Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me (1986)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:
Stand by Me

Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm  
Instructor: Alice Bullitt, M.A., BMFI Board Member

“You guys wanna go see a dead body?” This is the question that sends four adolescent boys into the wilds beyond their small Oregon hometown on Labor Day Weekend in 1959 to look for the body of a missing local boy. Their two-day adventure is filled with plenty of scares—bullying teenagers, leeches, and the aforementioned corpse—but also with an abundance of laughs, affirmations of friendship, and emotionally cathartic revelations.

Prior to directing this seminal coming of age film, Rob Reiner was best known as Michael “Meathead” Stivic on the 1970’s sitcom All in the Family. In the 1980s he tried his hand at directing, debuting with the mockumentary classic, This is Spinal Tap. Stand By Me, his third film, would cement Reiner’s place in Hollywood as a self-assured director capable of navigating both humor and pathos.

The film was adapted from a Stephen King novella called “The Body,” one of four that formed a collection titled Different Seasons. Two other novellas from this collection, “Apt Pupil” and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” would be adapted into films during the following decade. But it’s Stand By Me, a story about an adult writer reflecting on a formative event from his childhood, that remains King’s favorite film adaptation of his work. Join us for this funny and touching meditation on the fleetingness of youth, the permanence of death, and the enduring legacy of friendship.

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Visit the public screening page here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.

Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.


Course Information

$25 for members, $35 for non-members


  • Wednesday, August 23 · 6:30 pm

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