Stand By Me [DVD] 
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In a small, woodsy Oregon town, a group of friends - sensitive Gordie (Wil Wheaton), tough guy Chris (River Phoenix), flamboyant Teddy (Corey Feldman), and scaredy-cat Vern (Jerry O'Connell) - are in search of a missing teenager's body. Wanting to be heroes in each other's and their hometown's eyes, they set out on an unforgettable two-day trek that turns into an odyssey of self-discovery. When they encounter the town's knife-wielding bullies who are also after the body, the boys discover a strength they never knew they had.
A sleeper hit when released in 1986, Stand by Me is based on Stephen King's novella "The Body" (from the book Different Seasons); but it's more about the joys and pains of boyhood friendship than a morbid fascination with corpses. It's about four boys ages 12 and 13 (Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell) who take an overnight hike through the woods near their Oregon town to find the body of a boy who's been missing for days. Their journey includes a variety of scary adventures (including a ferocious junkyard dog, a swamp full of leeches and a treacherous leap from a train trestle), but it's also a time for personal revelations, quiet interludes and the raucous comradeship of best friends. Set in the 1950s, the movie indulges an overabundance of anachronistic profanity and a kind of idealistic, golden-toned nostalgia (it's told in flashback as a story written by Wheaton's character as an adult, played by Richard Dreyfuss). But it's delightfully entertaining from start to finish, thanks to the rapport among its young cast members and the timeless, universal themes of friendship, family and the building of character and self-esteem. Kiefer Sutherland makes a memorable teenage villain and look closely for John Cusack in a flashback scene as Wheaton's now-deceased and dearly missed brother. A genuine crowd-pleaser, this heartfelt movie led director Rob Reiner to even greater success with his next film, The Princess Bride. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Stand By Me (1986) is a coming-of-age-movie that is full of amusing (and revolting - they are young boys, after all) moments and, at once, it's rather sad. The story is narrated throughout by young Gordon 'Gordie' LaChance. Vern is fat and bullied. Chris knows that he will be like is his father and never amount to anything. Trevor cannot bear that his father is mentally unbalanced, and Gordie has been almost invisible to his parents since their beloved elder son (John Cusack) died. While the young actors give outstanding performances, their performances are equalled by the movie's amazing soundtrack.
The Blu-ray of Stand By Me is an excellent transfer with great HD and audio (5.1 various languages), which is surprising consider the movie is pushing 30 years old. I've seen worse Blu-rays of recent movies. You can get more from the disk if your Blu-ray player is connected to the internet (mine isn't).Read more ›
This isn't the kind of film people will buy if they don't know what it's about, so I won't go into a synopsis of the film or a review of it. What I'd like to write about are the extras on the DVD. The extended "making of" feature answers all the questions we ever asked, with present-day interviews with Reiner, Wheaton, Feldman, Connell and Sutherland. None of them got *too* maudlin about River Phoenix... Also present is Stephen King, who hails SBM as the first movie adaptation of any of his books with which he was pleased, especially as the film cahnges the focus from the Chris Chambers character to Gordie.
Anyone who knows the film well should absolutely hear Rob Reiner's running commentary to the film. This is my one criticism of Columbia - it wasn't easy to find: the option on the menu page didn't work and it had to be called up by selecting Audio Soundtrack 7. Explaining both the technical ins and outs of how some of the shots were achieved (don't miss the train dodge!) and the impact of filming some of the scenes put a new perspective on the movie for me.
I was also glad to discover that I'm not the only one who thought that Will Wheaton's and the young doe's facial features looked remarkably similar... :)
All in all, if you've worn out your copy of the VHS, invest in the DVD - it's worth it! Not to mention that Rob Reiner knows how to use a panoramic cinema screen and the widescreen version just looks so much better than the P&S versions available on VHS!
In the summer of 1959, four teenagers set off on an expedition. Their objective is to locate the corpse of a missing boy and thereby gain some degree of local fame. What none of them realises is that by the end of their two-day trek, they will have done a lot of growing up.
Director Rob Reiner struck cinematic gold when he cast the four leads. Rarely has such a relatively young cast combined to exactly the right effect. Wil Wheaton's and River Phoenix's characters carry much of the emotional burden: both lacking in confidence but sharing a formidable bond of friendship. By contrast Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell provide the comic relief but each has deeper moments to shine. All of them demonstrate a mature acting ability.
The picture on this Blu-ray is perfectly clean and bright, enhanced by a veneer of grain and some slight soft focus. The original mono soundtrack is accompanied by a subtle DTS-HD 5.1 option with only the music being given a greater spatial feel. This is especially effective in the opening moments when the slower, orchestral arrangement of the title song leads into Richard Dreyfuss' contemplative narration.
Bonus features include Reiner's audio commentary and the documentary from the 2000 DVD release together with an engrossing new picture-in-picture retrospective from Reiner, Wheaton and Feldman.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this is a film that hasn't dated one bit. It effortlessly captures the camaraderie, joie de vivre, pain and loss of innocence that are encompassed by childhood. You can never relive it but if you ever feel the need to revisit it, Stand by Me will awaken those memories in an instant.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the subtitles wont switch off . I am not happy with this dvd.Published 7 days ago by dennis halliday
My parents used to call me Vern, I now know why. I've watched this movie on repeat some nights and I just cannot shake my love for this film. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nathan
Awesome film...you will cry. Order tissues at the same time ha haPublished 2 months ago by Chris B.
Love this film, one of the true greats, I am now becoming an old man and still LOVE this film to pieces, a reminder of my childhood before www and game sytems took over, happy days... Read morePublished 2 months ago by AnonymousDrone
I feel bad giving it 1 star as its a fantastic movie, but I just want people to know the picture quality is terrible, this is not a HD remaster it looks more like a transfer from a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by MrGreen