I recently watched Rob Reiner's classic film Stand By Me for the thousandth time, and it was just as enjoyable as the first time I saw it. The movie is based on a short story by Stephen King called The Body, and it turned out to be such an incredible film that has become a timeless classic. I have yet to meet someone that hasn't liked it.
I've been having fun doing these little top 10 trivia posts, as I always seem to learn a few things I never knew before about the films that I love to watch. So here's a top 10 list of fun facts that you may or may not already know about Stand By Me.
- Kiefer Sutherland claimed in an interview that in one of the locations of the film, a Renaissance Fair was being held and the cast and crew attended and bought some cookies. Unfortunately, the cookies turned out to be pot cookies and two hours later, the crew found Jerry O'Connell crying and high on the cookies somewhere in the park.
- River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Wil Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell got up to much mischief in the hotel they were staying in during filming. This included throwing all the pool side furniture into the pool, Wheaton fixing video games in the lobby so they could play them for free and Phoenix (spurred on by the other boys) unknowingly covering Kiefer Sutherland's car in mud; only discovering whose car it was when Sutherland confronted a scared and nervous Phoenix about it later.
- When they were filming the scene where Gordie and Vern are about to be run over by the train, Wil Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell did not look scared enough; In frustration Rob Reiner yelled at them to the point where they started crying and that's when they were able to film the scene.
- In an interview with Stephen King in the special features of the DVD, he reveals that the scene with the leeches actually did happen to him, when he was a child.
- According to Wil Wheaton on the DVD documentary, the scene in which Verne (Jerry O'Connell) can't remember the "secret knock" to the clubhouse was thought of by Wheaton, Phoenix, and Feldman on the day it was shot as another way to make Verne look more pathetic.
- As with most of Stephen King's stories, this one originally contained connections to other books he has written. Ace Merrill later re-appeared in the book Needful Things (1993), although he does not appear in the film. The dog Chopper is compared to Cujo (1983). Characters are familiar with Shawshank Prison, from The Shawshank Redemption (1994). Teddy Duchamp was actually first mentioned in King's first book, Carrie (1976), in which Carrie destroys a gas station he once worked at.
- At the insistence of director Rob Reiner (an avid non-smoker who campaigned for anti-smoking laws in California), the cigarettes smoked by the boys were made from cabbage leaves.
- While filming the scene in which Ace Merrill takes Gordie's brother's Yankees cap, Kiefer Sutherland's first instinct was to put it on, rather than hand it to Eyeball Chambers. Reiner told Sutherland not to put the hat on as a way of showing that Ace was stealing it just to be cruel to Gordie and not because the hat itself was at all important to Ace. Sutherland and Wheaton both confirm in the DVD's behind the scenes documentary that the reason that Gordie never gets the hat back from Ace is that Ace threw it away immediately after stealing it from Gordie.
- The vomit used in the "Lardass" story was made from cottage cheese and blueberry mix.
- The lead actors weren't allowed to see Ray Brower (Kent W. Luttrell) until they unveil him on camera; this method was used to unsettle the four boys and gain the best reaction possible.