The Outsiders

They grew up on the outside of society. They weren't looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.

Crime Drama
91 min     7.219     1983     USA


When two poor Greasers, Johnny and Ponyboy, are assaulted by a vicious gang, the Socs, and Johnny kills one of the attackers, tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events.


Wuchak wrote:
_**Artsy teen melodrama in mid-60’s Oklahoma from the perspective of a 16 year-old**_ In the Tulsa area in 1965 the rivalry between the Greasers (poor kids) and the Socs (rich kids) heats up after a gang member is killed. The Greasers supposedly responsible flee the area (C. Thomas Howell and Ralph Macchio), but ironically end up being viewed as heroes. Matt Dillon costars while the notable peripheral cast includes the likes of Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, Diane Lane and Leif Garrett. “The Outsiders” (1983) was one of two films Francis Ford Coppola shot back-to-back based on S.E Hinton’s young-adult novels. This one was successful at the box office while the even more artsy “Rumble Fish” (1983) failed to draw an audience. Hinton began writing “The Outsiders,” her most popular novel, in 1965 when she was 16, inspired by two rival gangs at her school, Will Rogers High School, which is about 2.5 miles west of downtown. I bring this up because the movie definitely comes across as an overdramatic tale from the perspective of a teenager. The most mundane, trivial events are presented as life-or-death happenings, like going to a drive-in theater or facing your nemeses at a park where one person idiotically brings a switchblade to a fistfight. This explains why some people write the flick off as “the cheesiest and corniest movie ever.” In its defense, you have to acclimate to it in order to appreciate it. Go back to what was happening in your life when you were in your mid- teens and how a fistfight or breakup was an earthshattering event. The movie captures this very well. The original theatrical film runs 1 hour, 31 minutes, while the 2005 Director’s Cut runs 23 minutes longer and includes new music. It was shot in the Tulsa area. GRADE: B-/B
CinemaSerf wrote:
Hmmm. Francis Ford Coppola has creatively produced a piece of superbly photographed and frequently quite intimate observational cinema here this is far more remarkable for it's casting than for anything especially innovative about the story or the characterisations. Indeed had seven of this cast not gone on to great and good things - to varying degrees - then I'm afraid I can't think this film would rate much better than as an interesting, "West Side Story" style derivate with neither the style nor the personalities. It is essentially a gang enmity film - the "Greasers" consisting of those at the top of the bill - (a rather toothy) Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze et al having a constant rivalry with their wealthier rivals from the other side of town - The "Socs" (Soshes). Every day there are skirmishes between the two until one evening, young Macchio ("Johnny") and pal "Ponyboy" (C. Thomas Howell) are set upon by a group of older lads and tragedy ensues, a tragedy that leads to all concerned discovering and displaying their true colours. Unfortunately, the acting here is all pretty wooden - except, perhaps, for a decent last minute effort from Rob Lowe. Dillon was a good looking man, but like the others here he was never an especially versatile actor and much of the emphasis here is upon the fact they look good in 501s. The story is otherwise a rather humdrum, violent, coming of age effort that ends in sadness and salvation - but is delivered in an almost rushed fashion. Time hasn't been terribly kind to this, it has lost much of what made it potent at the time - but it is still a story worth a watch.