88 Min. | Adventure – Drama | December 1986
IMDB Rating: 8.1
Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
Stand by Me Review
Stand By Me is probably the best film ever to come from a Stephen King story. In Stand by Me, 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.
It seems like Stand by Me 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, Stand by Me 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.
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