Film, the actors stand the test of time | Characteristic

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If I had a dime for every time I heard this phrase in college, I would have a fortune buried somewhere on my porch.

And if you get those two references, you’ve probably seen the classic “Stand By Me” made in 1986 by Rob Reiner.

Set in 1959 and based on Stephen King’s short story “The Body,” “Stand By Me” is the story of how four prepubescent boys – each facing their own adult trauma – spend the weekend of Labor Day wander 30 miles on the railroad tracks from their homes in Castle Rock, Oregon to see the body of a child who has been missing for days.

I saw this film at least 20 times when it was released. It was also very popular among classmates and friends. In fact, mention ‘Stand By Me’ to any Gen X member – someone born between 1965 and 1980 – and you’ll likely get a response that reflects how history resonated with them on some level. . I mean, it’s a movie about unsupervised misfit kids with abandonment issues that are driven by a goal of questionable taste. The film pretty much defines the stereotypical childhood of Generation X.

But a recent post on social media led me to a few other accomplishments on the film. The first is that this film also deeply touched many in the generations that followed Gen X. (I’ll take this as a sign of hope for the future.) The second is a much more fun insight into the how you can relate a person to their respective generation by what they know about the cast.

“You mean Wil Wheaton was THAT kid?” It’s the question a friend recently asked on social media that sparked a discussion about the careers of the “Stand By Me” cast members.

Yes. The Wil Wheaton who played the main character of “Stand By Me” Gordie Lachance is the same Wil Wheaton whose role of Wesley Crusher in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” has forever linked him to the socially awkward theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper. in “The Big Bang Theory”. “

Believe it or not, Wil Wheaton isn’t the only “Stand By Me” actor whose career led him to the now-retired CBS sitcom. Jerry O’Connell – who plays Vern Tessio, the boy in search of his penny pot in “Stand By Me” – has 126 acting credits on his resume, according to IMDB.com. Among them is George Cooper Jr., the older brother of Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory”.

While other “Stand By Me” actors may never have met Sheldon Cooper, they have had roles under their belt that might be somewhat surprising.

Corey Feldman – who plays Teddy Duchamp, the boy living with his father’s war-induced post-traumatic stress disorder stigma – has 133 acting credits under his belt.

Feldman was prolific as a child actor, appearing in hits like “The Lost Boys”, “License to Drive” and “The Goonies”. But if you’re an older Gen X horror lover, you might also know that Feldman also got the best of villainous Jason Voorhies in an episode of the “Friday the 13th” franchise.

River Phoenix – like his “Stand By Me” character, Chris Chambers – suffered an untimely death. He died of a drug overdose on October 31, 1993, after partying at a club then owned by actor Johnny Depp. That evening, he was reportedly in the company of musicians Flea and John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and his siblings, Rain and Joaquin Phoenix, and his girlfriend Samantha Mathis.

Prior to his death, Phoenix starred in two films with Hollywood legend Harrison Ford, “The Mosquito Coast” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. If he had survived, Phoenix was to play the role in “Interview with a Vampire” which ultimately went to Christian Slater. He was also reportedly one of the main contenders for the role in “The Basketball Diaries” ultimately played by Leonardo DiCaprio. (Maybe there’s a reason I always thought DiCaprio and Phoenix were related in some way.)

Even many of the side characters of “Stand By Me” were in the middle or were going to have amazing careers. Casey Siemaszko, who played Billy Tessio, went on to play Charlie Bowdry in the 1980s western “Young Guns” and was one of Biff Tannen’s buddies in the “Back to the Future” trilogy. Richard Dreyfuss, the writer of “Stand By Me”, is probably best known for playing a character who narrowly escaped a giant man-eating shark in the 1975 classic “Jaws”; and John Cusack, who plays Denny Lachance, has credits that include “16 Candles”, “Say Anything”, “Con Air” and “2012”.

And then there’s Kiefer Sutherland, who played bad boy Ace in “Stand By Me”. Sutherland has a seemingly long list of movie credits to his name, including “The Lost Boys”, “A Time To Kill”, “Flatliners” and “Young Guns”. But many know him best for his role as Jack Bauer in the “24” television series. And did you know he’s the son of prolific Hollywood legend Donald Sutherland, who also played a supporting role in “A Time to Kill”? If you look closely, you can see the family resemblance.

As for “Stand By Me”, it’s hard to say if this was a movie that helped make the actors as popular as they are or if the actors helped make the movie the classic it was. rest.

The film has held up well over time, especially since it is 35 years old. But be aware that if you choose to watch it: although this is a story about four young boys, it is not intended for children. It has an “R” rating due to extremely coarse language, as well as the scary and intense scenes… that might make you flinch.

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