Author Topic: Stand by Me (1986)  (Read 1799 times)

Offline Antares

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Stand by Me (1986)
« on: March 02, 2010, 11:43:48 PM »
Stand by Me

Year: 1986
Film Studio: Columbia Pictures, Act III Communications
Genre: Drama, Adventure
Length: 89 Min.

Rob Reiner (1947)

Stephen King (1947)...Novella "The Body"
Raynold Gideon...Screenplay
Bruce A. Evans (1946)...Screenplay

Bruce A. Evans (1946)
Raynold Gideon
Andrew Scheinman

Thomas Del Ruth (1942)

Jack Nitzsche (1937)...Composer

Wil Wheaton (1972) as Gordie Lachance
River Phoenix (1970) as Chris Chambers
Corey Feldman (1971) as Teddy Duchamp
Jerry O'Connell (1974) as Vern Tessio
Kiefer Sutherland (1966) as Ace Merrill
Casey Siemaszko (1961) as Billy Tessio
Gary Riley (1963) as Charlie Hogan
Bradley Gregg (1966) as Eyeball Chambers

       There was a time not too long ago, when children were innocent and carefree in their formative years. A time when a young boy could jump on his bike in the morning of a beautiful summer day, and along with friends, set off on an adventure. I was a child of these times and I must admit that I feel sympathy for the youth of today, for they are essentially prisoners of a society that has disintegrated the core family structure so needed in the forming of their personalities. They must also be protected from the pedophiles, kidnappers and murderers who prey on the young by trolling for the misplaced and misunderstood through Internet chat rooms.

       It’s sad to try to explain to my nephews, how when I was young, I was able to take off with my friends on a whim and ride my bike 5-6 miles to go fishing without any supervision. The look on their faces as I would recount for them the fun we would have discovering new and interesting people and places, was at first, one of amazement and bewilderment and in the end disbelief. This is one of the prime reasons I have chosen not to have children of my own, our world and society is careening through time at a pace that is much too accelerated for children who are still stumbling out of the starting block.
       The setting is a rural neighborhood; the time is the late fifties, when penny candy actually cost 1 copper penny. Four young boys, Gordie, Chris, Teddie, and Vern (Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell) are trying to find an interesting and exciting way to pass the day, when suddenly, Vern blurts out that he knows of a local boy who has been killed by a freight train and where the body can be found. Hoping to be the heroes of the town who discover the whereabouts of the missing boy, they trek off into the wilderness towards the location of their quarry. Each is burdened by a personal demon that will be revealed as the group forges on towards their moment of glory. Along the way, their friendship will be tested and strengthened by the mishaps and mayhem they encounter, and when they reach their goal, the reliance and honor between them will form the memories that will stay with them throughout their adult lives, hence the title Stand by Me.

       Taken from a novel by Stephen King, Stand by Me is Rob Reiner’s finest moment as a director. The characters, screenplay and soundtrack fire on all cylinders and help to transport the viewer to a moment of American history and a way of life that has long since departed from our culture. The assemblage of gifted child actors is amazing, the four lead actors would all go on to successful ventures in both film and television. Most notably the tragic River Phoenix, who would follow this film with successes in Running on Empty, My Own Private Idaho and Dogfight, yet would succumb to drug addiction and subsequent overdose and death.
       Stand by Me is one of the seminal films of the 1980’s, a decade pre-disposed with churning out films about teenage angst and disillusion. It rises above the mundane matter that was prevalent in those films and is a bright moment in storytelling for all to enjoy and to reminisce about this lost moment in time. If you have children in the pre-adolescent age this is a wonderful bit of nostalgia that teaches us all that friendship, honor and trust are the benchmarks needed to build a world free of hate and disunion. A highly recommended film!

Ratings Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 06:36:35 PM by Antares »


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Re: Stand by Me (1986)
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 11:57:30 PM »
One of my proper favourites. I tend to forget about it, to my shame, but everytime it's mentioned, I just find myself wanting to see it immediately. Part of its appeal is exactly what you said. I used to live near a small amount of woodland and we'd build dens and roam for miles. There was a theme park near me and I remember when it was getting built. We used to mess around on the sites! Could have been killed at any moment, but that little bit of danger and independence was essential. While I'm a pessimist and believe the sort of family that can encourage such adventure hasn't gone alltogether, I do very sadly know that absolutely none of the old haunts are safe now. Anywhere secluded or deserted is just a bloody drug den. I actually had a walk last year out by where I used to go and one of the natural hideouts was littered with needles. It's just so wrong. :(

By coincidence, I'm about to post a review of a film that bears some similarity in many ways. ;)

Offline Antares

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Re: Stand by Me (1986)
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 12:29:38 AM »
We used to mess around on the sites! Could have been killed at any moment, but that little bit of danger and independence was essential.

Here's a couple from my childhood...

1. When I was eight years old, the state was expanding a section of highway down from Boston to the city where I lived. They had excavated an area of the highway and had piled huge piles of dirt and sand on the edge. One of the roads that led to this spot was a long slow grading hill leading down to the piles. My friends and I would spend hours there jumping the little hills with our bikes.

One day, I was lagging behind in our excursion to the site, and I decided to build up a huge amount of speed and take the first pile and see how high I could jump. I'm blazing down this hill, my friends are cheering me on and I hit the first dirt pile. I flew off the top of the pile and my bike just dropped from beneath me. The front tire planted itself in the next pile, while my back tire planted itself in the dune I just jumped. I came crashing down and caught the center bar of my bike's frame, right in the nuts.  :'(

I couldn't stand up, let alone walk, for over an hour.

2. When I was 11 years old, my friends and I would ride our bikes down to the freight yards and break into the brakeman's shack and steal these small blasting charges that they used to dislodge stuck train couplings. If you placed them on the ground and smashed them with a good sized rock, they would explode like an eighth of a stick of dynamite. One night we were being chased by this Municipal Park policeman, because we were lighting firecrackers (Which were illegal), my friend decides to set off one of the charges. When he smashed it with this porous slab of rock he found, the explosion chipped off a piece of the rock and sent it hurtling towards me. It hit me square in the mid-section and knocked the wind out of me. I can only imagine what it must really feel like to get hit with a piece of shrapnel. I had a bruise where it hit me for over a week.

Ahhhh, the crazy days of youth.  :laugh:


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Re: Stand by Me (1986)
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 01:17:31 AM »

The woodland where I was could echo and we used to hear some local teenagers riding dirt bikes from miles around. Sometimes our imagination would run wild and we were convinced "Motorbike Man" was hunting us! Ok, more imagination than anything, but I think they did like to try and scare us.

I only found out recently that one day I wasn't there, two of my mates built an elborate trap to catch him! Lucky it didn't really! But still, just sums up the way we thought about things.

Offline Achim

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Re: Stand by Me (1986)
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 05:59:47 AM »
I grew up on the edge of a small town myself, less than half a mile from the edge of the forrest. We were a group of five children all born within a range of approx. one and a half years. We had a blast! Lasted until we were about 10.

I am glad I had what I did and fell also a bit sad that today's kids, while having advantages elsewhere, are missing out on that.

While I grew up at entirely different times, Stand By Me makes me look back at my child hood all the same. Same as John, one of my favorites, not always on top of my head.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 06:04:24 AM by Achim »