‘I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?’
Director: Rob Rainer
Writer: Bruce A. Evans & Raynold Gideon
Based on: The Body by Stephen King
Lenght: approx. 88 min
Genre: Coming of Age
Stand By Me came out 30 years ago last month, adapted for the big screen from the Stephen King novella The Body that was part of a book of stories called Different Seasons. The original name was changed because it could have been misleading for the audience as this isn’t either a Horror or Porn. Stand By Me is about a group of four children: Gordon the smart one, Chris the bad boy, Teddy the crazy one and Vern the fat one. Gordo, Chris and Teddy are chilling in their tree house playing cards and smoking cigarettes (fake ones, because Rainer was totally against smoking – it sounds like that if it wasn’t for the director it wouldn’t have been a big issue for the young kids to puff on real ones – oh, the 80s!) when Vern comes up and tells them he heard his big brother and one of his friends talking about having found the body of a boy that had been missing for a few days but since they don’t want to explain to the cops that they got there with a stolen car, they decide to let the poor dead lad rot in the woods. Our four boys decide to walk to the site where the corpse is, ‘discover it’, call the police and become heroes.
So let’s be honest here, they do it half because they think is the right thing to do and half because they want to be on TV. Sounds like a pretty straightforward mission but obviously there will be many obstacles to overcome from every direction: other people, animals, nature and trains. There will also be many bonding moments: lots of hugs, fights and making up, mother jokes and opening up about their lives that have proved very hard regardless their young age and of course tears will flow on and off screen – you gotta be made of stone if you don’t cry at least once. My count is three.
Wheaton, Phoenix and Feldman had a few years acting experience under their belt at this stage but for O’Connell was his absolute first movie role, you can sincerely never have guess it watching him, they all bring an amazing, heart felt performance, also thanks to the director that knew how to push the right buttons to bring out the best out of them – if necessary also with shouting at them and also Kiefer Sutherland to terrorise them not only on but off screen helped. Sutherland himself is the perfect antagonist as the top dog of the villains but perhaps he was just being himself as I’ve heard from a sure source he’s a massive diva in real life.
I will close with a joke Chris tells Teddy that our French readers will enjoy: ‘How do you know if a Frenchman has been in your backyard? Your garbage cans are empty and your dog's pregnant.’ *ba-dum-tshh* - thank you and good night!
Written by Magali Fazio
This is just a video of the song 'Stand By Me' with clips of the movie. Yup I almost cried again watching this!