Writer: Stephen King (novel), Raynold Gideon (screenplay), Bruce A. Evans (screenplay)
Last night I watch the nostalgic classic Stand By Me for the first time! It’s apt, as the film is two days older than I am and turns the big 3-0 next month. Although the actors playing the lead roles were only aged 11-13 when the film was made, Stand By Me has an age certification of 15. This seems mostly due to strong language and a dead body.
It was directed by Rob Reiner, written by Stephen King, narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, and stars Will Wheaton, the late River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell. You may argue that Stand By Me is not strange enough for this blog and you’d be right, but it’s still Stephen King and I like it.
The film also stars the excellent Kiefer Sutherland, playing almost the same character as he does in Lost Boys. I think I’d say I like Lost Boys more than Stand By Me, but they’re extremely different films (sincerely). The latter contains no form of the supernatural, but it makes a good effort into delving in to the special friendships that most people only seem to experience at the age of ten to fifteen. I don’t know if it’s the same for kids now, not being one or having one, but I hope it’s still the case.
My DVD has a pretty good “behind the scenes” documentary in the extras, featuring interviews with Reiner, King and the three living boys (in their late twenties or so). It was filmed after the death of River Phoenix. It’s worth a watch, which makes a change from most DVD extras.
Countless King adaptations have left audiences affronted – The Graveyard Shift languishes on IMDb with a score of just 4.7 and The Mangler has accrued just 3.9 – while other adaptations like Christine and Cujo have merely disappointed. But when King’s work is adapted with faithfulness, skilfully compressing all of its complexity into the limited run time offered by film, it can result in some of the world’s most adored and acclaimed cinema; look no further than Carrie(1976), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and The Green Mile (1999). – Writer Loves Movies
The universality of childhood adventures (or misadventures), the struggles of growing up and a cast that Hollywood execs must have congratulated themselves on for decades. ‘Stand by Me’ launched the careers of so many of its actors: Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, John Cusack, River Phoenix and Kiefer Sutherland all appeared in the film. – SF Gate