Adapted from the Steven King novella, The Body, Stand by me is set in 1950s Maine( well, it is Steven King) and follows four young freinds as they they set out on a hike in search of the dead body of a child of their own age, killed by a train. The film opens with Richard Dreyfuss seated in his car, the the grown up version of his character, Gordon Lachance, now a proffesional writer. The elder Lachance acts as narrator for the story, reminicing on the events of that trip , his relationship with his freinds, paticularly Chris, played by River Pheonix, and how the search for a dead body became more than just a trip out of morbid fascination but a search for themselves, their own personal hopes and dreams, pains and sorrows and their escape into each other. The movie differs from the book in certain areas, as it must, paticularly in the relationship between Gordy and his deceased older brother( John Cusack ), and the ending is slightly less sombre. The magic of this film is the exploration of childhood that everyone can relate to, and sets this film apart from many a sickly hollywood coming of age drama. Boasting an irresistible soundtrack of old rock an roll classics, this film is responsible for bringing the Ben E. King song of the title back to life. Nostalgic but not sickly, funny and sad, this film lures your childhood memories out of their hiding place and plays them before your eyes. Compellingly acted by its child stars, this film is made all the more powerful when watched now, knowing the real life fate River Pheonix. A must see.