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Wanna go see a dead body? 'Stand By Me' turns 25



Stand By Me

Stand By Me is one of those beloved movies to some '80s fans. And to others, myself included, it was just another afternoon at the cineplex. I know I'm required to wax nostalgic on every single '80s movie, but there are some that never hit home with me. And Stand By Me, which was released 25 years ago this week (Aug. 8, 1986), is definitely one of them.

I feel like I'm constantly required to explain the rationale, so here goes.

1. IT'S A PERIOD PIECE: With only a couple exceptions, I rarely liked period pieces in the '80s. A Christmas Story. Diner. Porky's. Even The Outsiders. All period pieces about the years before I was born. Sorry, I couldn't relate. Didn't want to relate. Didn't have to relate. And I still don't. (Added source of aggravation: Any movie named after a song.)

2. THEY'RE ALL 12 YEARS OLD: In 1986, I was 19 years old. The idea of watching a movie about 12-year-olds didn't appeal to me. Same thing goes for the Goonies, E.T., you name it. And that last line in the movie -- "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?" -- umm, yeah. I can't remember the name of any of my friends from that age. Great line. But it just falls flat on me.

3. THE COREY FELDMAN FACTOR: I think I can honestly say that besides The Lost Boys, there's not one Corey Feldman movie I'd ever want to see again. I'm sure they're fine films -- well, not License to Drive -- and I don't blame Corey necessarily. But it's just a scientific fact.

That all being said, I'm happy for those who identify with part of Stand By Me. It's a movie that has maintained to preserve its appeal over the last couple decades. And just to prove I'm not totally heartless ...


1. To keep in character even when the cameras weren't rolling, Kiefer Sutherland often picked on Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell.

2. Kiefer once claimed in an interview that the cast and crew accidentally bought cookies laced with pot from a Renaissance Fair that was near the set. The crew later found O'Connell crying and high on the cookies somewhere in the park.

3. The movie is based on a short story called The Body by Stephen King from a book of short stories called Different Seasons. That book would spawn three movies in total: Stand By Me, Shawshank Redemption and Apt Pupil.

4. Because director Rob Reiner was an avid non-smoker, the cigarettes smoked by the boys were made from cabbage leaves.

5. When they were filming the scene where Gordie and Vern are about to be run over by the train, Wil Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell did not look scared enough. In frustration Reiner yelled at them to the point where they started crying; that's when they were able to film the scene.


[Last modified: Monday, August 8, 2011 3:58pm]


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