Stand by Me (1986)

by missizziemcguinness


‘I grow up, and when I look at you, I throw up’

Based on the Stephen King novel ‘The Body’, Stand By Me is a coming of age movie about a group of four boys; Chris Chambers (played by the late but still great River Phoenix), Teddy (Corey Feldman), Gordie (Will Weaton) and Vern (Jerry O’Connell) who are fascinated by and track down the body of a boy their age in the woods near by.

The concept as a whole is similar to maybe Lord of the Flies in the sense that four young boys are left on their own without any remote adult supervision only to often create havoc, and at times I associated the two films together; what happens when children are let loose by themselves. We as an audience can almost follow the boys’ around as they take a journey across many railway lines, bridges and through deep ponds; and we can laugh and cry or stand at the side. The best part about this movie is that it is original and none of the adventure would be seen in a post- 2000 film.

I did not realize until the end that you are only a child once and you should make the most of it, even if it means going on a risky quest which is eventually made to look like an adventure.

The actors were very good. I primarily wanted to watch the film because of the titular Ben E. King track which I have come to like, and because of River Phoenix, an actor who was gifted in his craft but died over 20 years ago because he threw it all away to drugs and he is also the older brother of actor Joaquin Phoenix. Corey Feldman and the other actors were also very good and provoked the film to move quietly at a steady pace, making it the best that it can be. Ben E King’s song ‘Stand By Me’  fits in very well with the story about the best friendships that you can ever have in your life at the mere age of 12.

The film isn’t my absolute favourite and it deserves a rewatch but it is one which I came away from with plenty of interpretations; or maybe that it just me overthinking. I cannot really make as much as a full judgement because I have not read the Stephen King book in which it is based on.

Thoughtful, provoking and brilliant but a little slow.

Directed by Rob Reiner.