Setting of move "Stand by Me"

We were watching “Stand by Me” again after a long time, and it suddenly struck me that several of the characters have French-origin family names – Lachance, Duchamp, Desjardins. The story is set in Castle Rock, Ore. (I don’t know whether that’s a real town.) And I got to wondering whether there was a lot of French or French-Canadian settlement in Oregon.

Then it struck me that the author of the novella the movie is based on is Stephen King, and he’s from Maine, and there certainly are a lot of people of French-Canadian origin there. So, I wonder, is Castle Rock, Ore., really a stand-in for some town in Maine that was shifted to the opposite coast for some reason?

(And what about the shopkeeper, Quidacioluo? What kind of a name is that?)

Castle Rock is a fictional town in Maine where Stephen King set many of his stories, including “The Body”, from which “Stand By Me” was adapted.

And yes, many, many people in Maine have French surnames.

As I remember, the book was set in Maine. On a couple of movie review sites I just looked up (but won’t link to, because they’re incredibly ugly and written by airheads (River Phoenix is soooo hot in this movie!!!1! OMGROFLOLPDQ!!!11)) the trivia sections say all the town names are actual towns in Maine.

But in the movie, the narrator clearly says that Castle Rock is in Oregon:

I wonder why the movie changed the location of the town.

There is also a Castle Rock, Oregon (or is it Washington?). This was the only aspect of the movie that put me off. The book town was in Maine, the movie town was in Oregon, but some of the characters definitely had a “down-easter” accent, and the last names were all wrong for an Oregon town.

Interestingly enough, “Stand By Me” and “Shawshank Redemption” are two books that are more or less exact copies of the short stories penned by Stephen King.

Castle Rock is a common town in many of Stephen King’s stories and books. I personally think that he doesn’t get enough credit for his non-supernatural stories.

Oregon had numerous early French-Canadian explorers, trappers, missionaries and settlers. There are a lot of place names left over from that era. E.g., The Dalles, the Deschutes River, Malheur County, etc.

But they were quickly overwhelmed by settlers from the eastern US and never made up a significant percentage of the population after that. While there are certain regions with “high” proportions of some ethnic groups (e.g., Finns in Astoria, Basques in the Eastern Oregon sheep country), I know of no comparable French-Canadian areas.

Looks like it filmed in Oregon

I had never noticed that discrepancy between book and movie.

I can only assume it was an ass-covering measure. Someone thought, “Hey, if people who know the landscape around here realize it’s Oregon, and we keep saying its Maine, they’ll go ‘WTF?!?’ and leave”.

Or something to that effect.

That town does seem to move around:

In The Dead Zone, Castle Rock was in New Jampshire (filmed in Ontario).
In Need ful Things, Castle Rock was in Maine (filmed in British Columbia).
In The Dark Half, Castle Rock was (IIRC) in Maine (filmed in Pennsylvania).

But they do this all the time in movies don’t they? And how many people are going to realise that the Oregon countryside is not the Maine countryside as opposed to realising that Vancouver is not really New York?

Just an FYI, but the beautiful railroad trestle bridge that the kids run from in the train in the movie is part a private logging railroad’s property. I’ve ridden railroad gangcars on that bridge and have a photo of me standing on it.

Come to think of it, I have photos of me at the Mansfield Ohio Prison where they filmed “Shawshank” too (as a tourist, I assure you, that old prison is closed), I just think it’s a funny coincidence.

NTYMI, when we had a face shot of Jackie Chan going backwards off a building in “Rumble in the Bronx”, I was jarred out my disbelief, thinking, “What the hell are those mountains and streams doing in the Bronx?” Similarly, in “War of the Roses”, I found myself saying “Hey! That’s not the ferry landing on Nantucket!”

Perhaps it’s not that Oregonians would recognize it as Oregon, but the Down-Easters would DEFINITELY realize it’s not Maine, and be really bugged about it. Maybe it’s a New England thing, I grew up in Boston.

Anyway, since, at the time, “Stand By Me” was assumed, sight unseen, to be yet another failed attempt at bringing King to the screen, I think they hedged their bets to losing the endorsement of his fans by tweaking their consistency obsession.

Another possibility that comes to mind is that someone in whatever office that grants filming permits in Oregon took a look at their desired locations, realized that the scenery would look GREAT on the screen (leading some to seek it out, wallets fat with tourist dollars), and said “You can film here if it’s set here”, so that the money would not mistakenly go to those Maine bastards.