In Castle Rock, Oregon, 1959, four boys, Gordie (Wheaton), Chris (Phoenix), Teddy (Feldman), and Vern (O'Connell), come to believe that they know the location of the dead body of a boy who went missing from a nearby town. They decide to take a journey out of town and across the country to find the body and be celebrated as local heroes. While taking the journey the boys face many perils, some real, some only rumour. But what they really find along the journey is who they are and where they are going.
The film is based on a Stephen King novella, originally entitled "They Body", from the Different Seasons collection, which also contained "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", which was also made into a film in 1996. Like The Shawshank Redemption, the film has become an audience favourite, and won the approval of King, who believes it to be one of the first accurate adaptations of his work. It has become the quintessential coming-of-age film, dealing with the loss of childhood innocence, death, nostalgia, and the uncertainty of growing up.