Stand By Me | 1986
Stephen King’s sensitive coming-of-age story, The Body, is set like many of his stories in the fictitious town of ‘Castle Rock’ (after which King named his production company). It’s usually found in ‘Maine’, but this time around is Brownsville, north of Eugene in Oregon.
The film is set, apart from the bookend narration, in 1956, as Gordie (Wil Wheaton) buys his copy of True Police Cases on North Main Street, just south of Stanard Avenue. He crosses the road to Spaulding Way but the treehouse, where the kids play cards and smoke, was actually a little further north, on the south side of School Avenue.
Gordie’s home, where he feels he’s become the ‘invisible boy’ as his parents grieve his older brother, is 325 Fisher Street, to the west of Main Street.
‘Irby’s’, the pool hall outside which bully Ace (Kiefer Sutherland) steals Gordie’s treasured cap, is Brownsville Saloon, 419 North Main Street (the name is a nod to the First Assistant Director, Irby Smith).
Brownsville Health Mart, next door, became the ‘Blue Point Diner’, behind which Chris (River Phoenix) shows Gordie the gun he’s borrowed. You can still see the Coca Cola ad, painted for the movie, on the south side of the old 1903 Bank of Brownsville building on Main Street. In fact, the landmark painting has been even been freshened up a bit.
The rail bridge, where the four friends start their trek to see the dead kid’s body, is getting on for 40 miles to the south, southeast of Cottage Grove. The girder bridge carries the Row River Trail (BLM) across Mosby Creek, just north of Mosby Creek Road in Walden. You won’t have to worry about dodging trains any more. The railway no longer runs and the track has been converted into a pleasant cycle path.
It’s back toward Brownsville to find ‘Quidaciolu's market’, the general store to which Gordie is sent to buy the food they forgot to bring. It’s a now-abandoned building at 91979 Territorial Road, on the northeast corner of Franklin Road, southwest of Junction City, about 10 miles northwest of Eugene.
The rail trestle bridge, where the four find themselves desperately fleeing the path of an oncoming train, is one of the only two locations not in Oregon. It’s way to the south in Northern California. The bridge crosses the McCloud River, south of Eagle Mountain Lane, east of Lake Britton on the edge of Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
It’s back to Brownsville itself for the ending, as the four cross the Calapooia River Bridge on Main Street, south of town, before going their separate ways as they reach Park Avenue.
The present day epilogue is back in California. The home of grown-up writer Gordie (Richard Dreyfuss) is familiar old mansion at 380 South San Rafael Avenue in Pasadena, which you may have seen in such films as Rush Hour, Bowfinger and Bridesmaids.
• Many thanks to the City of Brownsville for help with this section.