On August 8, 1986 director Rob Reiner began an incredible five film run by releasing a seemingly simple adaptation of a Stephen King novella called The Body. Reiner’s film was called Stand By Me and starred River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell as four young friends who, in 1959, set out on a journey to see a dead body. After initially opening in limited release, the film expanded a few weeks later and became a box office hit, raking in just over $50 million.
As a young boy, though, none of that was important. What was important is when I finally saw Stand By Me, I was at an impressionable enough age that Reiner’s film, so expertly crafted and filled with perfect dialogue and performances, taught me things my parents never would have thought of. I was schooled in the ways of Fifties pop music. I learned what a leech was. I learned how to use “dodge” as verb and I learned how many you got for flinching. What was, on the surface, a seemingly simple adaptation was obviously much more than that and has stood the test of time.
After the jump, read fifteen silly and serious things Stand By Me still teaches us 25 years after its initial release. Read More »