What Do You Mean 'Stand By Me' Didn’t Win An Oscar?
What’s the story?
Released in 1986, this adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name tells the story of Gordie Lachance, a writer who recounts a story from his childhood in which he and three of his friends embark on an adventure to try and find the missing body of a local teenager. With the story of the missing boy all over the news, another gang of older boys also take an interest in finding the body, hoping to take the credit for the discovery themselves.
Directed by Rob Reiner, the film stars Wil Wheaton as Gordie, as well as Corey Feldman, River Phoenix and Jerry O’Connell as his three friends Teddy, Chris and Vern, while Kiefer Sutherland also makes an appearance as the leader of the gang of older boys.
Stand By Me is a film whose reputation has grown over time and has to be one of the best-executed coming-of-age stories ever to make it to the silver screen. Unfortunately, the Academy didn’t see it that way….
What was it nominated for?
Incredibly, Stand By Me only received one nomination: that was for Raynold Gideon and Bruce Evans who were, quite rightly, nominated for Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. In the end though, it was awarded to Ruth Prawer Jhabvala for her adaptation of A Room With A View.
What was it up against?
1986 wasn’t exactly a stellar year for The Oscars, with the main films sweeping up the nominations being Oliver Stone’s Platoon and Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters. Other notable nominees included Paul Newman, who ended up taking home the Best Actor gong for his role in The Color of Money, while the films Aliens and Children of a Lesser God also received several nominations each, the latter earning Marlee Matlin the award for Best Actress.
What should it have won?
Stand By Me should probably, at the very least, have walked away with the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, but what is also surprising looking back is that none of the four young actors even got a look in for the nominations. River Phoenix in particular is excellent and there are also great performances from Wil Wheaton and Corey Feldmann.
Rob Reiner was also a little unlucky not to be nominated for Best Director, with the nominations instead going to David Lynch (Blue Velvet), James Ivory (A Room With A View), Woody Allen (Hannah and Her Sisters) and Roland Joffé (The Mission), with Oliver Stone eventually picking up the award for Platoon.