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Stand by Me (1986)

Trailer
1:15 | Trailer
After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a childhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy.

Director:

Rob Reiner

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), Raynold Gideon (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
583 ( 161)
Top Rated Movies #210 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wil Wheaton ... Gordie Lachance
River Phoenix ... Chris Chambers
Corey Feldman ... Teddy Duchamp
Jerry O'Connell ... Vern Tessio
Kiefer Sutherland ... Ace Merrill
Casey Siemaszko ... Billy Tessio
Gary Riley ... Charlie Hogan
Bradley Gregg ... Eyeball Chambers
Jason Oliver Lipsett ... Vince Desjardins (as Jason Oliver)
Marshall Bell ... Mr. Lachance
Frances Lee McCain ... Mrs. Lachance
Bruce Kirby ... Mr. Quidacioluo
William Bronder William Bronder ... Milo Pressman
Scott Beach Scott Beach ... Mayor Grundy
Richard Dreyfuss ... The Writer
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Storyline

It's the summer of 1959 in Castlerock, Maine 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

Taglines:

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.

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When auditioning for the role, Jerry O'Connell thought Rob Reiner had played the Archie Bunker character on All in the Family (1971). In fact, Reiner played Bunker's son-in-law Michael Stivic (aka "Meathead"). See more »

Goofs

Teddy's left ear (which his father almost burned off) in the tree house scene is very clearly burned. Throughout the movie, however, it varies in how it looks, in the train tracks scene it looks perfectly normal. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Crazy Credits

In the edited-for-TV version, Lardass Hogan's name is shortened to Lard for obvious reasons. Yet even in the edited-for-TV version, the name "Lardass" is seen in the credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the edited for TV version, Lardass Hogan's name is shortened to Lard for obvious reasons. The editing is very obvious when the crowd starts chanting his name and the film looks and sounds very choppy as a result. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cleanflix (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Book of Love
Written by Charles Patrick (as C. Patrick), Warren Davis (as W. Davis) and George Malone (as G. Malone)
Performed by The Monotones
Published by Arc Music Corp. and Nom Music
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
One of the best adaptations of a Stephen King story ever.
2 April 2001 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Body See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$242,795, 10 August 1986

Gross USA:

$52,287,414

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,287,414
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital | Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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