Skip to main content

#034 Rob Reiner: Stand by Me vs. North

Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Rob Reiner's best and worst rated films, Stand by Me (1986) and North (1994), respectively. Nate is still having flashbacks to Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Austin misses tiny Elijah Wood, and they both introduce a new segment with some sweet-ass tunes. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Sam Mendes' American Beauty (1999) and Spectre (2015), his best and worst rated films.
Also check out this clip where author Stephen King and director Rob Reiner talk about the making of Stand by Me:

North Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: Sick of the neglect he receives from his mom and dad, a young boy leaves home and travels the world in search of new parents.
  • Ratings: IMDb 4.4 | RT 15% C / 27% A
  • Released: 1994
  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • Writer(s): Alan Zweibel (novel), Alan Zweibel and Andrew Scheinman (screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Thomas Del Ruth (The Breakfast Club, The West Wing)
  • Notable actors: Elijah Wood, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Bruce Willis, Jon Lovitz, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Graham Greene, Kathy Bates, Ben Stein, John Ritter, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Costanzo
  • Budget: $40 million
  • Box office: $7.1 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • At the time of its release, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel considered this to be one of the worst films they'd ever reviewed. Ebert wrote, "I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it." The pair later reviewed it on their television show, where Ebert went on to say that the movie made him "cringe... just sitting here thinking about it." Gene Siskel characterized it as "junk" and said that it made him feel "unclean." The clip of their review would go on to become a popular Internet meme associated with bad movie reviews. When Rob Reiner was roasted at the New York Friar's Club, Richard Belzer asked him to read Ebert's review, Reiner did so, then joked "if you read between the lines, [the review] isn't really that bad." Screenwriter Alan Zweibel keeps a clipping of the review in his wallet, sometimes reading it at public appearances. Ebert's review eventually became so notorious (arguably more so than the film itself) that he later released a collection of negative reviews titled "I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie."
    • Scarlett Johansson's first movie.
    • Following Roger Ebert's 2013 passing, screenwriter Alan Zweibel wrote a piece for the New Yorker entitled "Roger And Me" in which he recounted, years after Ebert's infamous review, bumping into Ebert, introducing himself, then saying "And I just have to tell you, Roger, that that sweater you're wearing? I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate that sweater." They then both laughed and shook hands.

Stand by Me Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.1 | RT 91% C / 94% A
  • Released: 1986
  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • Writer(s): Stephen King (novel), Raynold Gideon & Bruce A. Evans (screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Thomas Del Ruth (The Breakfast Club, The West Wing)
  • Notable actors: Whil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard Drefuss, John Cusack
  • Budget: $8 million
  • Box office: $52.3 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • 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.
    • The pond the boys fall into was a man made pool because the crew wanted them to be "safe and secure" and did not want to put them in a real pond because they did not know what would be in it. But Corey Feldman stated in a interview that the joke of the whole thing was that they built and filled it with water in the beginning of June and by time they got to film the scene, it was in the end of August. So had it been out in the woods for three months and they did not know what was in it anyway.
    • After director Rob Reiner screened the movie for Stephen King, Reiner noticed that King was visibly shaking and wasn't speaking. King left the room and upon his return, he told Reiner that the movie was the best adaptation of his work he had ever seen.
    • 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.
    • In an interview by 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.
    • In the campfire scene in which Chris breaks down, Reiner was sure River Phoenix could do better. He asked him to think of a time in his own life when an adult had let him down and use it in the scene, which Phoenix did. Upset and crying, he had to be comforted by the director afterwards. The result of Phoenix's exercise is the scene that ended up in the final cut.
    • Corey Feldman has stated in several interviews that of all the characters he's played, the character of Teddy was actually the closest to his personality and personal life at the time.

  Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0  

Check out this episode!