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Stand by Me

Directed by Rob Reiner

USA, 1986

Cornerhouse, 20 January 2013

Stand by Me

Stephen King wrote a low-key, elegiac story about boys growing up in a small town – a story closer to ‘Big Two-Hearted River’ or ‘Barn Burning’ than to his usual horror shenanigans – and Rob Reiner has remained true to it.

A guy sits in a truck, newspaper in hand.  He reflects on a friend who’d met an untimely death, and the summer days of childhood when their friendship was cemented forever.

So what happened is that they, together with two other friends, set off on a quest to catch sight of a dead body, that of a kid who’d gone missing a week or so back.

Although the four boys have already lost their innocence and been damaged in significant ways – that much is clear early on – they pull together and robustly bond.  The film shows how friends help each other to overcome adversity; together they make each other stronger; and the once feared world withers away.

Stand by Me is showing again on Wednesday as part of the Matinee Classics season, further details are here.