A Timeless Coming-of-Age Story
‘Stand By Me’ is undoubtedly one of the finest coming-of-age stories ever told. Interestingly, it’s based on a short story by Stephen King, who is primarily known for his horror tales. This story, however, is far from horrific or thrilling. It’s about four friends embarking on a journey towards a revelation they hadn’t realized yet, traversing the wilds of Oregon as young boys were wont to do back in the day. The film also showcases some of the greatest talent that would eventually make their mark in the world of cinema.
While most of the cast didn’t achieve much after this movie, it certainly gave them a fighting chance. Here are ten fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about this classic film.
1. The Pot Cookie Incident
The cast and crew once bought cookies at a local Renaissance Fair without realizing they were pot cookies. By the time they found out about the mistake, they discovered Jerry O’Connell lost in a nearby park, sobbing like a baby.
2. Stephen King’s Approval
Stephen King was initially confused by the film, even appearing to be shaking. He had to get up and walk out of the room for a minute but returned saying that this was the best representation he’d seen thus far of his work.
3. The Man-Made Giant Puddle
The giant puddle in the film was created by the crew but was left to sit out, which allowed it to become an actual swamp complete with moss and leeches.
4. Hotel Shenanigans
The boys had a rowdy time in the hotel they were put up in. They got up to quite a bit of mischief, such as rigging the video games and throwing the pool furniture into the pool.
5. River Phoenix’s Emotional Breakdown
River Phoenix’s emotional breakdown by the fire was very real. The director told him to channel a memory of when an adult had actually disappointed him for real in order to make the moment seem authentic. River got so into the moment that he needed some time to collect himself after the scene was over.
6. Corey Feldman’s Character
Corey Feldman stated that his character was the closest to who he really was at the time. That’s actually kind of scary since Teddy was a certified nutcase. The character decided it was a good idea to stand on the tracks and do a train dodge. What kid does that?
7. Jerry O’Connell’s Excitement
Jerry O’Connell was kind of excited by the swearing they were allowed to do. When you’re a kid and haven’t been around that kind of thing all that often, it becomes a novelty when you’re allowed to do it.
8. Keifer Sutherland’s Method Acting
Keifer Sutherland actually picked on the four friends when off-screen too. He wasn’t doing it to be mean, but he did want to stay in character.
9. The Train Scene
It took a week to shoot the train scene. Female stunt doubles with close-cropped hair were used for certain scenes, and there were sheets of plywood between the trestles to increase the actors’ ability to run.
10. The Ballad of Paladin Controversy
The Ballad of Paladin was used without permission. Johnny Western, the guy who actually sings this, managed to sue the producers for not asking his permission before using the song.
It’s true, most people never have friends like they did when they were 12. ‘Stand By Me’ is a testament to the power of friendship and the unforgettable memories that come with it.