I remember watching Stand by Me as kid and earmarked it as a good film.
Having watched it again 28 years later, I now rate it as one of my all time faves. What makes a morbid tale of 4 best friends going through the countryside in search of a dead body a great film?
The answer lies in the journey.
This is a quick look back at the cult movie using a truckload of quotes and nostalgic scenes that highlight the themes of friendships, bonding and childhood wonder.
Note: I have used IMDB to source the classic quotes and used hashtags (#) to note the reasons why I like it.
#support #besties #honesty
Gordie: Fuck writing, I don’t want to be a writer. It’s stupid. It’s a stupid waste of time.
Chris: That’s your dad talking.
Chris: Bull true.
Chris: I know how your dad feels about you. He doesn’t give a shit about you. Denny was the one. He cared about and don’t try to tell me different. You’re just a kid, Gordie.
Gordie: Oh, gee! Thanks, Dad.
Chris: Wish the hell I was your dad. You wouldn’t be goin’ around talkin’ about takin’ these stupid shop courses if I was. It’s like God gave you something, man, all those stories you can make up. And He said, “This is what we got for ya, kid. Try not to lose it.” Kids lose everything unless there’s someone there to look out for them. And if your parents are too fucked up to do it, then maybe I should.
I can relate to this at so many different levels in that I have both received and given this type of support. It may feel like an argument during the moment, but upon reflection, your bestie really has got your back.
Here’s another scene worth highlighting between the 2 besties:
Gordie: Why did he have to die, Chris? Why did Denny have to die?
Chris: I don’t know.
Gordie: It should’ve been me.
Chris: Don’t say that.
Gordie: It should’ve been me.
Chris: Don’t say that, man!
Gordie: I’m no good. My dad said it. I’m no good.
Chris: He doesn’t know you.
Gordie: He hates me.
Chris: He doesn’t hate you.
Gordie: He hates me!
Chris: No! He just doesn’t know you.
#SmallTown #Reputation #Guilt
Gordie: Maybe you could come into the college courses with me.
Chris: Yeah right, that’ll be the day.
Gordie: Why not? You’re smart enough.
Chris: They won’t let me.
Gordie: What do you mean?
Chris: It’s what everyone thinks of my family in this town. It’s what they think of me. I’m just one of those low-life Chambers kids.
Gordie: That’s not true.
Chris: Oh wait, it is. No one even asked me if I took the milk money that time. I just got a three day vacation.
Gordie: Did you take it?
Chris: Yeah, I took it! I mean, you knew I took it. Teddy knew I took it. Everyone knew I took it. Even Vern knew it, I think. But maybe I was sorry and I tried to give it back.
Guilty as sin, yes.
But remorseful too at the same time — and people usually look past this.
I wish that I could turn back the clock on a few situations too, but…
The Grass is Greener..
#Hope #Change #GreenerPastures
Chris: I’m never gonna get out of this town am I, Gordie?
Gordie: You can do anything you want, man.
Chris: Yeah, sure. Give me some skin.
Gordie: I’ll see ya.
Chris: Not if I see you first.
The writer really hit the nail on the head with this little take on hope. I guess we can all relate to this one in one way or another.
I too wanted to skip town at one point and always bounced this small talk with my friends during my teens.
#bonding #ChitChat #TrivialThings
Gordie: Alright, alright, Mickey’s a mouse, Donald’s a duck, Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?
Vern: If I could only have one food for the rest of my life? That’s easy-Pez. Cherry-flavored Pez. No question about it.
Teddy: Goofy’s a dog. He’s definitely a dog.
Gordie: I knew the $64,000 question was fixed. There’s no way anybody could know that much about opera!
Chris: He can’t be a dog. He drives a car and wears a hat.
Gordie: Wagon Train’s a really cool show, but did you notice they never get anywhere? They just keep wagon training.
Vern: Oh, God. That’s weird. What the hell is Goofy?
These little dialogues may appear to be trivial little things now, but they sure meant a lot back then. In fact, I am convinced that we have lost the art of small talk as adults (as there are bigger things to worry about).
n.b. according to the Wiki, Goofy is a ‘tall, anthropomorphic dog’.
#DontBeSoSerious #FunTime #silly
Teddy: Ha ha, Gordie loses! You lose Gordie! Ol’ Gordie just screwed the pooch!
Gordie: Does the word “retarded” mean anything to you?
Teddy: Gordie, go get the food, you morphodite.
Gordie: Don’t call me any of your mother’s pet names.
Teddy: You’re a real wet end, Lachance.
Gordie: Shut up.
Gordie: And then your mom goes around the corner and she licks it up.
I used to have friendly banters like this with friends all the time. We used to give and receive, all in the name of good fun.
Fast forward to our adult life: We have too many commitments as adults to poke fun at life, which is just unfortunate.
#Friends #Buddies #Mates
And of course, I simply could not ignore the one million dollar question at the end:
I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?
Friendships change and we all pass through lives of others. It’s fun to remember the good old days sometimes.
Which is why it’s easy to get nostalgic watching this old classic.
Much respect to River Phoenix.
About this post
I sometimes stumble on some old movies I used to watch growing up and I usually come out thinking ‘it was good back then, but it’s actually quite crappy’. This movie is an exception.
I first published this in Medium as it’s such a great platform for clutterless writing. Check it out the clean format and layout; it’s such an eye-catcher to read.