Banned In The UK: Not completely banned, but the film was given a 15 rating in the cinema in the UK because of swearing and violence, which prevented the lower end of its target audience from seeing it. The resulting complaints contributed to the creation of the 12 rating.
Dawson Casting: Averted. All the boys are the same age as their characters or at least very close, except River Phoenix, who was fifteen. None of the older boys were under 20, Ace's gang, Gordie's brother, and Lardass.
Enforced Method Acting: Wil Wheaton has written several times on his experiences making the movie. In one scene that involved the boys running from a train, Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell didn't look scared enough, so Reiner started screaming at them to make them cry. Afterwards, he felt terrible about it and comforted both of them. And to ensure that the child actors really looked intimidated by his character, Kiefer Sutherland supposedly bullied them in real life (although Wheaton doesn't recall it happening to him). The scene with the leeches in Wheaton's hand and...other places, however, was not real.
Reiner also asked River Phoenix to think about the biggest moment an adult had let him down when he had to cry during the campfire scene. He got very emotional and Reiner comforted him for long afterwards, but it paid off: the take was by far the best and the one used in the final film.
Reality Subtext: Stephen King witnessed one of his friends being killed by a train as a kid. He also had a friend who was, like Chris, accused or suspected of being a petty criminal no matter what he did.