DVD Stand By Me -- PAGE 1

DVD front cover.

DVD back cover.

Technical Information

Release Information:

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Theatrical Release Date: 1986
DVD Release Date: August 29, 2000
Run Time: 87 minutes
Production Company: Columbia Tri-Star
Package Type: Keep Case
Rated: R Not for sale to persons under age 18.

Aspect Ratio(s):

Widescreen Anamorphic - 1.85:1
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Discographic Information:

DVD Encoding: Region 1
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby
Digital 2.0 Mono), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Available subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Thai

Edition Details:

Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen
Commentary by director Rob Reiner
Production notes
Theatrical trailer(s)
Exclusive featurette featuring interviews with Stephen King and Rob Reiner Ben E. King music video
Documentary: "Walking the Tracks: the Summer of "STAND BY ME" Isolated music score
Talent file
Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats

Widescreen Review:

Picture Quality: 3 (5 is the highest rating)
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD appears to be the same mediocre transfer as the previously released anamorphically enhanced DVD. The imagery does not stand up to what anamorphically enhanced DVDs are capable of today. Images are quite soft overall, with backgrounds lacking clarity and definition. Colors are generally nicely rendered, with accurate fleshtones and deep blacks. Shadow delineation, as revealed in the scenes by the campfires, is also nicely rendered. Some pixelization and minor aliasing problems are noticed, as well as occasional edge enhancement. Overall, the picture looks pretty good, though a little soft.

Sound Quality: 2.5 (5 is the highest rating)

The Dolby(r) Digital 2.0 soundtrack is big fat mono. When ProLogic(r)-decoded, the audio is properly placed in the center channel. The audio is essentially undistinguished, and is presented at a comfortable listening level without objectionable attributes.

Editorial Reviews

A sleeper hit when released in 1986, Stand by Me is based on Stephen King's novella "The Body" (from the book Different Seasons); but it's more about the joys and pains of boyhood friendship than a morbid fascination with corpses. It's about four boys ages 12 and 13 (Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell) who take an overnight hike through the woods near their Oregon town to find the body of a boy who's been missing for days. Their journey includes a variety of scary adventures (including a ferocious junkyard dog, a swamp full of leeches, and a treacherous leap from a train trestle), but it's also a time for personal revelations, quiet interludes, and the raucous comradeship of best friends. Set in the 1950s, the movie indulges an overabundance of anachronistic profanity and a kind of idealistic, golden-toned nostalgia (it's told in flashback as a story written by Wheaton's character as an adult, played by Richard Dreyfuss). But it's delightfully entertaining from start to finish, thanks to the rapport among its young cast members and the timeless, universal themes of friendship, family, and the building of character and self-esteem. Kiefer Sutherland makes a memorable teenage villain, and look closely for John Cusack in a flashback scene as Wheaton's now-deceased and dearly missed brother. A genuine crowd-pleaser, this heartfelt movie led director Rob Reiner to even greater success with his next film, The Princess Bride. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to another version of this video.

Additional Features

Looking back on the popular 1986 film 14 years later, director Rob Reiner has several great stories to tell about his breakthrough hit. Reiner's folksy commentary and a new 35-minute featurette (with new interviews from the cast) illustrate how much of the film draws from the personal experiences of Reiner and novelist Stephen King. Both the featurette and Reiner's commentary touch on the tricky casting of the film (starring four adolescent boys), the problems with finding the right narrator (finally performed by Reiner's childhood friend, Richard Dreyfuss), and the ironic sadness of River Phoenix's death (whose character's premature death triggers the flashback that comprises almost all of the film). Descriptions of the production's originial producer-screenwriters and long-shot logistics are, unfortunately, relegated to the liner notes. Also contains an isolated musical score track (punctuated by several early rock favorites), production notes, the MTV video of the title song, and digitally remastered audio and video. --Doug Thomas

From Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide

Affectionate Americana looking back at boyhood friendship and adventures in the 1950s (and narrated by Dreyfuss, representing author Stephen King, whose novella ``The Body'' is the basis for this film). Irresistible and wholly believable performances from all four youthful leads. Only complaint: the high volume of four-letter words, decidedly not characteristic of the 1950s. Copyright Leonard Maltin, 1998, used by arrangement with Signet, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.


Set in 1959, this is the story of four adolescent boys living in a small Oregon town. Gordie, whose adult reminiscences trigger the flashback, regales his pals with imaginative and outrageous stories; his best buddy, Chris, has hardened his image in order to hide the pain he feels inside from physical abuse at home. The other two in the group are Vern, the pudgy tag-along who's the butt of everyone's jokes, and Teddy, the crazy kid whose psychotic Dad is locked away in a mental hospital. Together the four misfits embark on an adventure, venturing deep into the woods in an attempt to find the corpse of a missing teenager. The kids hope their iscovery will make them town heroes, but a gang of high school bullies, who have plans of their own for the body, threatens to destroy their dreams. During the course of their two day odyssey, the four boys make a symbolic journey into young adulthood. And nothing in their lives will ever be the same.

Video Description

This drama set in Oregon in 1959 portrays the friendship of four boys who go on an overnight camping trip to find a missing teenager's body, ultimately finding out more about themselves. Based on the novella "The Body" by Stephen King. Academy Award Nominations: Best (Adapted) Screenplay.

Video Annotation

Shot in Technicolor; prints by Deluxe. Locations included California and Oregon. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Censors. "Stand By Me" was rated R by the MPAA because of its excessive use of foul language. The word "f***" is uttered at least 11 different times during the course of the film. This was the first major starring role for actor River Phoenix, who died tragically and unexpectedly when he was just 23 years old. PRODUCTION Act III Productions USA (per baseline)

DVD menus


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