More About The Outsiders
Set in 1966; Produced and released in 1983.
Francis Ford Coppola's stylized teen melodrama is based on the popular novel by S. E. Hinton. In 1960s Tulsa, the "right" and "wrong" sides of the tracks are represented by rival gangs, the upscale Socs and the underprivileged Greasers. Darrel Curtis (Patrick Swayze) is doing his best to raise his two younger brothers, Sodapop (Rob Lowe in his first film role) and Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell). Sensitive Ponyboy is a budding writer in love with Cherry (Diane Lane), the unobtainable beauty from the enemy gang. When Ponyboy's buddy, troubled Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio), kills one of the Socs in self-defense, their friend Dallas (Matt Dillon) helps the two youths hide out in an abandoned country church. There they live as exiles from a society that doesn't want them. But not all is lost, when Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dallas save some children caught in a fire they become unlikely heroes.
The young cast is the jewel of this sensitive, moving film. Tom Cruise and Emilio Estevez play Greasers, and pop singer Leif Garrett plays rich-kid Bob. Dillon also starred that year in another S. E.Hinton adaptation directed by Coppola--the fascinating and extremely entertaining RUMBLE FISH.
Main Cast & Crew
Francis Ford Coppola - Director
C. Thomas Howell
THE OUTSIDERS marks the film debut of Rob Lowe. S.E. Hinton wrote THE OUTSIDERS when she was only 15 and had it published two years later in 1967. It was her first novel; it sold millions of copies. Hinton was the author of other popular teen novels such as TEX and RUMBLE FISH, both of which were made into movies starring Matt Dillon. RUMBLE FISH was also directed by Coppola the same year. Francis Ford Coppola first became aware of S.E. Hinton's book THE OUTSIDERS when Jo Ellen Misakian, a librarian at the Lone Star School in Fresno, California, and her students wrote a letter to Coppola suggesting the book be made into a movie. He dedicated the film to them. THE OUTSIDERS spawned a TV series. Sofia Coppola has one line in the film as a little girl asking Dallas Winston for a dime. S.E. Hinton appears in the film as a nurse. "Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold."--Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio) "He's so greasy he glides when he walks. He goes to the barbershop for an oil change, not a haircut."--Two-Bit Matthews (Emilio Estevez)
"...[A film] in which angels with dirty faces but immaculately pure hearts burn with a hard, gemlike flame..." - 09/01/1983 Sight and Sound, p.287-8
"...Well acted and crafted....Howell is truly impressive....Macchio is outstanding..." - 03/23/1983 Variety
4 stars out of 5 -- "THE OUTSIDERS is funny, touching and revelatory....Coppola has given the film a fullness that makes it feel freshly minted." - 09/22/2005 Rolling Stone, p.116
4 stars out of 5 -- "THE OUTSIDERS has matured like one of Coppola's Napa Valley wines from a good movie to a really good one." - 11/01/2011 Total Film
4 stars out of 5 -- "It still stands as one of the best teen movies of its era." - 11/01/2011 Uncut