[voiceover] I was twelve going on thirteen first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of nineteen-fifty-nine. A long time ago. But only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only 1281 people, but to me it was the whole world.
[voiceover] As time went on we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls. That happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant.
[typing, about Chris] Although I haven't seen him in more than ten years I know I'll miss him forever. I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anybody?
Gordie: Yeah, I've been noticing lately that the "A"and the "E" are starting to bend around the sides.
Vern: Annette's tits are great.
Chris, Teddy: Yeah..
Vern: This is a really good time.
Chris: The most.
Teddy: A blast.
The Writer: [voiceover] Vern didn't just mean being off limits inside the junkyard, or fudging on our folks, or going on a hike up the railroad tracks to Harlow. He meant those things, but it seems to me now it was more and that we all knew it. Everything was there and around us. We knew exactly who we were and exactly where we were going. It was grand.
[The four boys have all flipped coins to see who is going to make a food run, and all have landed tails up]
Vern: Four tails! Oh, Jesus, man, that's a goocher! [Teddy, Chris and Gordie all groan] No guys, seriously, a goocher! That's really bad! Remember when Clint Bracken and those guys got wiped out on Reed Hill in Durham? Billy told me they was flippin' for beers, and they came up with a goocher before they got into the car, and bang! They all got totaled! I don't like this, man, sincerely...
Teddy: Vern-o, no one believes that crap about moons and goochers anymore, it's baby stuff! Now come on, flip again. [to Vern] You gonna flip, or not?
[They flip their coins again, and this time all show tails except for Gordie]
Gordie: Does the word 'retarded' mean anything to you?
Teddy: Gordie, go and get the provisions, you morphadite!
Gordie: Don't call me any of your mother's pet names.
[Gordie gets up to leave]
Teddy: What a wet end you are, Lachance!
Gordie: Shut up!
Vern, Chris, Teddy: I don't shut up, I grow up, and when I look at you, I throw up!
Gordie: And then your mother goes around the corner and she licks it up.
The Writer: [voiceover] Finding new and preferably disgusting ways to degrade a friend's mother was always held in high regard.
Teddy: I'm sorry if I'm spoiling everybody's good time.
Chris: It's okay, man.
Gordie: Maybe it shouldn't be a good time.
Chris: You saying you wanna go back?
Gordie: No. We're going to see a dead kid; maybe it shouldn't be a party.
Gordie: Do you think I'm weird?
Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird?
Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird.
Vern: You think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?
Teddy: What are you, cracked?
Vern: No, I saw him on TV the other day, he was holding five elephants in one hand.
Teddy: Boy, you don't know nothing. Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. Superman's a real guy. There's no way a cartoon could beat up a real guy.
Vern: I guess you're right. It'd be a good fight though.
Chris: You could be a real writer someday, Gordie.
Gordie: Fuck writing! I don't wanna be a writer! It's stupid! It's a stupid wasted time!
Chris: That's your dad talking.
Chris: Bulltrue. I know how your dad feels about you, he doesn't give a shit about you. Denny was the one he cared about, and don't try to tell me different! You're just a kid, Gordie...
Gordie: Oh, gee, thanks, Dad!
Chris: I wish the hell I was your dad. You wouldn't be going around talking about taking these stupid shop courses if I was. It's like God gave you something man, all those stories you can make up. And He said, "this is what we got for ya kid, try not to lose it." Kids lose everything unless there's someone there to look out for them. And if your parents are too fucked up to do it, then maybe I should!
Vern: Come on, you guys, let's get moving!
Teddy: Yeah, by the time we get there, the kid won't even be dead anymore.
[The boys have come across a train trestle, and are contemplating crossing it.]
Vern: Any of you guys know when the next train is due?
Chris: We could go down to the Route 136 bridge.
Teddy: What are you, crazy? That's five miles down the river! We walk five miles down the river, we gotta walk five miles back; that could take 'til dark! We go across here, we could get to the same place within ten minutes.
Vern: Yeah, but if a train comes, there's nowheres to go!
Teddy: No there isn't; you just jump!
Chris: Teddy, it's a hundred feet!
Vern: Yeah, Teddy!
Teddy: Look, you guys can go around if you want to; I'm crossing here. And while you guys are dragging your candy asses halfway across the state and back, I'll be waiting for you on the other side, relaxing with my thoughts.
Gordie: Do you use your left hand or your right hand for that?
Teddy: You wish.
Gordie: Mickey's a mouse, Donald's a duck, Pluto's a dog. What's Goofy?
Teddy: He's a dog, he's definitely a dog...
Chris: He can't be a dog, he wears a hat and drives a car...
Vern: Yeah, that is weird. What the hell is Goofy?
Gordie: Maybe you could come into the college courses with me.
Chris: Yeah right, that'll be the day.
Gordie: Why not? You're smart enough.
Chris: They won't let me.
Gordie: What do you mean?
Chris: It's what everyone thinks of my family in this town. It's what they think of me. I'm just one of those low-life Chambers kids.
Gordie: That's not true.
Chris: Oh wait, it is. No one even asked me if I took the milk money that time. I just got a three day vacation.
Gordie: Did you take it?
Chris: Yeah, I took it! I mean, you knew I took it. Teddy knew I took it. Everyone knew I took it. Even Vern knew it, I think. But maybe I was sorry and I tried to give it back.
Gordie: You tried to give it back?
Chris: Maybe. Just maybe. And maybe I took it to Old Lady Simmons and told her, and the money was all there. But I still got a three day vacation because it never showed up. And maybe the next week, Old Lady Simmons had this new suit on when she came to school.
Gordie: Yeah, yeah! It was brown and it had dots on it.
Chris: Yeah. So let's just say that I stole the milk money, but Old Lady Simmons stole it back from me. Just say that I told this story. Me, Chris Chambers. Kid brother to Eyeball Chambers. Do you think that anyone would've believed it?
Chris: And do you think that that bitch would have dared try something like that if it had been one of those douchebags from up on the view, if they had taken the money?
Gordie: No way!
Chris: Hell no! But with me?... I'm sure she had her eye on that skirt for a long time. Anyway, she saw her chance, and she took it. I was the stupid one for even trying to give it back. [begins to cry] I just never thought a teacher... Oh, who gives a fuck anyway? I just wish... that I could go some place... where nobody knows me. I guess I'm just a pussy, huh?
Gordie: [comforting] No way. No way.
Vern: Jeez, Gordie, why couldn't you have gotten breakfast stuff like twinkies, Pez and root beer?
Gordie: Sorry, Vern. I guess a more experienced shopper could have gotten more for your seven cents.
Chris: Come on Teddy, act your age!
Teddy: I am acting my age. I'm in the prime of my youth and I'll only be young once!
Chris: Yeah, but you're gonna be stupid for the rest of your life.
Gordie: [to himself] Why did you have to die?
Vern: What's the matter with Gordie?
Chris: Nothing. Why don't you guys just go for some long branches, okay?
[Chris sits beside Gordie.]
Gordie: Why did he have to die, Chris? Why did Denny have to die? Why?
Chris: I don't know.
Gordie: It should have been me.
Chris: Don't say that.
Gordie: It should have been me.
Chris: Don't say that, man.
Gordie: I'm no good. My dad said it, I'm no good.
Chris: He doesn't know you.
Gordie: He hates me.
Chris: He doesn't hate you.
Gordie: He hates me.
Chris: No, he just doesn't know you.
Gordie: He hates me. My dad hates me. He hates me oh oh God. [cries]
Chris: You're gonna be a great writer someday, Gordie. You might even write about us guys if you ever get hard up for material.
Gordie: Guess I'd have to be really hard up, huh?
Gordie: [after shooting a gun into the air] You're not taking him. An' nobody is taking him.
Ace: Come on kid, just give me the gun before you take your foot off. You ain't got the sack to shoot a woodchuck.
Gordie: Move Ace. I'll kill you I swear to God.
Ace: Come on, Lachance, gimme the gun. You must have at least some of your brother's good sense.
Gordie: [quietly, aiming the gun at Ace] Suck my fat one, you cheap dime-store hood.
Ace: [mocking] What are you gonna do, shoot us all?
Gordie: No, Ace. Just you.
Chris: I'm never gonna get out of this town am I, Gordie?
Gordie: You can do anything you want, man.
Chris: Yeah, sure. Give me some skin.
Gordie: I'll see ya.
Chris: Not if I see you first.
The Writer: [voiceover] Chris did get out. He enrolled in the college courses with me, and although it was hard, he gutted it out like he always did. He went on to college and eventually became a lawyer. Last week, he entered a fast food restaurant. Just ahead of him, two men got into an argument; one of them pulled a knife. Chris, who'd always made the best peace, tried to break it up. He was stabbed in the throat. He died almost instantly.
I thought it was true to the book, and because it had the emotional gradient of the story. It was moving. I think I scared the shit out of Rob Reiner. He showed it to me in the screening room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I was out there for something else, and he said, "Can I come over and show you this movie?" And you have to remember that the movie was made on a shoestring. It was supposed to be one of those things that opened in six theaters and then maybe disappeared. And instead it went viral. When the movie was over, I hugged him because I was moved to tears, because it was so autobiographical.