It was the summer of 1993 when I first watched Rob Reiner’s adaptation of Stephen King’s story The Body. Sadly I had been miss-sold on this movie, I saw the ‘based on a story by Stephen King’ credit and assumed this would be IT part 2.
Whilst I didn’t get the horror movie I was expecting, I did watch one of the greatest coming of age films of all time.
After reading about the death of his childhood friend, Chris Chambers, Gordie Lachance (Richard Dreyfuss) recounts the Labor Day Weekend in 1959 he and his friends set out to find the body of a missing boy.
The four boys all come from different walks of life, Chris (River Phoenix) comes from a family of drunks and criminals, Teddy (Corey Feldman) has an abusive Father, timid and often bullied Vern (Jerry O’Connell) tells the group about the body and Gordie still lives in the shadow of his recently deceased older brother (John Cusack).
A gang of older boys pursue the four friends, lead by a deliciously evil Kiefer Sutherland as Ace. The performances from the four boys are all perfect, everybody can identify with one of the characters and we have all had that one summer that we remember forever.
It’s another haunting reminder of just how good an actor River Phoenix was, even at such a young age he gives a measured and heartfelt performance. It genuinely makes me sad when I think of all the characters he never got to play.
Here’s a sentence I never thought I would type, Corey Feldman deserved an Oscar nomination for his work here.
Teddy is a complex character that even a seasoned actor would struggle to bring to life. Feldman showed such promise so young, it broke my heart to see him on Dancing on Ice and lets not talk about those Lost Boys sequels.
Rob Reiner has directed many a good film, This is Spinal Tap, When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men and my near all time favourite The Princess Bride. It’s a shame he slipped into by the numbers comedies as his light touch is sorely missed on the big screen.
There’s also a wonderfully childlike campfire story about local legend Lardass Hogan, who rigs himself to spew at a pie-eating contest to get back at those who were cruel to him. This never fails to make me laugh.
Stand By Me remains one of my favourite movies and it’s even more enjoyable on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s a film I watched as a kid and has stayed with me all my life, and will do for many years to come.
All rounded off with the song by Ben E King, what more could you ask for!
The Blu Ray contains some great special features and is worth adding to your collection.Pin It