Stand By Me is yet another one of the stories made into a movie from the author who has had more stories made into movies than any other author in history, Stephen King. I'd like to argue that this is the definitive Stephen King adaptation.
This movie is literally filled with actors who have achieved varying degrees of success over the years. River Phoenix, who was on course to be the greatest actor of all time, is in there. Corey Feldman, one of the biggest child actors of all time, who has grown into an unenviable but visible existence has a great role to play. And, who could forget Kiefer Sutherland, who is the biggest dick of all time? Even John Cusack can be seen in a small role as Gordie's late brother.
It is extremely rare that a film comes along that stars young kids and is so moving and powerful. Every one of those kids is made three dimensional in creative and smooth ways, making you feel like you really knew them by the end of the film. Vern is the fat kid who always gets picked on, Teddy and Chris both have abusive or deranged fathers, not to mention Chris's cruel brother, and Gordie is a young boy who lost his brother three months earlier in a violent accident and who has been largely ignored by his parents ever since. In one memorable scene, Gordie wonders how Teddy can be so enthusiastic about his father's alleged military achievements when the man once held his head to a stove, nearly burning his ear off. Gordie is mystified because he could care less about his own father, who hadn't laid a hand on him since he was three years old and got caught `eating bleach under the sink.
This is a timeless film. You could watch this when it was released in the eighties, you can watch it now and I guarantee it will be the same in one hundred years. Stephen King's story is skillfully brought to the screen under the direction of Rob Reiner, and the 1950s are brought back to life just as successfully as King so often does in his stories and novels, with the slicked back hair, the hot rods and the excellent 50's soundtrack. There is so much more to this film than just the superficial story – things about the characters and the story, but also about the tremendously talented man who wrote it all.
What Do You Think?
Or a Hit Stop?
Let us know in the comics!