stand-by-me-oct-17thBased on a Stephen King short story, Stand By Me is a classic rites of passage movie about four 12 year old boys who go in search of the body of a boy reported missing. Their dogged determination to leave behind the personal difficulties which bind them together in friendship is at the heart of the film. With fine performances from the ensemble cast featuring Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell. “… as fresh and moving as it was when it was first released. Superbly acted…the classic of its genre” – Emma Cochrane, Empire (Cert 15)
Dir: Rob Reiner 88 mins USA 1986

Programme Notes

Stand By Me
USA 1986 88 minutes Cert. 15

The film, based on The Body, by Stephen King, is narrated by, Gordie Lachance. After reading a newspaper article about the death of a friend, he recounts a childhood journey over Labor Day weekend in September 1959 to find the body of a missing boy.

Young Gordie spends his time with three friends: Chris Chambers, who is from a family of criminals and alcoholics and is usually stereotyped accordingly, even though he does not conform to the perceptions and stigmas attached to his family; Teddy Duchamp who is eccentric and physically scarred after his mentally unstable father held his ear to a stove; and Vern Tessio who is overweight, timid, and often picked on.

The film follows their adventures and shows how the boys relate to each other, to the adult world, and to Fifties America.

Gordie Lachance (adult) – Richard Dreyfuss
Gordie Lachance (aged 12) – Wil Wheaton
Chris Chambers – River Phoenix
Vern Tessio – Jerry O’Connell
Teddy Duchamp – Corey Feldman
Denny Lachance – John Cusack
Ace Merril – Kiefer Sutherland

Director – Rob Reiner
Screenplay – Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon based on a novella by Stephen King
Original Music – Jack Nitzsche
Cinematography – Thomas Del Ruth
Film Editor – Robert Leighton
Producers – Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon, Andrew Scheinman

“Rob Reiner’s bucolic, nostalgic drama is widely agreed to be one of the most successful adaptations of a story by horror master Stephen King” Andrew Collins, Radio Times


“Just a masterpiece, with its themes of childhood and bravery – performed brilliantly by the four main leads. Flawless!”

“Casting very good. Juvenile leads outstanding.”

“A wonderful rites of passage story”

“A very American rites of passage film. It needed all that space.”

“Great bonding and friendship”

“Nice balance of sweet and sour. Good to hear the Chordettes again!”

“Interesting but had problems with the dialogue. Background music definitely my era – good to hear those tunes again.”

“Great music which I just remember! Dialogue rather poor or was it just the American language?”

“Brutal rituals of young men tempered by some real and well-understood emotions supported by friends.”

“At times, an uncomfortable rites of passage film but very well done!”

“Almost unbearable to watch”

“Great – but I found the sound difficult”

“Was it just my ears or was the dialogue difficult to hear?”

“Poor sound”

“Not quite like being in the Boy Scouts!”

“Another film with instant-dry clothes. Fairly good – lots of nostalgic music.”

“OK – good music”

“Something missing – not sure what”

“Not for me, I fear. Would have helped if I could have heard more than 20% of what the boys said.”

“As bad as I remember it from 20yrs ago. The only good thing was the music.”

“Unconvincing – worst film I’ve seen for a long time.”

“I’ve always wanted to take a long walk along a railway line …”


A:12, B:16, C:7, D:4, E:2 to give 70%