Author Gordie Lachance writes about a childhood incident when he and three buddies undertook a journey to find the body of a missing boy near the town of Castle Rock, Oregon, over Labor Day weekend in 1959. Young Gordie is a quiet, bookish boy who likes to tell stories. His parents, grieving the recent death of Gordie’s older brother Denny, neglect their youngest son. Gordie’s friends are Chris Chambers, whose relatives are criminals and alcoholics; Teddy Duchamp, an eccentric and physically scarred boy; and Vern Tessio, who is overweight and timid.
Vern overhears his older brother, Billy, and Billy’s friend, Charlie Hogan, discussing Ray Brower, a young boy who was reportedly struck and killed by a train. Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern decide to find Ray’s body, hoping to become local heroes. Chris steals his father’s M1911 pistol, and the boys set out, stopping at a nearby junkyard to drink from its water pump.
The boys hang out in the junkyard for a while, while Gordie leaves to buy food for the journey. When Gordie returns, he sees his friends jumping the fence to escape Milo Pressman, the junkman, and his dog. Gordie escapes as well. Pressman, infuriated, threatens to call the boys’ parents and calls Teddy’s father a “loony”; Teddy attempts to attack Pressman, but the boys restrain him and they leave.
At nighttime, Gordie tells the other boys a story of Davie “Lard-Ass” Hogan, an overweight boy who is constantly teased and bullied. Hogan enters a pie-eating contest, but his goal was not to win, but to exact revenge. Prior to the contest, Hogan consumed a full bottle of castor oil and a raw egg. After eating several pies and briefly dominating the contest, Hogan vomits, inducing the vomiting of the contestants and crowd members, humiliating and embarrassing his tormentors.
After a series of misadventures and self-revelation, the boys locate the body. However, local hoodlum “Ace” Merrill and his gang, including Chris’ older brother “Eyeball” Chambers, Billy Tessio, Charlie Hogan, and three other gang members, arrive in cars to claim the body and the credit for finding it.
When Chris refuses to allow this, Ace draws a switchblade with intent to kill him, but Gordie intervenes with the pistol Chris had stolen. Ace and his gang leave and Ace vows revenge. The boys agree to report the body via an anonymous phone call to the authorities and hike back to Castle Rock and bid each other farewell until they see each other in a few days, at junior high school.
Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming-of-age drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell. The film, whose plot is based on Stephen King’s novella The Body (1982) and title is derived from Ben E. King’s eponymous song, which plays over the ending credits, tells the story of four boys in a small town in Oregon who go on a hike to find the dead body of a missing child.
Stand by Me (1986)
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Casey Siemaszko, Frances Lee McCain, Bruce Kirby, Bradley Gregg
Screenplay by: Raynold Gideon
Production Design by: J. Dennis Washington
Cinematography by: Thomas Del Ruth
Film Editing by: Robert Leighton
Set Decoration by: Richard D. Kent
Music by: Jack Nitzsche
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: August 22, 1986