The Outsiders Movie Review

The Outsiders

They grew up on the outside of society. They weren't looking for a fight. they were looking to belong
The Outsiders Picture
Ponyboy and Johnny Cade (Howell and Macchio)


C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze


Look for S.E Hinton, Sofia Coppola, Tom Waits making a cameo appearance!

Thanks to Jenna
Adapted from S.E Hinton's literary classic: other film adaptations of her work include "Rumble Fish" and "That Was Then…This Is Now". Hinton was just 16 when she wrote the book. Because Hinton often writes from a boy's point of view, she uses her initials S.E. instead of her name Susan Eloise. She explains, "I figured that most boys would look at the book and think, 'What can a chick know about stuff like that?'"

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As Chandler Bing would say: "Could there BE any more famous people in this?"

The movie which launched a thousand careers …well seven actually, is an emotive and powerful drama about the lives and misadventures of a group of small town youths who find themselves growing up on the outskirts of society, trying to make the best of what they have.

These Greasers go to drive-ins, decipher poetry and engage in sporadic rumbles with the over-privileged Socs (i.e. socialites).

There's the responsible Darrel Curtis (Swayze) his kid brothers Sodapop (Lowe) and our apprehensive narrator, Ponyboy (Howell), all round good bloke Dallas Winston (Dillon), tough guy Steve Randle (Cruise) Mickey Mouse fan 2-bit Matthews (Eztevez) and self effacing Johnny Cade (Macchio).

Outsiders is one of those rare films whose every moment makes some kind of impression on the viewer; for one of the first movie scenes I ever remember was C. Thomas Howell's "Stay Gold" speech and despite the fact that it would be about 18 years until I saw this film again, that scene had always stayed with me, as had the fire rescue.

Francis Ford Coppola, he of ‘Godfather’ / ‘Apocalypse Now’ fame, directs this skilfully acted adaptation with a real sense of care and attention to detail, however it's the cast, each giving a measured, well-researched performance, who really hold your attention...

...Which is just as well; for without the inevitable bias that we call nostalgia, Outsiders is arguably a simplistic tale which attempts to deal with complicated issues about class, loyalties and friendship in a sometimes haphazard manner.

It's a very rough, dark reel, rich in depth with some beautiful cinematography and it manages to achieve a near-impossible combination of good acting, writing and direction. -There's even a touch of West Side Story here, what with Ponyboy trying to chat up Soc, Cherry Valance (Lane) and the drastic consequences which follow.

One of the more subtle scenes in the movie involves Ponyboy and an enemy Soc having a sit-down and quite simply talking their problems through, it's a surprisingly moving scene which serves as an allegory for so many things that are happening in the world today. And how, if two kids; not a Greaser or a Soc, but just two people, can put their troubles aside for a second, well then as clichéd and pseudo-Lennon as it might sound --maybe one day a sense of reason will dawn upon everybody…

...Or maybe not, judging from the somewhat over-the-top battle royal finale.

Author: Kashif AhmedUpdate This Review


Watching The Outsiders is like watching a Bruce Spingsteen song come to life; it's about your hometown, about being born to run and how chasing a runaway American dream in the face of economic deprivation can lead anyone astray.

The movie is nicely book-ended by Howell's prosaic yet insightful monologues, whilst a series of bizarre twists and some excellent method acting (particularly from Matt Dillon) sets this film apart from others of it’s genre.

The only drawbacks being, that like many good movies, you may need to consider its merit a few hours later and only then can you appreciate how unforgettable it actually is, other than that, this is as close to perfect filmmaking / storytelling as it's possible to get.

The Outsiders is about nothing and everything: An absolute classic, which comes highly recommended.

Exemplary acting, good adaptation of the novel with some brilliant cinematography.
Different to the book -and some would say not as good.

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The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writer: S.E. Hinton novel, Kathleen Rowell
Producers: Kim Aubry, Gian-Carlo Coppola, Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos
Locations Manager: Jim Clark

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Release Date: 25 Mar 1983
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: Warner Brothers
Production: Pony Boy, Zoetrope Studios
Genre: Teen Drama

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The Movie Trailer
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1983 Warner Brothers
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