If you’re a fan of classic cinema, you’ve likely watched the iconic coming-of-age film Stand By Me (1986), based on a short story by Stephen King. The movie’s beautiful Oregon backdrop has left many viewers wondering: exactly where was Stand By Me filmed? As a film enthusiast with years of experience exploring movie locations, I’ve delved into the heart of Brownsville, Oregon, the charming town where this beloved film was shot. This was also my favorite film when I was a kid.

Where Was Stand By Me Filmed
Stand By Me Backdrop

Understanding the pain points of movie buffs who yearn to know more about their favorite films, I’ve gathered detailed information about the specific locations used in Stand By Me. From the bridge overlooking Dorena Lake to the abandoned railroad track near Cottage Grove, I’ll take you on a journey through the film’s real-life settings.

Whether you’re a film student, a Stephen King fan, or simply someone who appreciates the art of cinema, this article is for you. I’ll not only reveal Where Was Stand By Me Filmed but also share some fun facts about the movie, its cast, and its director, Rob Reiner.

So, let’s embark on this cinematic journey together, exploring the beautiful landscapes of Oregon that brought Stand By Me to life.

Where Was Stand By Me Filmed?

Stand By Me filming locations were filmed entirely in the small town of Brownsville, Oregon which is located about 50 miles north of Eugene.

Much of the filming took place in local communities and on private property throughout Brownsville. One notable location used for the movie was a bridge which connected two lookouts, one of which overlooked Dorena Lake.

Where Was Stand By Me Filmed - Older Boys Show Up
Stand By Me (1986) – Ace Merrill Shows Up

The scene where the boys go to look for the body of Ray Brower is filmed at a nearby abandoned railroad track near Cottage Grove. Other filming locations include Hagg Lake and Coos Bay, Oregon as well as parts of California.

Stand By Me – The Story

This story is seen through the eyes of Gordie, who’s a writer, looking back on his preteen days. The film follows four young boys as they go on a journey to find the dead body of a local boy who has been missing for several days. The story takes place in the summer of 1959 in Castle Rock, Oregon.

Here’s the original trailer:

As an adult, Gordie goes to visit his hometown and becomes involved in a missing persons case that is very similar to the missing persons’ case the childhood friends explored. The story shifts from past to present.

The Cast

Where Was Stand By Me Filmed - Body Discovery
Stand By Me (1986) – The Boys Discover the Body

The cast featured some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including

  • Wil Wheaton (Gordie Lachance)
  • River Phoenix (Chris Chambers)
  • Corey Feldman (Teddy Duchamp)
  • Jerry O’Connell (Vern Tessio)
  • John Cusack (Denny)
  • Kiefer Sutherland (Ace Merrill)

The Director

The iconic coming-of-age drama Stand By Me, was directed by Rob Reiner. Rob Reiner got his start as an actor and played the part of Meathead (aka Michael) in that 70’s sitcom All in the Family. Other people may remember him as the director of When Harry Met Sally which is another iconic movie. Other movies he’s directed include Misery, A Few Good Men, and The American President.

Director:Rob Reiner
Writers:Stephen King (novella “The Body”) | Raynold Gideon (screenplay) | Bruce A. Evans (screenplay)
Producers:Bruce A. Evans | Raynold Gideon | Andrew Scheinman
Composer:Jack Nitzsche
Cinematographer:Thomas Del Ruth
Editor:Robert Leighton
Casting Directors:Janet Hirshenson | Jane Jenkins
Production DesignerDennis Washington
Source: IMDbPro

Stand By Me Box Office Details

  • Stand By Me Film Budget: $8,000,000
  • Opening weekend: $242,795
  • Gross (US & Canada): $52,287,414
  • Gross (World): $52,287,414

10 Fun Facts About Stand By Me

Stand By Me - Behind the Scenes
Stand By Me (1986) – Behind the Scenes

Here are a few fun facts about the movie:

  1. The boys in the movie were all paid $1000 for their roles
  2. During filming, River Phoenix was only 13 years old
  3. Rob Reiner made a cameo appearance at the beginning of the film
  4. Stand By Me was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
  5. The original title of Stephen King’s short story was “The Body”
  6. The cast and crew stayed in an old hotel while they were filming
  7. Most of the movie was filmed in one day
  8. Many of Stephen King’s stories take place in Maine where he grew up and lives
  9. The setting for the short story was in Castle Rock, Maine
  10. Stand By Me is considered one of the best coming-of-age movies ever made by critics.

Awards Won for Stand by Me

Stand by Me received critical acclaim upon its release, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Although it didn’t win the award, it is still considered one of the best coming-of-age movies ever made by critics. The film has since become a classic that has been beloved by generations of fans.

Other Emotional Movies and Their Film Locations

If you are looking for more film locations similar to Stand By Me, insider information and behind the scenes footage of your favorite movies – here are some additional posts for you to check out:

What is Oregon Famous For?

One notable thing that Oregon is famous for is rain. Maybe that’s what makes it so beautiful. But don’t let that stop you. It’s also famous for Crater Lake, Mount Hood, and Cannon Beach. 

Oregon produces 99% of the nation’s hazelnut crops. It’s also famous for blueberries, huckleberries, and Dungeness crab.

Oregon is also one of only five states that has no sales tax.

Unique Places in Oregon

There are certainly unique places to visit in Oregon if that’s your thing. Here are a few ideas for you:

  • The Prehistoric Gardens
  • The Out and About Treehouse Treesort
  • Portland’s Peculiarium
  • The Oregon Vortex and House of Mystery
  • The Sea Lion Caves

Things to Do in Oregon

The best time to visit is from June to September. These months are the warmest and the driest. Here are few places to consider visiting:

Frequently Asked Questions

Where was the bridge scene in Stand By Me filmed?

The famous train bridge scene was filmed on the trestle over Lake Britton which is part of the Great Shasta Rail Trail.

Did they use real leeches in the movie Stand By Me?

Yes! The leeches were real! The leech scene was filmed in a man-made pond that the crew filed with water. By the time they actually shot the scene, there was moss growing and there were real leeches!

Is Stand By Me based on a true story?

It is autobiographical. Stand by Me is based on Stephen King’s own life. The inciting plot where a child gets hit and killed by a train may have been inspired by a real-life tragedy that King witnessed.

When does Stand By Me take place?

Stand By Me take place in the summer of the year 1959 in Castlerock, Oregon.

What Was Your Favorite Stand By Me Moment?

If you love the great outdoors then Oregon is definitely a place you’ll enjoy. There are many outdoor activities for the young and the young at heart. Depending on the time of year, you’ll enjoy hiking, biking, white water rafting, and even skiing in the winter months.

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