Friday, November 26, 2010

#205 Stand By Me (1986)


Director: Robert Reiner

Cast: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, John Cusack, Gary Riley, Casey Siemaszko

An adaptation of Stephen King's novella "The Body," Stand By Me is the story about the coming-of-age revelations and the bonds of boyhood. Four friends in the year 1959 are one weekend away from beginning junior high and embark on a journey to recover the body of a boy their age who has gone missing. On the journey, we get to know the boys– Gordie, a smart, small boy living in the shadow of his dead brother; Chris, the group's leader who has a bad reputation despite his good nature; Vern, the chubby, somewhat pathetic goof, and Teddy, the crazy, smart-alec who has a reputation based on his father who lost his mind on the beach of Normandy and abuses poor Teddy.

What the boys experience on the journey changes them, and the bonds they create resonate for them all through their lives. The film, in fact, is a memory of Gordie's-- and his voice-over narration leads through the harrowing adventure with an equal mix of adult nostalgia and boyish innocence.

Unlike some other boyhood-bond movies I've seen, this one doesn't wreak too much of sentimentality, except when it really counts. I've always found myself enjoying Stephen Kind adaptations: Shawshank, Carrie, Green Mile, The Shining. Looking forward to seeing the others, if any, on the list.

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