80’s movie lovers, raise your hands and get ready, because this post is for you. I myself am in love with 80’s movies – really, most of my favourite movies are from this time period.
Stand By Me is one of those for multiple reasons – that I’ll explain on this post. So, take a seat and get comfy, because today you’ll enter on a journey with four boys with different personalities, but that are best friends. They’ll face an adventure where they’ll go on the “hunt” for a corpse: the corpse of a boy their age, that is missing after going out to pick some berries in the middle of a forest.
Are you ready? Because I, Sel, came totally prepared.
We have to begin talking on how the cast is great – can you recognize their faces? We have Wil Wheaton, who plays Gordie Lachance, River Phoenix as Chris Chambers, Corey Feldman as Teddy Duchamp and Jerry O’Connell as Vern Tessio. But this great cast doesn’t end here: even if he doesn’t have too much movie time, Kiefer Sutherland – our dear Jack Bauer from 24 – is Ace Merril on the story, a mean and rebellious character that picks on the younger cast.
We can’t leave aside the fact that it wasn’t just the cast that made the movie great on its release, once it’s inspired on a book by Stephen King – one of the most acclaimed writers. It is, then, the second movie based on one of his movies, with great approval on Rotten Tomatoes, losing only to the first version of Carrie. Isn’t that amazing?
An amazing cast with a simple yet fascinating story.
This movie is so nostalgic for me. I watched it for the first time a few years ago, when I discovered the existence of my favourite actor: River Phoenix. I remember I immediately fell in love with his acting. It was always splendid to my eyes and that made me laugh, cry and have stings of feelings for my own youth – that doesn’t get even close to the one the characters made for themselves. One of my best friends, Camila, lived talking about the movie with me. It brings me good memories of when we didn’t have too many worries – it even got us to create a story together in which the main characters were River fans as well.
Anyway, this movie was really important for my love of the seventh art.
The movie, for those who don’t know, was named Stand By Me by Rob Reiner, the movie director, in a tribute to the classic 1961 song by Ben E. King.
Nominations and Story
The movie got very successful nationally and internationally, being nominated even for a japanese award among its many achievements.
It was recognized on the following awards cerimonies:
Oscar 1987 (EUA)
- Nominated as Best Adapted Screenplay.
Golden Globe 1987 (EUA)
- Two nominations, as Best Picture – Drama and Best Director.
Independent Spirit Awards 1987 (EUA)
- Three nominations as Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Academia Japonesa de Cinema 1988 (Japão)
- Nominated as Best Foreign Picture
The movie in reality doesn’t only tell how life can be good during childhood, but also how it can be tough in many aspects that eventually will reflect in our future.
The story starts with a writer already in an advanced stage in his life: Gordie. Reading on a newspaper about the murder of his childhood friend, his thoughts go back to his childhood times and how it was when they were together.
His brother had died and both him and his familly suffered with the loss, which wasn’t so different to his friends – each of them with a different problem at home and in their lives. Even though they’re just 12 years old, their only scapes were to seek refuge on each other.
And, with that, the greatest adventure of their lives was in the day they hear about the body of a boy that was missing for three days – and that, supposedly, this lifeless body could be near the train rail. That’s right, they go on this adventure that involves leeches, train scapes, fights, rescues, deep conversations, companionship, support and mostly a friendship to never forget about.
The Cast and Where They Are Today
One of the most curious and saddest facts about the characters and their actors was that Chris Chambers, played by River Phoenix, dies at his 40s in the movie – and River Phoenix died even younger than his character: at his 23s, on October 31, 1993, on a Halloween night at a nightclub.
All cast are well known until today – and that includes River who remains a legend. Tiver was known by his role on Stand By Me and as the young Indiana Joves in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade – my favourite, to be honest. He acted in My Own Private Idaho, side by side with Keanu Reeves, that would be one of his greatest friends. And, even on a young age, he was nominated to Best Support Character on the Oscars for his role on Running on Empty, 1988.
River was a dedicated activist of animal rights and ambientalist: he was vegan and member of PETA. And it doesn’t end there: he was also a musician and had his own rock band “Aleka’s Attic”.
(Ok, I know, I’m really a River Phoenix fangirl – actually, I’m a fangirl of the Phoenix brothers. I won’t lie that one of my main reasons to choose this movie was the admiration in regards to the brothers’ acting – that, to my eyes, were always excellent and of great magnitude. That’s why I always talk about them whenever I can.)
Editor’s note: we realized that and suggested Selene to write a post on the Phoenix brothers.
But that doesn’t steal the spotlight of the other actors!
Wil Wheaton continued his career, being known for his works in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Big Bang Theory – I confess I spent years without realizing he was playing himself on Big Bang Theory.
As many other actors that got popular by Star Trek, great part of Wheaton’s career was oriented towards his appearance in the series. During his youth, he was one of the main guests on Star Trek conventions and a popular figure on teen magazines.
He participated in other series – such as on the 4th season on Criminal Minds, giving life to the serial killer Floyd Hansen that kidnaps and kills couples that spend nights on his hotel – and, nowadays, is part of an online series “The Guild” on RPG players.
Corey Feldman also had his peak mainly during the 80s – and I, Selene, need to make it clear here: every movie he was in I watched with pride. There are wonderful movies on his career, such as The Goonies, Gremlins and The Lost Boys, most of them part of my list of favourite movies of that time.
Já deixo aqui a recomendação: quem nunca viu The Goonies, por favor, VEJA!
Last, but not less important, Jerry O’connell. I’m sure everyone has seen this face fighting around with a kangaroo named Jack.
That’s right, O’Connell, like the others, has an extensive career: a little more directed towards comedy, he starred in many movies during the years. He had his first main character on Joe’s Apartment – anyone remembers this movie? It was bizarre and funny. It turned into a classic and, after that, Jerry was part of the TV series Sliders.
On the next year, he was called to be Neve Campbell‘s boyfriend on Scream 2 – that I always remember, once I have a “fine” taste in movies and watched all Scream series. Since then, like the others, he never stopped his career and always acted on the same field.
Stand By Me and Its Legacy
On a piece of 2011 called “25 years of Stand By Me, writter Alex Hannaford said “[that] to anyone above 33 years old, Stand By Me remains one of the best movies from the 80’s”.
Here are the facts: it’s not only to those above 33 years old or that lived through those times, but for those who like not only movies, but also the story behind them.
This was my point when I chose to talk about this movie in order to close our Childre’s Week: I know the movie wouldn’t exactly fit the theme, but, still, we all know that childhood – even if it contains the best moments we could and should have – isn’t always like that.
For many, those times can be difficult: there’s bullying, lack of support from family, psychological abuse and many other issues that were present on those times and keep on being present to this day.
In 2016, Charles Bradesco, from Rolling Stone, said Stand By Me is timeless and we should agree it’s not only timeless because of its legacy, but also because of discussing the issues behind a child’s life, something that the movie tells us in each of the character’s lives.
As also said, Stand By Me is “a mark of juvenile nostalgie for its skillful transposition of the line between childhood and adult life”, and “the rare movie that necessarily gets good with time”.
Definitively, there are many reasons I brought this movie as my main post this week: the plot is light and tranquil, but it’s also filled with self knowledge – being young or old, many things will still arise, but “many remain as good summer memories“; just like Gordie’s: the adult Gordie Lachance who remembered the friends he had when he was 12 years old, as “friends he never had in his life again”. But still, always having in mind that:
“…Friends come and go from our lives like waiters on a restaurant”– Stand By Me
I leave here to you a compilation with the official movie soundtrack so you can be even more interested!
I hope this trip through 1980 in one of its classics was calm and profitable – and I hope you get interested on the movie that has so much to present after all those years. I hope it was as incredible and memorable as it was for me.
We from the Sisterhood of the Moon think it’s awesome! So don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments!
Children’s Week Lune Station
Once we arrived at the end of our Children’s Week, here are other posts on Lune during this special week: