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Stand by Me 1986

In this coming of age film, Gordie, Chris, Vern and Teddy are four boys who hear about a dead body 20 miles down the railway from their town. Secretly they try to lay eyes on this rare thing. Amid numerous misadventures they savour what may be their last chance to be kids while the future could tear them apart.

Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix
1 hour, 24 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Rob Reiner
Starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix
Supporting actors Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Casey Siemaszko, Gary Riley, Bradley Gregg, Jason Oliver, Marshall Bell, Frances Lee McCain, Bruce Kirby, William Bronder, Scott Beach, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cusack, Madeleine Swift, Popeye, Geanette Bobst, Art Burke
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
When plump Vern Tessio (Jerry O'Connell) enters the tree house, he is bursting to tell his friends a secret. Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) whose father beats him makes a joke of it and starts to sing. Gordie LaChance (Wil Wheaton), Chris' best friend from a middle-class but dysfunctional family, joins in the laughter, together with bespectacled Teddy Duchamp whose 'crazy' father almost burned Teddy's ear off in a drunken rage. The singing and laughter stops though when Vern asks them if they want to see a dead body. Vern overhead two youths secretly discussing the discovery of the body of a missing boy somewhere along a railway line outside of town. The gang of four decide to set out and rediscover the body and take the credit for themselves.

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).
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Format: DVD
I've been a huge fan of this film since it first came out. It currently holds my personal record for the film I've seen more times than any other, and in the week since I bought the DVD, I've added another 3 viewings.
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!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Based on a novella entitled "The Body" from Stephen King's anthology Different Seasons, this adaptation loses none of its power and charm on Blu-ray.

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.
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