In a small woodsy Oregon town, a group of friends--sensitive Gordie (Wil Wheaton), tough guy Chris (River Phoenix), flamboyant Teddy (Corey Feldman), and scaredy-cat Vern (Jerry O'Connell)--are in search of a missing teenager's body. Wanting to be heroes in each other's and their hometown's eyes, they set out on an unforgettable two-day trek that turns into an odyssey of self-discovery. They sneak smokes, tell tall tales, cuss 'cause it's cool and band together when the going gets tough. When they encounter the town's knife-wielding hoods who are also after the body, the boys discover a strength they never knew they had. Stand by Me is a rare and special film about friendship and the indelible experiences of growing up. Filled with humor and suspense, Stand by Me is based on the novella 'The Body' by Stephen King.
Looking back on the popular 1986 film 14 years later, director Rob Reiner has several great stories to tell about his breakthrough hit. Reiner's folksy commentary and a new 35-minute featurette (with new interviews from the cast) illustrate how much of the film draws from the personal experiences of Reiner and novelist Stephen King. Both the featurette and Reiner's commentary touch on the tricky casting of the film (starring four adolescent boys), the problems with finding the right narrator (finally performed by Reiner's childhood friend, Richard Dreyfuss), and the ironic sadness of River Phoenix's death (whose character's premature death triggers the flashback that comprises almost all of the film). Descriptions of the production's originial producer-screenwriters and long-shot logistics are, unfortunately, relegated to the liner notes. Also contains an isolated musical score track (punctuated by several early rock favorites), production notes, the MTV video of the title song, and digitally remastered audio and video. --Doug Thomas