on 4 December 2006
Stand by Me, was the second film, directed by Rob Reiner, son of Carl Reiner, known best for his television work in the US and for launching the career of one Steve Martin.
Reiner was faithful to what Stephen King wanted, he was familiar with the material that could work and wouldn't. He made subsquent trimmings on the novel, so that the most important things for example, outlying the real friendship between Chris and Gordie being dominant, the way they communicate and approach their troubles in white-collar broken families with hard drinking fathers, which they refer to as "their old men". The film does not detact from Gordie's nostalgic narration as an adult, it is in some ways, tighter and easy to follow than the novel in this case.
A good tip, i will offer is, it is better to read the short story, The Body upon what the material is based on. There you will understand deeper the character of Chris Chambers; his father's binges; why his brother was known as "Eyeball" Chambers; his discontent for School; also indulge in Will's ambitious writing talent and their continuing friendship long after this episode which is very benefital as important. You will really enjoy it more, honest, i have.
Stand for Me, follows in particular, a young boy known as Gordon "Gordy" Lacha, who after losing his brother to a tragic accident, goes on an adventure with his best friend, Chris and the two pals they hang around with, Teddy and Vern, to retrieve the body of Ray Brower, a missing boy out for a raspberry picking.
This is effectively a character driven piece, with a great stunt piece, the runaway train sequence, the confronations between the friends, trying to abine and then drift apart as friends do, when they feel they have nothing left to prove and the jokes shared and the mere messing around.
This is Phoenix's shining performance, that makes this one. He plays Chris Chambers, who knows he is "able" to make a difference, when Gordie's anxiety with his parents wears him down, he is more than eager to show him, that if he doesn't listen to what is right, then he could lose his most valved dream of all. Chambers on the other hand, knows he has to help, but doesn't know how to do it properly, he is frightened he could hurt Gordie and that was point, he was making.
Stand by Me is also a film, where youngsters have to face up for their future, in a world of uncertainy, dreams broken and lies discussed, people who have to grow up on their own with or without their friends.
Stand by Me was a sleeper hit, it did manage to reach number tweleve on the top box office receipts of 1986 in the US, but in recent years, since Phoenix's passing, the film has become a reminder of how sad life can be and so unfortunate to so many people, it has hence become more powerful, it's popularity has continued to flourish on it's dedicated cult base and will continue to do so, as long as people have a dream for desire.
Reiner, himself went onto bigger projects including the romantic comedy, ....when Harry met Sally and the US Naval melodrama, A Few good men. Sadly his career has gone down since directing, North, the box office disaster in 1994, but it may be resurrected by his new forthcoming project, The Bucker List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.