Stand By Me

{4.5/5} “Vern didn’t just mean being off limits inside the junkyard, or fudging on our folks, or going on a hike up the railroad to Harlow. He meant those things, but it seems to me now it was more and that we all knew it. Everything was there and around us. We knew exactly who we were and exactly where we were going. It was grand.”

In 1959 a boy hears about the location of a dead body — he and his friends set out to find it. The body is some distance out of town, so most of the movie takes place while the kids are walking on the way there. They have some fun but they also are each dealing with some serious issues.

Gordie likes to write stories, but his parents are basically ignoring him — they’re mourning the death of his football-playing older brother. Chris is a basically good kid who is pigeon-holed as no good because of his family. Teddy is a bit reckless — his father was in the war and later went to a mental hospital. Vern is a bit chubby and not so eager to do anything that might be dangerous.

Stand By Me was released in 1986. I was under the impression that I had seen this movie. But I was only familiar with the basic premise — which I could have gotten from the trailer. If I did see this movie before, it was more than 20 years ago and I forgot it all.

It’s a wonderful movie, and the kids are all talented actors. The plot is straightforward but the details and emotions pull you in.

I averted my eyes for one part: I don’t like to watch people throwing up.

The soundtrack consists mainly of hit songs from the time period.

Wil Wheaton (the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation) plays Gordie, River Phoenix (The Mosquito Coast) plays Chris, Corey Feldman (The Goonies) plays Teddy, and Jerry O’Connell (the TV show Sliders) plays Vern. John Cusack (Being John Malkovich) has a cameo as Gordie’s brother, in a couple of great scenes. And Kiefer Sutherland (Dark City) plays a not-so-nice older kid. The narrator’s voice should seem familiar — it’s Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws).

The movie was directed by Rob Reiner (The Princess Bride), and based on a story by Stephen King (The Green Mile).

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 7th, 2012 at 6:54 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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