Stand by Me (1986)
Dir: Rob Reiner
“I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being”
When a film start like that you know it’s not going to be the happiest thing you’ve ever watched. ‘Stand by Me’ is the story of four young boys who go off together in search of the dead body of a missing boy, and so it’s not the most joyful of stories, but in the hands of Rob Reiner, better known for films such as ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally’, it still somehow manages to be heartwarming.
The film features performances from many recognisable actors in their younger days, including Jerry O’Connell, River Phoenix, and Sheldon Cooper’s nemesis Will Wheaton. Despite having a young cast, it’s not really a kids film, though the version I watched had been edited to remove the strongest of the language so it could be shown in a ‘family movie’ slot on TV. Even with the language cuts, the premise of the film is quite morbid, and each of the boys has some troubled background which is discussed.
As Gordie says, “We’re going to see a dead kid… maybe it shouldn’t be a party” and a party it certainly isn’t, but it’s still a good tale well told, no matter how sad it might be.