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Stand by Me
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Reviews & Ratings for
Stand by Me More at IMDbPro »

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232 out of 246 people found the following review useful:

I remember.....

Author: *Sky* from Canberra, Australia
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?"

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214 out of 237 people found the following review useful:

One of the best adaptations of a Stephen King story ever.

10/10
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China
2 April 2001

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.

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199 out of 223 people found the following review useful:

This classic film is worth a watch!

10/10
Author: Grace Glaser from United States, Arizona
9 December 2004

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.

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207 out of 242 people found the following review useful:

Biggest one in four counties

10/10
Author: Dan Grant (dan.grant@bell.ca) from Toronto, Ontario
2 July 1999

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.

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137 out of 155 people found the following review useful:

HELLO? if you've never seen this movie, man you're missin OUT!

10/10
Author: AmericanHistoryEX from United States
16 October 2005

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.

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105 out of 121 people found the following review useful:

Inspiration

10/10
Author: Jason (lillyja@mail.wvsc.edu) from West Virginia, USA
8 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.

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90 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

A small masterpiece.

10/10
Author: Peach-2 from Netherlands
5 July 1999

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.

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75 out of 92 people found the following review useful:

Stephen King with a great story

9/10
Author: rbverhoef (rbverhoef@hotmail.com) from The Hague, Netherlands
13 January 2003

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.

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61 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

It's not a GUY'S film only

10/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
3 December 2003

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

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71 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

Four boys go on a quest to find not only a dead body the true meaning of friendship and reality.

10/10
Author: Jeff from USA
10 July 2005

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.

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