December 30th, 2006
In “Stand By Me,” based on a Stephen King short story set in 1959, four 13-year-old boys go on a quest to find a dead body. They think their goal is to be on tv and become famous, but they are mistaken. The real purpose of their quest is to gain knowledge that will equip them to enter the adult world.
As in all quest fables, various obstacles threaten their success, such as a fierce dog and a train. But the most fearsome adversary is juvenile delinquent Ace (Kiefer Sutherland) and his gang of thugs.
While overcoming these challenges the boys achieve many rewards, such as empathy, wisdom, and the sight of a deer on the train tracks.
Main character Gordie (Wil Wheaton) learns to accept that his beloved older brother (John Cusack) is dead, and that he himself has a right to live.
The cast of this film is notable:
-Wil Wheaton went on to play Wesley Crusher in Star Trek.
-River Phoenix died in 1993 of a drug overdose, after earning critical acclaim for his roles in “Running on Empty,” “My Own Private Idaho,” and many others. His brother is Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line).
-Corey Feldman appeared with Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys (1986).
-Jerry O’Connell, the fat kid, went on to be that guy in the TV show Sliders. Quinn.
-Kiefer Sutherland currently stars in the hit TV show “24″.
-John Cusack has starred in many films, including “High Fidelity” and “Must Love Dogs.”
Directed by Rob Reiner (Spinal Tap, Sleepless in Seattle), this is a very good movie. The themes of friendship, courage, and loyalty continue to resonate. Strongly recommended, either as a first viewing or a repeat.
Oh yeah, here is the dead guy.