Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Stand By Me" by Stephen King

On this hot evening I watched one of my favorite channels--American Movie Classics. Tonight it was "Stand By Me". Occasionally they do this thing on this channel, where they put all kind of trivia things on the bottom of the screen. I was quite interested in many of the facts and have chosen to share some of them with you.

First, don't know if you've seen the movie but it has River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Keifer Suderland, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O'Connell and narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. They are all so much younger, so it was fun seeing that. (Side note: My husband, George, has been told several times that he looks like Richard Dreyfuss.)

If you haven't seen this movie, it is about four 12 year old friends who overhear that a boy has died and they go on a trek to find the body (in a very small nutshell). I was quite surprised that this is another story by Stephen King.

I was shocked to learn a few years ago that he wrote "Shawshank Redemption"--that is my husband and son's favorite movie. I am happy to see that he doesn't write just horror. The only book by Stephen King that I have read is his memoir, "On Writing". It was very good.

Anyway, if you've seen "Stand By Me", I thought you'd be interested in knowing...
The scene where the boys are on the bridge trying to outrun the train was inspired by an incident that happened to Stephen King. He was only 4 when he saw a child get hit and killed by a train. Some people thought that was the reason for his dark books, but he says no.

Also the scene where the boys were swimming and found themselves covered with leaches also happened to him and his friends. Yuk! No wonder he's like he is!

Now "Shawshank" and "Stand by Me" were originally short stories or novellas. In fact the footnotes said that short stories are often easier to turn into screen plays.

Not being a Stephen King fan, I'm sorry that I cannot be specific, but I also found it interesting that several of the characters that were in "Stand By Me" were in his other stories as the same character--kind of like a sequel. One was in "Christine"--I think he was a bad character in "Stand by Me" and he finally got his punishment in the next story. He continued other character's lives in other stories. Most of them were influenced by his childhood friends. He did say that he just loves to scare the you-know-what out of people. He finds it great fun.

They did a major change from King's version as to which character took action in the climax--they chose a different character. They said when Stephen King saw the screening, he didn't know. He was so shocked that he left the room. When he finally came back about 1/2 hour later, he told them how much better that made his story.

Well, that's all I remember. For those of you who love trivia stuff like this or want to know what year a movie came out, who's in it, goofs, and so much more info, look up for any movie you want, or search by actor, director, whatever. It is a fantastic site. Now when we watch a movie, I log on to see the errors so that I can watch for them and whatever other trivia that is mentioned.

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