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Happy 30th Anniversary ‘Stand By Me’: Here’s 10 Things You Might Not Know…


One of the most effective coming of age films of all time, Stand By Me was released 30 years ago today.

Based on the novella, “The Body” from Stephen King’s book, Different Seasons, Stand By Me told the story of four very different friends who set off on an adventure together to see a dead body in 1959.  Directed by Rob Reiner the film starred Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, John Cusack and Richard Dreyfus.

To acknowledge this momentous event in cinegeek history, here are ten things you might not know about Stand By Me.

10. Apparently during filming, Jerry O’Connell tied up his babysitter to a banister and escaped to visit a Renaissance Fair close to the production.  There, he mistakenly bought (and ate) some pot cookies.  He was found in the parking lot a few hours later, crying and stoned.

9. When the boys add up all their money, they come up with $2.37.  The number 237 appears in quite a few of Stephen King’s stories including the cursed Overlook Hotel Room number in The Shining and Red’s cell number in the novella “Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption”  (which became the film. The Shawshank Redemption).

8.  Director Rob Reiner originally cast actor David Dukes and then Michael McKean as the writer (aka “the narrator”) was ultimately was portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss.

7. Pranks were abundant during filming.  At one point Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix and Jerry O’Connell soaked Corey Feldman’s clothes in beer then dried them so he smelled like a wino.

6. Stephen King mentioned greaser Ace Merrill meeting his maker in his novel Needful Things and Teddy Duchamp was first mentioned in King’s first novel, Carrie, in which Carrie destroys an  an Amoco gas station once owned by Duchamp.

5. Kiefer Sutherland stayed in character and terrified first time actor Jerry O’Connell.

4. In order to find the perfect laugh as described in Stephen King’s story, Corey Feldman and director Rob Reiner tested thirty different laughs for Teddy Duchamp.

3. When casting Stranger Things, they had the kids read classic scenes from Stand By Me for their auditions.

2. Reiner was an imaginative director with the young actors. To get the most authentic reaction possible Reiner waited until the possible moment to reveal Ray Brower’s body.

When shooting Vern and Gordie outrunning the train, Reiner utilized a 600mm image-compressing camera lens to ensure that the boys were never in danger.  As a result, the boys weren’t coming across as being particularly fearful until Reiner lost his temper, threatening their lives and screamed that they were, “f*cking this thing up”.

It worked.

1. In the novella, Stephen King reveals that Teddy is killed in a car crash and Vern dies in a house-fire.

Happy Anniversary to this must have film.


Stand By Me is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital





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