Stay gold Ponyboy. The Outsiders (The complete novel version) review.
Oct 15, 2009
Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders is a melodramatic film based upon the novel written by S. E. Hinton (who also as a small role as a nurse). Like many middle school students I was forced to read the novel (which I thought was sappy and cheesy). Coppola's version is pretty much the same as the novel and he did a very good job of capturing the spirit of the film (perhaps too much). Filmed on location in Oklahoma. The actors in this film were a cast of unknowns. But afterwords many of them would go on to become stars (Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon) others would find success in the later years (Diane Lane, Rob Lowe) and some would score some big roles early int their careers and fade away to straight-to-video obscurity (C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Patrick Swayze).
Ponyboy Curtis is a "Greaser" a kid from across the tracks. He's always has his head in the clouds and unlike the other "Greasers", he seems to have a bright future if he would stick in head in books instead of hanging out with his buddies Johnny (Ralph Macchio), Two-Bit (Emilio Estevez) and Dallas (Matt Dillon). Pony's brothers Sodapop dropped out of school to work at a local DX with fellow "Greaser" Steve (Tom Cruise) whilst older brother Darrel (Patrick Swayze) has to take care of the family since the tragic deaths of their parents. Darrel is under a lot of stress of having to take care of Darrel and Ponyboy that he takes it out on Pony by riding him like a donkey and always jumping on his case. One night after staying out late, Pony and Darrel get into a scuffle causing Pony to runaway from home with Johnny.
The "greasers" are always in a constant state of war with the rich kids called "The Socs". Two members of the group Bob (Leif Garrett) and Randy (Darren Dalton) nearly come to blows with Ponyboy, Two-Bit and Johnny earlier at the drive-in but their girlfriends Cherry (Diane Lane) and Marcia manage to calm down the situation. Hours have passed since the confrontation but their still angry about their tiff with "The Greasers" and drive around drinking all night looking for trouble. They spot the two runaways and decide to continue the spat with some additional extracurricular activities. Will Johnny and Ponyboy be able to get out of this pickle? Why do the "Socs and "Greasers" hate each other? Is their any way to end this dispute before things get really out of hand?
An entertaining film from Coppola. His daughter has a small part (credited as Domino) and his nephew Nicolas (Coppola) Cage has a role as an extra (his Uncle turned him down for the role of Dallas). If you enjoyed the book then you'll want to get a copy of the Complete Novel version. This cut has additional scenes, new music (Most of the sappy and over dramatic music composed by Carmine Coppola has been replaced with 50's and 60's pop music) and an ending that's more faithful to the novel. Is it melodramatic? Yes, Is it sappy? Yes, even though it's laid on real heavy at times but it's still a good movie that will entertain you.
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. To...