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Stand by Me (1986)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  22 August 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 247,938 users  
Reviews: 563 user | 95 critic

After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Top 250 Movies #178 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marshall Bell ...
William Bronder ...
Scott Beach ...


It's the summer of 1959 in Castlerock, Oregon and four 12 year-old boys - Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern - are fast friends. After learning of the general location of the body of a local boy who has been missing for several days, they set off into woods to see it. Along the way, they learn about themselves, the meaning of friendship and the need to stand up for what is right. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


For some, it's the last real taste of innocence, and the first real taste of life. But for everyone, it's the time that memories are made of.


Adventure | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

22 August 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Body  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)


$52,287,414 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To keep in character while off-camera, Kiefer Sutherland often picked on Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell. See more »


When Gordie visits the delicatessen for ham, the grocer pulls waxed paper from a box with a 1980s Crown Zellerbach logo on it. See more »


[first lines]
The Writer: [voiceover] I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959-a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only twelve hundred and eighty-one people. But to me, it was the whole world.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credits begin, we see Gordie's son and his friend playing on his front yard on their way to a swimming pool. See more »


Referenced in The X Factor: Episode #6.19 (2009) See more »


Whispering Bells
Written by Fred Lowery (as F. Lowry) and Clarence Quick (as C. Quick)
Performed by The Del Vikings
Published by Gil Music Corp.
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I remember.....
22 January 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

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?"

246 of 260 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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