Stephen King has offered us amazing stories throughout the years consisting of books, short stories, television movies, and lastly, the great and not so great films based upon his works. Often times he scares us with his stories, sometimes making it hard for us to sleep; but there are also the ones that sink into our hearts with deep messages, memorable characters and give us something to hold on to and remember. Stand by Me is one of those films. This film was something that I grew up watching when I was a kid and often thought to myself, “Boy, I wish I could have an adventure like that.”
Stand by Me tells the story of four boys and their harrowing adventures while trying to locate the body of a young boy that was killed in an accident. Along the way, the young group discover things, tell funny stories, and ask questions that only the young will ever understand. Even though I’m much older than I was when I first saw the film, I still act and think like a kid, and I think it’s here to stay.
Throughout the course of the film, we see all the things that our, “local heroes,” go through; being chased by a dog who likes to go after a certain body part, running full sprint from a train, falling into a creek, and even a scene involving a knife and a gun! What makes these scenes work so well is that these kids feels like anyone of us. It brings me back fond memories of me hanging out with my friends and just walking around exploring. Ah, were those the good times.
Each character in the film has their own unique characteristics. Vern is chubby and afraid of everything. Gordie is shy and likes to tell stories including that one about, “Lardass.” Chris is seen as a sort of leader despite the fact that his parents are nothing of the sort. While Teddy sports those classy glasses and likes to swear when his parents aren’t around. One thing that always struck me about this film is just how simple it is. There is really no conflict in this film, or even a main villain.
Stephen King is known for creating fantastic scenes that involve dialogue that feels as if we have or someone we know has spoken the words. Every scene in Stand by Me feels authentic and plausible. Nothing in the film feels forced or even a little fictitious. Not also to include the song by Ben E. King that every time it plays at the end of the film, I always get teary eyed. I’m not sad, it’s just a film that touches our hearts. Stand by Me is one film that the child in us can all relate to. Sharing the laughs, the memories, the good and the bad, we can all reflect on those moments. At times I wish I could go back to that Labor Day weekend in 1959 and find my own adventure the same way our “local heroes” did.