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One scene the director remembers well is the 'milk-money' scene that takes place around the campfire. "He had to cry [but River's performance] was not as good as I knew he could do," remembers Rob Reiner. "I said to him, 'River, think about somebody in your life who you looked up to and disappointed you. You don't have to tell me who it is, just think about it.' And the next scene he did was the take that is in the film. All his emotions came out. After we did that take he was really shaken. He was crying and I came up to him and I held him. He didn't have a lot of technique. You just saw this kind of raw naturalism. I've seen the movie a thousand times and every time I see that scene I cry." See Sounds of a Phoenix.
Richard Dreyfuss, then and now.
The movie's success made River a star. His picture graced magazine covers the world over. "People were telling me, 'You're so good', 'You're going to be a star' and things like that," said River. "You can't think about it. You can get really high on yourself. People get so lost when that happens. They may think they have everything under control, but everything is really out of control. Their lives are totally in pieces."
1986 - 2001
15 Years of Stand By Me
"I thought, 'Who is going to care about these kids in Stand By Me?'
- River Phoenix
Official Press Kit
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