Stand By Me 1986 American Theatrical Release Poster.jpg

2021 Movie Draft- Round 10- Pick 6- Hanspostcard selects- adventure- Stand By Me.

A great coming of age movie. Based on a Stephen King short story ‘The Body’ and produced by Rob Reiner who had two other films he directed selected in our draft- This Is Spinal Tap and The Princess Bride. The story is based around the four boys- Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern who after learning the location of the body of dead Ray Brower- go on a two day hike to discover the body and they believe gain fame for the discovery. That is the journey they take- but the movie really isn’t about that. It’s Labor Day weekend- the boys are making a big jump in a couple days- to 7th grade and junior high school. Teddy and Vern are headed for the shop classes and it isn’t too long into the movie before you can figure out why- they certainly aren’t going to be candidates by 1959 standards for anything beyond high school. Gordie is the brain who certainly wouldn’t belong with Teddy and Vern. Chris is the leader of the boys but due to his bad family life and older brothers he has already been pegged to join Teddy and Vern. It’s clear he is smart and has great leadership qualities. He seems resigned to his fate.

Stand by Me' at 30: Why This Stephen King Movie Is Timeless - Rolling Stone

This movie always rings true to me because I remember the summer when I was twelve- leaving 6th grade and going to 7th – once my little league baseball season ended in early July-my mind turned to something I had been dreading- 7th grade. In my case it was just going from the 2nd to the 3rd floor of the same building I went to elementary school in- and also the addition of students from a smaller rural elementary schools 7th graders who would be coming to town. A lot of things of course you find the worry was worse than the reality but for some reason I nailed it in this case. 7th grade was a big year of transition. Things did change. I had four close friends in elementary school. I of course figured we would be friends for life. My mom once told me that the friends I would have would sometimes change- I’d gain other friends as I got older- and some of the friends I had would drift away. I didn’t believe that. As it turned out 7th grade was a turning point. The line in the movie that I always think of is the one near the end where a middle age Gordie who is a writer- says ‘As time went on, we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern until, eventually, they became just two more faces in the halls. Happens sometimes, friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant.’ So true of those four close friends I had through elementary school by high school only one remained and he remains a close friend to this day. The other three- there was no ‘fall out’ with any of them, we all just grew apart. By high school they were just faces in the hall.

Why "Stand By Me" Is one of the greatest movies ever made | KiwiReport

The movie is one I have watched often over the years- and I get something out of it each time. A great story, a great soundtrack. Also features in small roles two actors who would hit it big- John Cusack as Gordie’s brother and Keifer Sutherland as an older hood- ‘Ace Merrill. The boys are played by a young River Phoenix [Chris] Will Wheaton [Gordie at 12, Richard Dreyfus as Gordie as an adult] Corey Feldman as Teddy and Jerry O’Connell as Vern.

“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?- Gordie Lechance.


  1. Haven’t seen this one in a long time and it’s time to revisit it. It is a fine movie and a pretty great novella too- I like Stephen King but he can be very predictable in many of his works, but he shifted gears a little in this one and was the better for it.
    Where I grew up we also switched schools in Grade 7 (to a junior high from the elementary school). Had a long walk to the junior high whereas the elementary was only a few doors up the street. I never considered it until reading your post but I think that did change things. Up to grade 6, I mostly hung around with the kids on my street around my age. Proximity. In junior high, with a regional base, people began finding friends on commonality I guess, and the living close by friends weren’t always maintained. An interesting point there, Hans.

    • I meant to add that I am not big into King- the only stuff I have ever read by him were the stories for Stand By Me/ Shawshank Redemption and the book 11.22.63….. junior high the world seemed to all the sudden get bigger. the two worst school years i had were 7th grade and then my first year of high school- .. they always talk about quarterbacks in the NFL- at first things seem to go fast and then the game slows down- that was what it was like for me- 7th grade was a blur- and miserable then it seemed that things gradually slowed down where I could comprehend. Funny the same thing happened when I became a teacher- after a couple years things just slowed down.

  2. I’ve seen this movie around 3 or 4 times. Same here with the friends. I really loved our elementary school. It was small and went from 1st grade to 8th grade…in 7th grade we had to go to a brand new school just built that housed 7th through 9th grade with many more students. Everything changed…some friends went to another new school that was built and there was a lot of change that went on…everything was different from then on.

    I knew kids like these kids in the movie…it was a great representation. A great coming of age film.

    This story is basically the same story as King’s IT…with a horrific clown running amuck.

    • maybe it was me but in elementary school i never saw much division- junior high i immediately sensed the starting of groups- and the pressure to be accepted. before it just seemed to me everyone was closer- and for the most part part of the group.

    • In elementary yes it was always about having fun. In Jr High the cliques started… and where I was the “hoods and the jocks” division started.

  3. I know I’ve seen it but only remember bits and pieces. Isn’t Dennis Hopper in there somewhere? I do remember the transition from grade to middle school. My folks were divorced when I was 10 and my mom and us kids relocated to a new neighborhood with lots of kids in it. My brothers and I loved all of the playmates. 5th and 6th grade were my happiest times in school, a new best friend that lived across the alley and we had *great* teachers both years. Our neighborhood friends and classmates were the best. And then… 7th grade. Most of our friends got shipped off to private religious schools or moved away. The poor white kids trudged the 3 miles to the 99% black school at the height of racial hostility. We were targets of hatred. To plunge from such good to such bad does things to a kid’s mind. Add in the sh*tty home life and you’ve got a mess.

    Sorry to go on and on about it. Your review triggered those old memories. My ex-bf loved this movie!

  4. I’ve seen this a couple of times. The scene that sticks out in my mind is the blueberry barf scene. I was totally grossed out the first time I saw it. Years later, not so much. LOL! Looking at those four main actors, Corey Feldman & River Phoenix really had hard lives (with River not making it).

    My hometown (small back then) had a strange quadruple split thing going on. Elementary was 1st thru 5th and I got put in a new elementary school for 5th, effectively splitting up a group that had been together for four years. Middle schools (only two in the city limits) were 6th thru 8th and 9th grade was one stand-a-lone in the middle of town. We arrived from opposite sides of town (the rich west and the middle/lower class east) for one year and split back up to go to the respective high schools for 10th thru 12th (east & west). My mother, having re-married, moved me to the west side of town and I wound up in the high school, with all the kids that I had just met in 9th…for one semester (marriage failed…quickly). That 9th grade school was closed after we went thru and both high schools wound up taking in all the new 9th graders with the new 10th graders, all together. My second semester in 10th, I was returned to the high school I was supposed to have gone to, to begin with.

    The only difference for me regarding 7th grade was that it was the first year of changing classes (and some of the girls turned into conniving bitches). 5th & 6th grades were static “team rooms” (two teachers instead of one) even though they were split between elementary schools and middle schools.

    There are some I graduated with that I knew from 1st grade (and a handful from nursery/kindergarten) and I still have friends to this day…tho, “the covid” really messed up our common gatherings.

    Looks like me and Lisa did a retro-flashback for ourselves. You are kind to read…LOL!

  5. ‘Stand By Me’ is timeless. Even though I grew up forty years later, and thousands of miles from Oregon, the characters and the emotions they go through are every twelve year old boy. The four young actors are all great, but I always think Keifer Sutherland’s role gets forgotten about – he terrifies me even to this day. The soundtrack’s great too – got me into Buddy Holly.

    • Yes- Keifer doesn’t get much screen time but he is very effective and memorable in the limited time he had.

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