Stand by Me

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

Genre: Adventure, Drama
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.1
Metacritic:
75
Rotten Tomatoes:
91%
R (Restricted)
Year:
1986
88
22,146 Views

Teddy:
Have you guys been watching The Mickey Mouse Club lately? I think Annette's tits are getting bigger.

Gordie:
Yeah, I've been noticing lately that the "A"and the "E" are starting to bend around the sides.

Vern:
Annette's tits are great.

Chris and Teddy:
Yeah.

Vern:
This is a really good time.

Chris:
The most.

Teddy:
A blast.

The Writer:
[voiceover] Vern didn't just mean being off limits inside the junkyard, or fudging on our folks, or going on a hike up the railroad tracks to Harlow. He meant those things, but it seems to me now it was more and that we all knew it. Everything was there and around us. We knew exactly who we were and exactly where we were going. It was grand.

[Teddy spits water at Vern; Gordie and Chris laugh]

Vern:
Great! Spit at the fat kid. Real good. What time is it, Gordie?

Gordie:
Um... [checks his watch] It's 1:15.

Vern:
We better go get the food. Junkyard opens at 3:00. Chopper will be here.

Chris:
Ooh, sic balls.

Teddy:
[to Vern] You go. You can pick us up on the way back.

Vern:
I'm not going alone. We should all go.

Teddy:
I'm stayin' right here.

Gordie:
Yeah, man, I'm not goin'. I'm not goin' all the way out there.

Chris:
Girls, girls, girls, cool it. We'll flip for it.

Gordie:
Okay, odd man goes?

Teddy:
That's you, Gordie, odd as a cod.

Gordie:
[to Chris] Flip or eat lead.

[The four boys flip their coins, and all have landed tails up]

Vern:
Four tails! Oh, Jesus, man, that's a goocher.

Chris:
Oh, come on, Vern. That doesn't mean anything. Let's go again.

Vern:
No, man, a goocher. That's really bad. Remember when Clint Bracken and those guys got wiped out on Weed Hill in Durham? Billy told me they was flippin' for beers, and they came up with a goocher before they got into the car. And bang! They all got totaled! I don't like this, man, sincerely.

Teddy:
Vern-o, nobody believes that crap about moons and goochers. It's baby stuff! Now come on, flip again. [to Vern] You gonna flip, or not?

[They flip their coins again, and this time all show tails except for Gordie]

Teddy:
You lose, Gordie! [cackles] Gordie loses! Oh, Gordie just screwed the pooch! [laughs]

Gordie:
Does the word "retarded" mean anything to you?

Teddy:
Gordie, go and get the provisions, you morphadite!

Gordie:
Don't call me any of your mother's pet names.

[Gordie gets up to leave]

Teddy:
What a wet end you are, Lachance!

Gordie:
Shut up!

Teddy:
I don't shut up.

Vern, Chris, and Teddy:
I grow up, and when I look at you, I throw up! [They point at each other's open mouths making gagging sounds]

Gordie:
And then your mother goes around the corner and she licks it up.

Vern, Chris, and Teddy:
Ooh!

The Writer:
[voiceover] Finding new and, preferably, disgusting ways to degrade a friend's mother was always held in high regard.

Milo:
HEY! Hey, you kid! What are you doing there?! Come over here! [Gordie starts running] You! You come back here! COME BACK HERE, GODDAMMIT! I'LL SIC MY DOG ON YOU!

Vern, Chris, and Teddy:
RUN, GORDIE, RUN! RUN, GORDIE!

Milo:
Chopper! Sic him! Sic him, boy!

The Writer:
[voiceover] Now he said, "Sic him, boy." But what I heard was, "Chopper, sic balls."

[Gordie keeps running and starts screaming as Chopper goes after him. Gordie scales the fence and Chopper tries to jump after him. The boys are surprised by Chopper's appearance]

Gordie:
That's Chopper?

The Writer:
[voiceover] Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality.

Teddy:
Come on, Choppy! Kiss my ass, Choppy, kiss my ass! Come on! [Chopper starts biting Teddy's shirt] Bite shit!

Gordie:
Come on, Choppy! Sic balls, Choppy!

Milo:
Hey, you kids! STOP TEASING THAT DOG! YA HEAR ME?! STOP TEASING HIM! [to Teddy] Sonny, I'm gonna beat your ass, teasing my dog like that!

Teddy:
Yeah? I'd like to see you try to climb over this fence and get me, fat-ass!

Milo:
Don't you call me that, you little tin weasel. Peckerwood loony's son.

Teddy:
What did you call me?

Milo:
I know who you are. You're Teddy Duchamp. Your dad's a loony. A loony up in the nuthouse at Togus. He took your ear and he put it to a stove and he burnt it off.

Teddy:
My father stormed the beach at Normandy.

Milo:
He's crazier than a shithouse rat. No wonder you're acting the way you are, with a loony for a father!

Teddy:
You call my dad a loony again, and I'll kill you.

Milo:
[mockingly] Loony, loony, loony.

Teddy:
[yells and jumps on the fence] I'M GONNA RIP YOUR HEAD OFF AND SHIT DOWN YOUR NECK!!!! I'M GONNA KILL HIM!!!! [the other boys restrain him]

Milo:
You come on and try it, you little slimy bastard!

Chris:
He wants you to go over there so he can beat the piss out of you and then take you to the cops!

Milo:
You watch your mouth, smart guy! Let him do his own fighting!

Gordie:
Sure, you only outweigh him by 500 pounds, fat-ass!

Milo:
I know your name. You're Lachance. I know all you guys. And all your fathers are gonna get a call from me, except for the loony up in Togus.

Teddy:
[lunges again, but the others restrain him again] I'M GONNA KILL YOU!!!!

Milo:
You little foul-mouthed whoremaster!

Teddy:
YOU SON OF A BITCH! I'LL KILL YOU! [the boys begin walking away]

Milo:
Come back here! Come back here, you hear me?!

Teddy:
Nobody ranks out my old man!

Milo:
Come back here!

Teddy:
My father stormed the beach at Normandy!

Milo:
I said come back here!

Teddy:
HE STORMED THE BEACH, YOU FAGGOT!

Milo:
Come back here!

[The boys have come across a train trestle, and are contemplating crossing it.]

Vern:
Any of you guys know when the next train is due?

Chris:
We could go down to the Route 136 bridge.

Teddy:
What are you, crazy? That's five miles down the river! You walk five miles down the river, you gotta walk five miles back. that could take 'til dark. We go across here, we could get to the same place in ten minutes.

Vern:
Yeah, but if a train comes, there's nowheres to go.

Teddy:
Hell, there isn't. You just jump.

Chris:
Teddy, it's 100 feet.

Vern:
Yeah, Teddy.

Teddy:
Look, you guys can go around if you want. I'm crossing here. And while you guys are dragging your candy asses halfway across the state and back, I'll be waiting for you on the other side, relaxing with my thoughts.

Gordie:
Do you use your left hand or your right hand for that?

Teddy:
You wish.

[They start crossing the bridge; Gordie feels the tracks for any vibrations given off by trains; Vern cautiously crawls along the tracks with Gordie walking behind him and the comb falls out of his shirt pocket into the river]

Vern:
[disappointedly] I lost the comb.

Gordie:
Forget it, Vern. [they continue walking along; Gordie suddenly hears a distant sound and looks back the way they came; he then feels the tracks again, and as he does so, he hears a chugging sound; he looks back in the opposite direction again and sees black smoke coming up from the trees; realizing a train is coming, Gordie stands up to alert the others] TRAAAAIN!!! [Chris and Teddy turn around just in time to see a train coming around the corner from the opposite end of the bridge]

Vern:
Oh, shit! [crawls as fast as he can]

Chris:
[to Teddy] Move it, man! Go on, move it!

Gordie:
[furious with desperation] Get up, Vern! Damn it! GET UP! [gets Vern on his feet as the train starts to come onto the bridge] MOVE IT! [Vern immediately cowers] Shit, Vern! Get up! Come on, man!

Vern:
I don't wanna! We're gonna fall!

Gordie:
[looking back at the oncoming train] WE'RE GONNA DIE, DAMN IT! GET UP!!!! [Vern gets to his feet] GO! GO! [the two run as fast as they can]

Chris:
Go, man! Go!

Gordie:
DAMN IT, VERN, GO FASTER!!!!

Vern:
I can't, Gordie!

Gordie:
Go! [the train gets closer to Gordie and Vern]

Chris:
Run! Run! [he and Teddy get off to the side of the tracks as the train gets just inches away from Gordie and Vern] Run. Run, man! Move your ass, man!

Gordie:
Move it! Move it! Go, Vern! Come on, man! Vern! Go!

Chris and Teddy:
Run! Goddamn it! Run!

Gordie:
RUN, VERN! [Chris and Teddy watch with horror; Gordie, thinking quickly, grabs Vern, and the two jump off the side of the bridge just as the train is about to hit them; as the train passes, Chris and Teddy run over to the end of the bridge and see Gordie and Vern disheveled but unharmed]

Chris:
Hey, at least now we know when the next train was due.

Gordie:
Maybe you could come into the college courses with me.

Chris:
Yeah right, that'll be the day.

Gordie:
Why not? You're smart enough.

Chris:
They won't let me.

Gordie:
What do you mean?

Chris:
It's what everyone thinks of my family in this town. It's what they think of me. I'm just one of those low-life Chambers kids.

Gordie:
That's not true.

Chris:
Oh wait, it is. No one even asked me if I took the milk money that time. I just got a three day vacation.

Gordie:
Did you take it?

Chris:
Yeah, I took it! I mean, you knew I took it. Teddy knew I took it. Everyone knew I took it. Even Vern knew it, I think. But maybe I was sorry and I tried to give it back.

Gordie:
You tried to give it back?

Chris:
Maybe. Just maybe. And maybe I took it to Old Lady Simmons and told her, and the money was all there. But I still got a three day vacation because it never showed up. And maybe the next week, Old Lady Simmons had this new suit on when she came to school.

Gordie:
Yeah, yeah! It was brown and it had dots on it.

Chris:
Yeah. So let's just say that I stole the milk money, but Old Lady Simmons stole it back from me. Just say that I told this story. Me, Chris Chambers. Kid brother to Eyeball Chambers. Do you think that anyone would've believed it?

Gordie:
No.

Chris:
And do you think that that bitch would have dared try something like that if it had been one of those douchebags from up on the view, if they had taken the money?

Gordie:
No way!

Chris:
Hell no! But with me?... I'm sure she had her eye on that skirt for a long time. Anyway, she saw her chance, and she took it. I was the stupid one for even trying to give it back. [begins to cry] I just never thought a teacher... Oh, who gives a fuck anyway? I just wish... that I could go some place... where nobody knows me. I guess I'm just a pussy, huh?

Gordie:
[comforting] No way. No way.

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