraid, and crying onto a friend's shoulder.

    I guess what this movie does for everyone, is take them back in time, even though the situations may have been different, chances are you'll find the similarities, and remember with a smile that yes, your life was once *that* cool. In the words of Vern, "a great time"

    I especially loved the ending. That they found out who was strong, and who just talked tough. I loved the last scene with Chris and Gordie, and the closing monologue.

    "I never had any friends later on, like the ones I had when I was twelve...Jesus....does anyone?"
  • This film is a brilliant, well-acted masterpiece! What touched me the most was the late River Phoenix's acting, but all of the young actors performances were incredible. They are why you should see this film. 'Stand By Me' is not a bubblegum Disney film, nor a dry Hollywood film; it is a movie that captures childhood in a poignant, non-candy coated manner that is dead on. I saw this movie only a couple months ago and was blown away by it's style and acting. It is rare that you see such fresh, relaxed and deep performances that the actors in this film offered. Although this is not a recent film, it is a genuine, inspiring film that is so refreshing-being so different than the films Hollywood often gives us. I give this film a 100+ and recommend it to everyone. You will benefit from it's message and it's wonderful acting.
  • Stand By Me is yet another one of the stories made into a movie from the author who has had more stories made into movies than any other author in history, Stephen King. Clearly, the central character here is Gordie Lachance, from whose point of view the story is told and who obviously symbolizes King himself, given many of his characteristics as well as some of the content of the film. This movie is literally filled with actors who have achieved varying degrees of success over the years, such as Jerry O'Connell, who played Vern, River Phoenix, who could have been bigger than Leonardo DiCaprio if he hadn't died, Corey Feldman, who has grown into an unenviable but visible existence, Kiefer Sutherland, who has become an excellent and very well known actor, John Cusack can be seen in a small role as Gordie's late brother, and of course, Richard Dreyfuss, who played the narrator and Gordie as an adult, has remained famous but originally achieved fame more than a decade before Stand By Me was filmed or the original story was even written.

    Stand By Me takes place in the summer of 1959, the general time period that Stephen King is most skilled at presenting, and four friends set out to find the body of a kid who was killed by a train, hoping to find what they predicted would be astronomical fame. Unfortunately, the town's bullies are also out to find the body for the same reason, which leads to the films ultimate final climax. Even though this is a very clever story with which to tell a fall from innocence story, it is the brilliant characterization and the incredible acting that really make this a classic film. It is extremely rare that a film comes along that stars young kids and is so moving and powerful. Also, every one of those kids is made three dimensional in creative and smooth ways, making you feel like you really knew them by the end of the film. Vern is the fat kid who always gets picked on, Teddy and Chris both have abusive or deranged fathers, not to mention Chris's cruel brother, and Gordie is a young boy who lost his brother three months earlier in a violent accident and who has been largely ignored by his parents ever since. In one memorable scene, Gordie wonders how Teddy can be so enthusiastic about his father's alleged military achievements when the man once held his head to a stove, nearly burning his ear off. Gordie is mystified because he could care less about his own father, who hadn't laid a hand on him since he was three years old and got caught `eating bleach under the sink.'

    Stephen King pokes fun at his own craft many times in the film, such as in Gordie's vehement line, `F*ck writing. I don't want to be a writer, it's a stupid waste of time!' Not only that, but there are also obvious references to his other works, such as when the boys first realize that no one brought food, and Teddy says, `This is great, what are we supposed to do, eat our feet?' People who actually read instead of just lazily watching the movies will recognize this as a major part of the plot of another of King's short stories, `Survivor Type,' from which Cast Away borrowed heavily. And why don't you people read these books? `The Body,' which Stand By Me was based on, is only 148 pages long, you could read that in a couple of hours and the experience is totally different from a movie. It's even more disturbing that `The Body' was published in the same book (Different Seasons) as a couple of King's other famous stories – `Apt Pupil' and, of course, `Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.'

    Stand By Me is a story of how one event can unexpectedly change lives. It seems to be a story about friends and how important they are, but this possible theme is clearly dispelled in a line from the narration spoken at the end of the film – `As time went on, we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern, until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls. It happens sometimes, friends come in and out of your life like busboys at a restaurant.' Instead, the film is about learning from a life changing experience and actually making changes or modifying your life in some way because of it, and this is heavily emphasized at the end of the film.

    Stand By Me is a timeless film. Stephen King's story is skillfully brought to the screen under the direction of Rob Reiner, and the 1950s are brought back to life just as successfully as King so often does in his stories and novels, with the slicked back hair, the hot rods, and in the film, and excellent 50s soundtrack. There is so much more to this film than just the superficial story – things about the characters and the story, but also about the tremendously talented man who wrote it all.
  • Without a doubt this movie is probably the best coming of age flick around, it has terrific acting and an incredibly touching plot that keeps you going throughout the whole film. I think the reason I love this film so much is because, everyone in some way could relate to it. When you're a pre-teen and have a close group of friends and face something so intense together, there's that special bond that no matter how much you loose touch with each other, one day, you just think of them and that one incident.

    Stand by Me is about 4 pre-teen boys whose summer is about to end and they are about to start junior high. They've obviously grown up together and are nervous of the world they are about to face, where they are no longer kids, but just about to become adults. When their friend, Vern, tells them about a kid their age that is missing that he found out by listening in on his brother where the kid's body is, the boys think it would be so cool to find the body and become the local town heroes. They have one problem though, there are these big tough guys who want to find the body first, it's a matter of who will reach it first. But of course, it's the bonding of the boys that really gets you into the film.

    These are some of the best characters I have seen on film, we start with Gordy. Gordy is an intelligent writer who lost his big brother, his idol, in a car crash recently and can't get any love or respect from his father and it's obvious that he gets it from his friends. That's what keeps him going. Chris is the leader of the gang and Gordy's best friend, he comes from a very bad family and is dubbed the bad seed everywhere, he's the kid who you knew in school and just knew he'd turn out bad, but there's a deeper side to him. The speech that River Phoenix turned out for Chris was so beautifully dilvered as a child who's been disappointed so many times by an adult.

    Teddy is another bad kid sort of speak, he has a bad home life where his father is crazy and nearly killed him a few times. He has a quick temper, but you can tell that his friends keep him down to Earth and help him through the worst times. Then there's Vern, the funny fat kid who is pretty much scarred of everything, and in some ways is the 4th wheel. Still, Vern you can tell is a great friend and the other's appreciate him despite how he can hold them back.

    The acting is just phenomenal. Now, the directing, Rob Reiner is without a doubt one of the best directors of all time, he took these young boys and pushed them to their limits, he was so smart about it as well. He said in an interview that he had to get pre-teen boys who were close to the personality of the character in the film, so it would come natural to the pre-teen actors, and you could tell that this film was his baby, he put so much thought and love into this film. That's what makes this film so special, nothing could ever compete with a coming of age film like Stand By Me.

    10/10
  • I am 14 years old, and I absolutely love this movie. But don't let my age fool you. I'm not just going to sit here and talk about how hott River Pheonix was.

    This movie is well rounded in my perspective. Everyone can relate to at least one of the boys in it at one time in their life. The actors are matched perfectly with who their character portrays.Corey Feldman's character Teddy is the boy who's sensitive about his dad, but tries to hide it, Jerry O' Connell's character Vern is the chubby, wussy kid, but still part of the club, Wil Wheaton's character Gordie is the sweet, intelligent friend who tells stories to the other boys and is ignored by his parents, and River Phoenix's character Chris is the boy in the neighborhood that's been labeled a bad kid and feels he'll never get out of their town, the peacemaker, and Gordie's best friend.

    This movie just sucks you in as soon as you start watching it. It's not overly mushy and sad, but it's not so tough that only a sixteen year old boy could stand it. You feel for each character, no matter how mean or nice they are. My personal favorite is Chris Chambers, which i know this will probably drive you guys nuts that almost every other person does too, but River Phoenix is just so touching. The campfire scene is great, the milk money seen is great, and one of my favorites is the train scene. You can definitely see the terror in their faces. It's funny that they all act so tough, except maybe Vern, although he tries, and they still like talking about goofy and dancing and singing along to Lollipop. You also just want to be there with them. Feel that kind of friendship that so many people long for. It's such a feel good movie, but not in the sense of a 10 year old's feel good movie. It makes you feel complete when you watch it. It's not jam packed with action sequences or it doesn't have fluffy pink bunnies hopping around in it either. It's just one of a kind. Definitely worth my time and yours.

    The newest DVD of Stand By Me (Special Edition) has Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand By Me where all the main actors,except River, and Rob Reiner are interviewed. They also talk about working with River Phoenix. There's also the Stand By Me music video with River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, and obviously Ben E. King. Not to mention an extra CD with some awesome oldie's songs like Everyday, Lollipop, Stand By Me, and Mr. Lee.
  • Growing up isn't easy for anyone. There are times when you feel no one understands you at all. Although growing up is tough, the friends you have at a young age are the friends you'll remember for the rest of your life. Stand By Me is a very wonderful film, a masterpiece on a small scale. The film is full of great insights into the minds of a group of four boys who decide they want to see what a dead body looks like, and it sparks their interest even more that they actually knew this dead person. A young boy's mind is full of many things, they feel lost sometimes, strong at others, but mostly they feel invinceable. Rob Reiner has directed a film about four young boys who discover life is quick, sometimes merciless, and magical. I've seen this film numerous times and it always seems better than the time before. This is a perfect little film.
  • Perhaps this is a personal bias because I had friends like this when I was 12, but having said that this is one of the best films I have ever seen and it hits every chord perfectly.

    There were four of us that were friends and we were known as the Stand By Me Crew. Mike, Gary, Andy and myself were inseparable. And as this film prophesizes correctly, the group has since split up and now I am only good friends with one of them. This movie makes you remember what it was like to have friends when you were 12 and it makes you glad that they were there when they were.

    The story involves these four kids going on a weekend hike to find a dead kid that apparently got hit by a train. Now if that is all the movie was about, it would probably be pretty boring. But this film explores the fears and anxieties of what it was like to be 12 again. Twelve year olds deal with a plethora of issues and it is not often that adults listen to what kids have to say or see what they deal with. But this film is honest about it's assessment of how they feel.

    The four boys are played brilliantly by Wil Wheaton, Jerry O'Connell

    Coosh from Jerry Maguire ), Corey Feldman and River Phoenix. The story moves along and hits a nerve because of the life that these four actors brings to their characters. There is a real sense of comrarderie between the four of them. But ultimately it is Phoenix that brings the most life to his character and I would say that the milk money scene with him and Gordie (Wheaton) is one of the more touching and poignant scenes ever filmed.

    What Stand By Me does is brings you back to a time when friendship was more pure and innocent and meant more. You can't help but get caught up in the nostalgia. Perhaps this film means more to me for personal reasons ( as I've already stated ) but it is a wonderful film and it should be enjoyed by everyone.

    The last line of the movie is so true. Do we really ever have friends as good as the ones when we were twelve? I doubt it.
  • Jason-2288 March 2000
    As a lover of Stephen King's writing style and Rob Reiner's directing techniques, this movie leaves me speechless every time. It is an almost forgotten film about a time and a youth nearly forgotten, as well. And I will say, as a writer, the novella that this film was based upon, "The Body" has and always will be the inspiration for my style of writing.

    First of all, I enjoy the title that was chosen for the film. "Stand By Me" fits what the characters in the story are facing. I think that all who have seen this film will agree that the problems are all things that we can relate to. All of us know someone like these characters. Most of us have met the boy down the road who had a brother with a bad name and a father with an alcohol problem, automatically being labeled as a "bad kid." And the boy with the military father, abusive and a little whacko. The fat kid, picked on and ridiculed for his weight.

    To me, Gordy represents all of us. I found myself seeing a little of me in Gordy as I watched the film. I don't know if any one else shares this, but it was true. Gordy was not very strong, at first, and was not sure what he wanted, except to be with his friends. Still coping with the loss of his brother and the fact that his father was disrespectful to him, Gordy still stood up for what he believed in. And, in the end he surprised the characters and the viewers by standing up to the bullies that had plagued them all.

    This film is certainly one of my top favorites. In fact, it lies in my top three, probably at #2 or #3. I feel that it is a film that everyone should see at some point in their life due to the fact it changes your look at youth and their trials. Few films are able to do that and I think that this one was an inspiration for others that will do the same in the future.
  • Stephen King adaptations can be great. In my opinion the less horror pictures, and The Shining, are the best. Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and this one. Stand by Me is a great film, you can say it is a drama with some thriller elements.

    Four boys hear the location of the dead body of a boy from their small town. The boys go on a trip to look for the body, about 30 miles away. There are some little problems on the way, including another gang with its leader Kiefer Sutherland. One of the boys thinks about his late brother because of the recent events, played by John Cusack. It seems to be a simple story but it is told perfect.

    The performances the boys give, one of them is the late River Phoenix, are all extraordinary. I liked the way their friendship was shown. Just a great movie, see this. 9/10.
  • Hands down this is my favorite movie. (With the Sandlot in second place). My mom got this movie for me when i was about 12. I saw it the first time and realized that i had friends like that. The movie is definitely one every teenage kid should see. I think it is more of a movie for boys but girls can get out of it the same as the boys can. But the movie overall is great because its just about a four friends who have no experience with the "real world". They find out about a dead body and go in search to find it. At first they just do it to be famous and get a reward. But the quest of the boys throughout the movie reveal things that even themselves didn't know about. After it all, the boys find out about reality, and how it isn't glamorous. They realize that the body could of been them and they respect that. In my opinion the point of the movie was not to have you think of when you were 12 and your good friends but to think of what you have now, and what you do with it. In the end Gordie tells us what happens to each and how each kind of go their separate ways. (Such as the last scene of the movie). This is definitely a movie to not only rent but buy. I tip my hat to Reiner.
  • In 1959, in Castle Rock, Oregon, the boys Gordie Lachance (Wil Wheaton), Chris Chambers (River Phoenix), Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman) and Vern Tessio (Jerry O'Connell) learn that the teenager Ray Brower, who is missing, was hit by a train and is dead in a nearby river. They decide to find the body to become local heroes and along their journey, they disclose secrets and learn the importance of their friendship.

    "Stand by Me" is another nostalgic little gem from the 80's with a coming-of-age drama, with funny and heartbreaking moments. The plot is simple but realistic and supported by a group of promising young actors. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "Conta Comigo" ("Count on Me")
  • Stand By Me is probably the best film ever to come from a Stephen King story. (The Green Mile sucks, by the way.) The story is told from an adult writer's point of view as he recounts an adventure he shared with his three best friends in the waning moments of the summer before junior high school began. We see the four boys head out into the wilderness to see the dead body of a boy who was apparently hit by a train. The boys encounter bullies, other trains, leeches, vicious dogs, and many other things on their trip. And they have some pretty deep and emotional conversations along the way.

    This is a very awkward age in the life of a young man. You can tell by listening to their conversation topics which range from boobs to whether or not Mighty Mouse can beat up Superman. The youngsters are portrayed flawlessly by four terrific young actors. Who would have thunk that Jerry O'Connell would turn out to be the most successful of them? At times they laugh, other times they pick on each other. Sometimes they seem on the verge of fighting, but when challenged by the older gang of bullies, they stick together. Richard Dreyfuss, who plays the adult writer, narrates the action as things move along. Their trip is full of surprises and emotional insight.

    Stand By Me is not quite a classic in my book, but it is very memorable. The script is a little too pessimistic for my liking. Right down to when River Phoenix describes an incident where he's caught stealing milk money from school, and his teacher ends up keeping it for herself. There is also a complete lack of positive supporting characters during the scenes set back when they were kids. Only John Cusack, in a cameo role, is shown as a positive older character. No wonder these kids felt so unwanted! All the adults around them were jerks! The script uses more swear words than are actually necessary to convey the anger these kids sometimes feel. And you'd think any dead body that had been hit by a train would be more damaged than the one they find out in the woods. Wouldn't this kid have heard the train coming in time and jumped well out of the way? If he was trying to kill himself, then you'd think he would have stood in the way and been completely pulverized. I know these may seem like petty beefs, but they are enough to knock the review down a star or two.

    It seems like the film is trying to portray the dead Brower boy as the death of these kids' innocence or something to that effect. As someone who's been their age, I can understand some of what they were feeling. And I totally agree that some of the people you thought were your best friends eventually just turn out to be faces in the crowd at school a few years later.

    Despite it's faults, this is a powerful film you aren't likely to forget. It's one of Reiner's best, and the outstanding cast does some wonderful work themselves.

    8 of 10 stars.

    The Hound.
  • In ancient Greece people watched the great tragedies in the amphi-theatres, and eyewitnesses tell us that audiences of 20'000 sat crying when the main character on the stage became aware of his fatal guilt and had to face death. They called it catharsis, best translated by 'cleaning the souls'. Well, measured by the tremendous effect on all of us writing reviews on the film, STAND BY ME has the power and qualities of ancient tragedy. This jewel of a film touches and shakes the best sides in us. I have watched it over and over again, and even if I watch it several times a week I still sit and laugh and cry, and it leaves me sad and confused and grateful, feelings that can last for hours and sometimes days.

    So what is the mystery behind this masterpiece?

    First of all it teaches us that good filmmaking isn't about the dollars spent on the production, but about the people who make it.

    And it's about a unique and humble (I hope you understand what I mean) director: Rob Reiner doesn't try to show how good he is, leering at the Oscar-jury:the story is told without any visual effects, the pace is slow and the cinematography is unspectacular, but he succeeds in inspiring his young actors to perform honest feelings and letting the story develop by its own terms. An example is the milkmoney-scene. It is told that Reiner wasn't satisfied with the performance of River Phoenix. They tried again and again. Finally, he told River to remember a situation of his own life where a grownup had let him down. Guess if he succeeded with it! River Phoenix started crying and he couldn't stop crying a long time after the shot was taken. That's why this film is pure gold: it doesn't show professional acting, it shows young boys who open their hearts in front of a camera. They can do it, because they can relate to similar experiences and because the message is important and universal. We all can relate to similar situations. These scenes make me remember events from my own youth that I had inhibited for a long time, because I didn't like to remember them. That's the pain!

    But it's not only the director and the actors who should earn all the credits. I read the novel after watching the film, and since that time Stephen King is one of the great contemporary writers in my book. I just don't understand why he doesn't write more of THE BODY kind. To me this book is pure poetry (including all those four-letter-words that Maltin e. a. don't like, because they don't understand why they are necessary)! But the most amazing thing is: the script doesn't only catch the quintessence of the novel, it's partly even better! This perfect balance between humor and seriousness! It doesn't manipulate the audience. In the book grownup Gordon sits in his car when he had read about his friend's death. "I drove out of town, parked, and cried for him. Cried for damn near half an hour, I guess." In the film Gordon doesn't cry. He doesn't need to. Everyone in the audience feels like crying, because they understand the tragedy! There are only 13 pages of dialogue and narration, and there really is not one line too much. It's so good, I almost know the whole of it by heart. Take the ending: In the book, the famous writer Gordon Lachance tells about how he met Ace Merrill again, some twenty years after the Ray Brower event: grown fat and the only one alive of his old friends and enemies. How much better is the film's ending! This important line about the friends we had when we were twelve years old is only a line in King's book, commending the good time the boys have at Milo Pressman's junkyard! If there had been an Oscar for impressive film endings, this film had deserved the first!

    And thank you Jack Nitzsche for the intense score. It's Gordie's theme, when he's not with his friends. In the group Gordie is the smart boy with the sharp, quick, fresh replies. Without the friends, at home or in the store he barely speaks a word. And then we can hear that fragile Jack Nitzsche variation on Stand by me. It's like Gordie crying `where are you, Chris? Come, stand by me'. That's brilliant and exactly what great filmmusic should be: serving the film's dramaturgy.

    Well, I don't know how many hours it took me to express my love to this film in a language that isn't my own. It seems impossible. It is exactly as Stephen King expressed it himself (end of chapter 29): `Even if I'd known the right thing to say, I probably couldn't have said it. Speech destroys the functions of love, I think - that's a hell of a thing for a writer to say, I guess, but I believe it to be true. If you speak to tell a deer you mean it no harm, it glides away with a single flip of its tail. The word is the harm. Love isn't what these asshole poets like McKuen want you to think it is. Love has teeth; they bite; the wounds never close. No word, no combination of words, can close those lovebites. It's the other way around, that's the joke. If those wounds dry up, the words die with them. Take it from me. I've made my life from the words, and I know that is so.'

    10 out of 10, no doubt about it!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Stand By Me is without a doubt one of the finest pieces of film ever made in the history of humanity. A truly excellent movie that really strikes and affects you with all its glory. It leaves no one untouched whether you're 12 or 112 years old. Simply because it deals with life and friendship, and all that comes with it. Both the good and the bad.

    Everyone can relate to it and feel what the characters feel. Because we've all been there. We have all done similar things to what they are doing, we have all been dealing with the same issues in life as they are faced with and we all still are.

    Few films are able do depict the theme of life and friendship as successfully as Stand By Me. In my opinion there are practically no flaws in this production, everything from the plot and the screenplay to the characters and the actors are top notch. Also the music is great.

    Watching the movie one feel everything from happiness and laughter to fear and grief. Laughter because we remember how fun it was being a child. With everything being new and exciting in life. And facing it all together with our friends. Fear and grief because of how hard it can be having to grow up and let go of the past. Let go of our old friends and our old life.

    One can't help but to feel nostalgic. At least I do. It makes me think about life in a larger sense. Thinking about my childhood I realize how long ago it was or at least seems to be. The movie frees a lot of emotions and thoughts regarding both my own life and life in general.

    This movie also has one of the best opening scenes in film history. I almost burst into tears every time I see it. It's as close to perfection as it gets. It's so beautiful and sad. Simply the perfect way to launch the rest of the movie. How the beautiful soft music first almost reaches out and touch you, while seeing the landscape. Then a close up on the car and the main character reading the chocking news of his dear old friend's death. Thereafter such a smooth passage back to his childhood with focus on the kids passing by on their bikes and the music still in the background. Excellent!

    To conclude I have also one little flaw, or at least I think of it that way. It's regarding the whole "Lardass-scence". When I was little I could never figure out why it was in the film. I couldn't see the connection to the rest of the film. Being older and hopefully a little wiser :D I now see that it's a way of showing Gordies talent for making up stories, the talent that have him becoming a writer one day. However I feel this could have been illustrated in a better way. I've always felt that scene is just a little bit over the top and I still do. Otherwise Stand By Me is close to a masterpiece. No one should go through life without seeing and experiencing this wonderful film.
  • "It happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of our lives, like busboys in a restaurant."

    Stand By Me is Rob Reiner's love letter to friendship and nostalgic memories. It's ironic that Reiner's film looks at the past with such high regards because we can do the same with his filmography. His best films were all made in the 80's (and we can squeeze Misery and A Few Good Men into that list as well although they came out in 1990 and 1992 respectively), and despite not having directed many great films over the past few decades we can still look back at his early films and appreciate his classics. Stand By Me reminds us all of our early childhood and the friendships we made. It doesn't matter what decade we grew up in, we all cherish special memories of adventures we shared with our friends and how they helped shape us. That is what is so universal and appealing about Reiner's film; even though we may never have grown up in a small town or had similar outdoor adventures it still recalls us back to a time where we were discovering new things about the world and standing up for our friends when they were in trouble or running with them when we got caught playing in our neighbor's yards. Stand By Me focuses on these memories and it's not just about the adventure in itself but the bond these friends shared together. It's probably the go to movie when we are comparing or referencing other coming of age films, and in my opinion one of the best ever made considering how much I appreciate the genre. I'm sure the film itself was a life changing experience for many who grew up watching it and dreaming of having similar adventures with their friends.

    Based on Stephen King's short story, "The Body," the screenplay for the film was adapted by Raynold Gideon and Bruce Evans. It takes place in 1959 and centers on four 12 year old friends from Castelrock, Oregon who overhear a conversation about the location of the body of a dead boy who had been missing for several days. The news about the disappearance of this boy had spread all over town, so these kids decide to embark on an adventure through the woods and bring back the missing body so they can be received as heroes. Since the journey would take more than a full day, they plan to tell their parents that they are staying at each other's home. Gordie (Will Wheaton) had recently lost his older brother (played by John Cusack in the flashback scenes) a few months prior to this in a car accident so he knew his mourning parents wouldn't even mind him being gone for a few days. His best friend, Chris (River Phoenix), came from a troublesome family and despite knowing he'd get into trouble if they'd discover his lie he didn't think it would be any different if he stayed with his drunk father. Teddy (Corey Feldman) still has the scars from the abuse he suffered from his mentally unstable father, and currently lives with his mother. Vern (Jerry O'Connell), the clown of the group who isn't taken very seriously is the one who came up with the idea of looking for the body, but he also is the first to back down when it comes to it. The four finally decide to go ahead with their plan and begin their adventure, which will eventually shape who they are. The story is narrated by the grown up version of Gordie (played by Richard Dreyfuss) somewhere around 1985.

    The strong performances in this film are one of the reasons why it continues to work today. River Phoenix was such a natural and is so charismatic that he steals every scene he's in. The chemistry he shares with Wheaton's character is strong and it reminds us all of that best friend we had in our childhood. Corey Feldman must have had the best agent because he starred in some of the best films that were released in the 80's (Gremlins, The Goonies, The Burbs, and The Lost Boys). Jerry O'Connell is probably the one that has undergone the greatest physical transformation, but he was perfect for the role of Vern and he reminded us of that friend who always seemed to be the butt of every joke. These four young actors carry the film and despite not having the most exciting of adventures, the way the story is told is what makes it such a fascinating one. There are small moments like the one where they gather around the camp fire to listen to Gordie's story, or when they are crossing the pond and discover its full of leeches, that stand out. The film is told through Gordie's recollection of these events and each scene feels like an authentic memory someone would have of such a life changing experience. The 50's soundtrack also plays a key role in the film since it adds to the overall sense of nostalgia. Reiner's film reminds me how much I actually have enjoyed Stephen King's non-horror stories (this along with Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile are my favorite film adaptations of his work). Since its 1986 release, all the coming of age films that have followed it seem to heavily borrow from it. Stand By Me is the measuring stick for films in this genre.

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am as many are, a huge fan of Stephen's King Works. I have also been a fan of many of the films made from his books. Some I am not a fan of. I have not read as of yet and I'm sure I will, The Body. I have seen Stand By Me several times and I am conflicted in many of the great portions of this film and the ideas behind the movie vs the fact that it just doesn't sit with me as entertaining.

    Stand By Me is considered perhaps one of the forefront coming of age films and for good reason. It's the story of four best friends set in the fifties/sixties told through the eyes of the Gordie Lachance who has lost his role model best friend older brother to an accident. Haunted by the loss of his brother and the fact that everyone seems to have only cared about his older brother including his parents, he is compelled to encourage his group of friends to go on a trek across the county to find the dead body of a missing boy. Unfortunately the "bad kids" and "bullies" in town also discover that this body is nearby and they race to find it first. During their trek they discover more about each other, and they stand together to overcome their fears about their own lives.

    I do whole heartedly agree in the pure heart of this film, the coming of age, the different personalities of each boy in the film. It does aim to find a little something of everyone in each boy and it accomplishes that. The cast, especially for young actors is very good. Wil Wheaton as the lead character appears to be weaker than his best friend played by the late River Phoenix but in the end he is really who holds them altogether and overcomes the most of all of them. River Phoenix ironically plays the "bad boy" best friend who seems to have very little future but has taken Wheaton's character under his wing and encourages him to make something of himself. Corey Feldman fills in his usual role adequately. Jerry O'Connell as the made fun of "fat kid" also plays his role well. Keifer Sutherland who can't help but look like a jerk and an evil fiend also plays well. The cast is basically The Brat Pack and yet for an eighties film it's quite darker than most Brat Pack films. Wholely realistic is the kids' views on life, their fascination with death, cigarettes, adult things, and their adult language. Their trying to be as grown up as possible without any real adult role models.

    My issue is that the film just doesn't hit me. It never satisfies me or entertains me. I find it entirely too short, very, very, predictable and without any real depth of plot. I know everyone sees this film as a classic and certainly it has it's strong points as I outlined but overall it just falls short for me. The soundtrack, and I absolutely love these songs feels forced like Reiner is trying to force the feeling of the era on us rather than create it all around them. In this case I don't expect anyone to believe my opinion because I am sorely outnumbered but I don't care for this film much at all.

    5/10
  • The movie Stand by Me is a story about four close twelve year old friends growing up in rural Oregon who are bitten by the curiosity bug. The main Character, Gordie (Wil Wheaton), and his three friends, Chris (River Pheonix), Teddy (Corey Feldman), and Vern (Jerry O'Connell) set out on an adventure to find the body of Ray Brower. They had heard of his whereabouts by Vern's older brother and they were determined to find him. They incur many setbacks during their journey. They are bullied by the older boys of the town who are also trying to find the body and get the fame, attacked by the junkyard dog Chopper, almost getting run down by a train, and attacked by the swamp leaches. The boys learn many lessons on their journey, but more importantly they learn about life. The actual goal of Rob Reiner, director of the film, was to show that growing up has its ups as well as downs. All four of the main characters have had some trouble in their life. He showed this when Gordie's athletic brother was tragically killed in a car accident. By doing this, Reiner elaborates to the audience that bad things do happen to the best people. Chris and Teddy also have very neglecting fathers at their homes. Even though it is all fun and games on the hunt for the body, they still have a troubled life lingering in the background that they can not get away from. And good old Vern has an older brother who wreaks havoc in his life. He is actually one of the older bullies also on the hunt for the body. Reiner cannot make his point much clearer. One of the things I really loved about this movie is how few rules the young twelve year old boys had. The first evident thing is when the movie opens and they are smoking in their tree house. These boys smoke, shoot handguns in town, and cuss like sailors throughout the movie and know one seems to notice. Wow, the times sure have changed since I was a young child.
  • This film is a brilliant, well-acted masterpiece! What touched me the most was the late River Phoenix's acting, but all of the young actors performances were incredible. They are why you should see this film. 'Stand By Me' is not a bubblegum Disney film, nor a dry Hollywood film; it is a movie that captures childhood in a poignant, non-candy coated manner that is dead on. I saw this movie only a couple months ago and was blown away by it's style and acting. It is rare that you see such fresh, relaxed and deep performances that the actors in this film offered. Although this is not a recent film, it is a genuine, inspiring film that is so refreshing-being so different than the films Hollywood often gives us. I give this film a 100+ and recommend it to everyone. You will benefit from it's message and it's wonderful acting.
  • thekrishnacpatel15 February 2012
    Warning: Spoilers
    i just watched this movie and i have been planning to watch this movie for a long time, this movie is awesome it is moving and just brilliant in every way, i guess the moral of the story is that just cherish every moment you have, had and experiencing because you know we don't live forever. and yes the end made me cry thats just how touching it is, and you know it is true you never find new awesome friends like you did when you was younger. recommend it if you wanna look back at your past and be lost in thought and your future, past and present and just say hey that time was awesome and i wish i could do that again with my old friends :) . . . Krishna c Patel
  • Currently, "Stand By Me" is rated #180 on IMDb--a very, very impressive score that would indicate that this is a great film. However, try as I might, I have no idea why the film is rated this highly and I thought the movie was just average to above average and no more.

    This film is based on a story by Stephen King and is directed by Rob Reiner. It has a very interesting cast of kids all about age 12--Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton--all before they became stars.

    These four boys decide one summer to go looking for a dead body--the body of a kid who is missing and who was hit by a train. They know about where the body is because one of them overheard one of the older punks talking about discovering it. Almost the entire film consists of the four boys trekking cross-country to find the body. Along the way, they have some adventures, curse a lot and experience togetherness.

    There were two things I really liked about the film--the nice 1950s music and the acting of two of the characters. Wheaton and Phoenix were blessed to have been given well-rounded and interesting characters to play--and both were outstanding. On the other hand, Feldman and especially O'Connell played characters that seemed much more like caricatures--difficult to believe and rather stereotypical. Something I didn't like was the language, as f-bombs and lots of other nasty language abounded. Now I know that some kids talk like this, that's true, but it tended to make the kids less likable AND made the film less family-friendly--which it easily could have been.

    Overall, the film really was adequate and nothing special. I expected special but only once or twice (such as with a poignant scene with Wheaton) was I left thinking the film was anything other than a coming of age story and nothing more. I just didn't get it...
  • kenjha27 December 2008
    Four boys go in search of a dead body, but it becomes a journey of discovery about themselves. The premise of the story (based on a King novella) is stupid and generally uninteresting and the execution is clichéd. Reiner seems unsure of where he wants to go with the film; it just rambles on pointlessly. There is an irrelevant interlude about a pie-eating contest filled with gross puking scenes. The characters are either stereotypes (the teens) or cartoon-like (the parents and other adults). The big emotional scenes are corny and forced. The framing device, where the story is related in flashbacks, is meant to be poignant but it just falls flat.
  • I am still a big River Phoenix fan even after his death. This movie I would have to say was his best movie in his earlier roles. All the guys did an awesome job portraying their characters. This movie made me cry, laugh, and rejoice. This movie is just another Rob Reiner masterpiece! I especially love the very last scene where Gordie (Dreyfuss) is finishing his story and he writes about how he has never had friends like he had when he was twelve, and that as anyone? I am only thirteen, and this movies was made the year I was born, but I can still relate to this film so much. I have seen the movie about 12 times, and every time I watch it I understand it more and more. I saw most of the movie when I was about 10 years-old, and the message didn't really sink in then. Now that I am older I can understand the message and relate to it better. The actors really pull you into the movie and script to see what it really was like back then. I know I will refer back to movie time and time again until my dying day. This movie is spectacular!!!!!
  • The most amazing film, truly one of the best i have ever seen, Incredibly funny and the performances from the young boys in the film were just the best i have ever seen in my life. I'm very surprised that they are not as famous as i would of thought they would be to this day. There is a lot of bad language in the film but it just makes it seem more realistic. There were also some tearful moments in it too especially towards the end but i think that just made the movie seem even more special to me. This film has everything, its funny, its adventurous, its tearful and it has a friendship based plot. every time someone asks me what my favourite movie is i always say this one. Don't miss out watch it!
  • gracegibson24 August 2005
    I saw this movie a few years ago and I instantly thought it was great. It's a memorable story (adapted from an unusual literary venture for Stephen King) about four 12-year-old boys in 1959 who go in search of a dead body. Everything about this movie was memorable: the script, the acting, and most of all, the four boys. All of them had distinct personalities and backgrounds and didn't blend into each other like so many other movies like this. My favorite character was Chris Chambers, who was not only cute but a "bad boy" with a heart of gold (also the breakout role for River Phoenix). This is a must-see for anyone who likes a good movie. The only problem I had with this movie was that I found it unrealistic. The 12-year-old boys in the movies cussed every two words, smoked cigarettes regularly, and talked admiringly in detail about some girl's boobs. I found this unusual even for 1959. I was 12 once, and most of the boys I knew rarely cussed, never smoked anything, and were just a smidge too far from puberty to talk about a girl's boobs in detail. However, these small qualities are redeemed. This is a great movie from the great Stephen King.
  • Don A.2 June 2005
    Movie: Stand by Me

    Rating: Rated R for strong language by the use of children

    Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, Kiefer Sutherland

    Summary: This story begins with adult Gordon Lachance sitting in a car unsure as he stares into the article in the newspaper saying one of his closest friends died. After seeing two kids ride past his car, we are taken back to when he was 12 years old...

    Gordie Lachance is a sensitive boy with three other friends, scared cat Vern, flamboyant Teddy and leader of the pack, Chris. Together, they are four close friends in a simple group of friendship. One say Vern enters their tree house panting, and tells the pack about a kid's dead body he heard had been found by his brother of whom hadn't told the police. Suddenly, they all form a plan to go search for the kid's body imagining their popularity for finding it.

    Thus begins the two day cross across their hometown, Castle Rock. Sooner or later, the four discover a bond they never knew they had as their personal feelings and lives corrupt with each others.

    Opinions: What makes this movie so separate from other movies about kids and friendships is this movie really does captures the aspects of friendship and kids everyday hard lives, like a kid with a family who he feels ignores him, a kid who feels society will never appreciate a kid from a bad family, a kid who feels of getting his importance from his father "storming the beach at Normandy".

    Every kid in this movie has a realistic conflict and the kids acting is so real, I feel my friends act the same way at school, the real and close friends that stood by me. This movie is not about finding the dead body but really those two days the kids are together and realize how much closer they are than they thought. Even though this movie was made in the 1980s it's a shock kids still act this way today.

    While many may complain of the four-letter words in the movie, but I have to say kids like to cuss to feel cool in my school. They call each other names and dis, or as they say in the movie "rank", each other.

    In conclusion, this movie should be watched by many, and don't let the R rating fool you for the best movie about kid friendship I've ever seen in my life. They probably will never be a greater movie ever made. This is the closest you can be to superior!

    Total: 9.7 out of 10
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