Stand By Me


(out of 5)

Poignant, unforgettable film that captures the rites of passage from boyhood to the adult world with such strong detail and swift movements that have been imitated countless times since but without comparison. Three twelve year-olds are inspired to insatiable curiousity when their fourth friend (Jerry O’Connell in his film debut) tells them that he knows where a dead body can be found. The other three, a misunderstood rebel (River Phoenix), a mouthy victim of child abuse (Corey Feldman) and a timid but promising whizkid (Wil Wheaton) insist on seeing the body, so the foursome make plans for a day’s journey to find it. Along the way, the boys talk, bond, skirt danger, and find out that life is a little bit more complicated than what they’ve learned from comic books and movies. What’s most magnificent about this coming-of-age tale is that director Rob Reiner makes sure that these kids always talk like kids; their bonding around a campfire isn’t as a result of them magically knowing the secrets of the universe, it’s because they talk about their favourite foods (Pez) and the zooligical nature of Goofy with three friends on their own peer level. Funny, quietly sad, shrewd and memorable, it’s a standout adaptation of anything written by Stephen King (in this case his short story The Body) and a high point in Reiner’s directorial career.

USA, 1986

Directed by Rob Reiner

Screenplay by Raynold Gideon, Bruce A. Evans, based on the novella The Body by Stephen King

Cinematography by Thomas Del Ruth

Academy Award Nomination
Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material From Another Medium) (Raynold Gideon, Bruce A. Evans)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Director (Rob Reiner)

National Board Of Review Award
Top Ten Films

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Adapted Screenplay

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Rob Reiner)

Independent Spirit Award Nominations
Best Feature
Best Director (Rob Reiner)
Best Screenplay


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