The Outsiders (film)

Infobox Film
name = The Outsiders

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Francis Coppola
producer = Fred Roos
writer = S.E. Hinton
Kathleen Knutsen Rowell
starring = C. Thomas Howell
Matt Dillon
Ralph Macchio
Patrick Swayze
Rob Lowe
Emilio Estevez
Tom Cruise
Diane Lane
Nicolas Cage
Johnny Depp
music = Carmine Coppola
cinematography = Stephen H. Burum
editing = Roy Waldspurger
distributor = Warner Bros.
flagicon|United States American Zoetrope
flagicon|Australia Universal Studios Home Entertainment (DVD) [ [ Outsiders, The (1983) - 20th Anniversary Edition @ EzyDVD ] ]
released = Theatrical
March 25, 1983
September 9, 2005
runtime = Theatrical cut
91 min.
Extended cut
113 min.
country = United States
language = English
budget = $10 million
gross = $25.6 million
website =
followed_by "The Outsiders"
amg_id = 1:36919
imdb_id = 0086066 HDFUGH

"The Outsiders" is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton, and was made in 1983 by Francis Ford Coppola. The movie was released in March 1983. Jo Ellen Misakian, a librarian at Lone Star Jr. High School in Fresno, California, [ [ ZOETROPE.COM] ] was responsible for inspiring Coppola to make the movie.

"The Outsiders" is noted for being the breakout film of many future stars. The movie earned C. Thomas Howell a Young Artist Award, became the first Brat Pack movie when casting Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez as supporting Greasers, and further establishing the careers of Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, and Diane Lane. Both Lane and Dillon went on to appear in Coppola's related film "Rumble Fish".


"'This synopsis is of the 1983 original release. The movie begins with Ponyboy wondering about how to write the story (or the whole movie) until he begins with the beginning of the novel, followed by the credits. After the credits, the scene shifts to when Dally, Ponyboy, and Johnny sneak into a drive-in theater and seat themselves behind two Soc (pronounced "sosh" as in social) girls, Cherry and Marcia. Dally starts (flirting) with the girls. Dally offer Cherry and Marcia cokes. Marcia takes it and Cherry throws it in his face. He refuses to leave them alone until Johnny tells him to back off. Dally leaves, and the girls ask Ponyboy and Johnny to sit with them. Later, the boys are walking the girls home when their drunken boyfriends catch up to them in their Mustang. Bob and Randy are itching to fight, but Cherry defuses the situation by asking Bob and Randy to take Marcia and her home. Johnny and Ponyboy go to a vacant lot and end up falling asleep. When Ponyboy goes home, Darry is upset with worry and, during the confrontation, hits Ponyboy. Ponyboy runs from the house back to the vacant lot and wakes Johnny. They go to a nearby park to cool off.

At the park, Ponyboy and Johnny are confronted and harassed by Bob, Randy, and their friends. The Socs try to drown Ponyboy in a fountain, but flee after Johnny draws his switchblade and stabs Bob. Ponyboy and Johnny seek help from Dally, who gives them a loaded gun, money, and directions to an abandoned church in Windrixville, where they are to hide out until Dallas comes to retrieve them.

Ponyboy and Johnny cut off their hair to make themselves less recognizable, and Ponyboy bleaches his hair blonde with peroxide. The boys pass the time by smoking cigarettes, playing cards, and eating balogna sandwiches. Ponyboy also reads to Johnny from a paperback copy of "Gone with the Wind" and shares the Robert Frost poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" with him. Ponyboy confesses that he never quite understood the poem.

A week later, Dally comes to visit the boys and takes them to get some hot food. Dallas tells Ponyboy and Johnny that Cherry is willing to stick up for them to the authorities. Johnny says that he and Ponyboy want to go home and turn themselves in, which upsets Dally. Nevertheless, he starts the drive back home, by way of the church to get their small amount of stuff.

Ponyboy and Johnny return to the abandoned church to find out the church is on fire. When they hear the cries of children trapped inside, Ponyboy and Johnny both run in to rescue them. They get all the children out safely. Ponyboy escapes the inferno, but a roof beam collapses and falls on Johnny, who is still inside. Dally immediately moves to rescue Johnny. Dally, Ponyboy, and Johnny are taken to the hospital. Dally has minor injuries in his arm, and Ponyboy is basically unhurt, but Johnny is in critical condition with severe burns and a broken lower back. Darry and Sodapop reunite with Ponyboy and, as the brothers hug each other tightly, Darry cries openly, (something he hadn't done in years, not even at his parents funeral) relieved that Ponyboy is alive.

The next day, Ponyboy is resting at home when Steve and Two-Bit come over. They show him a newspaper article that calls Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally heroes for rescuing the children in Windrixville, and that Johnny is being charged with manslaughter for killing Bob. Even though Randy and the other Socs had admitted that they had been the aggressors, and that Ponyboy and Johnny were only defending themselves, Bob's death at Johnny's hands has sparked the call for a gang fight, or a "rumble," from the Socs.

The day of the rumble, Randy seeks out Ponyboy and admits that he does not want to fight in the rumble, nor will he, because he feels that no matter what the outcome, nothing would change. He has grown weary of all the fighting, is ready to leave town just to get away from it, and wanted to tell someone who he felt would understand how he feels.

Dally breaks out of the hospital to join in the rumble. The rumble begins, ending with the Greasers victorious. As the Greasers revel in their win, Dallas and Ponyboy rush to the hospital. Dally tells Johnny about the Greasers' victory, but Johnny doesn't seem interested. Dally then tells Johnny that he is proud of him, which fills the younger boy with happiness. Johnny looks over at Ponyboy and tells him to "stay gold," and with that, Johnny dies. Completely heartbroken, Dally flees from the room.

Ponyboy returns home to tell the rest of the gang that Johnny is dead and that Dally ran off. The gang is worried about what Dally might do, and their worry becomes alarm when Darry receives a phone call from Dally, who had robbed a convenience store and was now being pursued by the police. He tells the gang to meet him at the vacant lot. The gang races to the vacant lot to intercept Dally, but they are too late; Dally is already surrounded by police officers. He pulls out an unloaded gun, in the hopes that he will be shot to death by the police. His plan succeeds in front of his horrified friends. The novel explains that, after losing Johnny, Dally lost the will to live.

Days later, Ponyboy is flipping through the copy of "Gone With the Wind" that Johnny had left behind and finds a letter from Johnny, addressed to him. Johnny's letter explains that the phrase "staying gold" in the Frost poem means to never lose the appreciation for the things one finds wondrous when one is young. He urges Ponyboy to tell Dally about it. The film ends with him writing the opening line of the film, which is also the first line of the novel: "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home"...


*C. Thomas Howell - Ponyboy Curtis
*Ralph Macchio - Johnny Cade
*Matt Dillon - Dallas Winston
*Patrick Swayze - Darrel Curtis
*Rob Lowe - Sodapop Curtis
*Emilio Estevez - Two-Bit Mathews
*Tom Cruise - Steve Randle
*Diane Lane - Cherry Valance
*Leif Garrett - Bob Sheldon
*Darren Dalton - Randy Anderson
*Glenn Withrow - Tim Shepard
*Michelle Meyrink - Marcia
*Tom Waits - Buck Merril
*Gailard Sartain - Jerry
*Nicolas Cage - bit part in rumble sceneFact|date=September 2008


Francis Ford Coppola never actually wanted to make a movie about teen angst. What changed his mind was a middle school class, great fans of "The Godfather", wrote to him about making a sort of gangster film, except about "The Outsiders". When he read the book, he was moved and not only directed the film, he also adapted "Rumble Fish" into a movie the year after, again with Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, and Glenn Withrow.

Dallas falling out of his seat at the drive-in was unplanned.

The actors playing the Socs were put in luxury hotel accommodations and given leather-bound scripts, while the Greaser-actors were put on the ground floor and received tattered scripts. Coppola is said to have done this to create tension between both groups before filming. The cast played pranks on each other and the hotel staff during the shoot. Years later, Tom Cruise met someone who worked at the hotel, and when he discovered that it was the same hotel where he and the rest of the cast had stayed, his first words were, "I'm sorry."

Francis Ford Coppola went to arbitration unsuccessfully for the writing credits of this film.

Two-Bit's fascination with Mickey Mouse, as shown in a later scene in the film, was thought up by Emilio Estevez, who approached the character as a "laid back, easy-going guy." This could also be a reference to a deleted scene (not included on the DVD) where Ponyboy tells Cherry about Sodapop's horse riding career and love for a horse named Mickey Mouse. The scene was also intended to highlight that Sodapop's having already suffered some heartbreak before his girlfriend leaves him, as well as the brothers' own sense of loss, but Coppola cut it because he felt it slowed the film's pace down.

The film was shot on location in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The drive-in is the Admiral Twin, still going strong in 2008.

Coppola filmed "The Outsiders" and "Rumble Fish" back-to-back in 1982. He wrote the screenplay for the latter while on days off from shooting the former. Many of the same locations were used in both films, as were many of the same cast and crew members.

The credits are shown at the beginning of the movie in the style normally found in a published play.


The original film's score was composed by the director's father, Carmine Coppola and the main title song, "Stay Gold," was sung by Stevie Wonder. The film did include one rock song, "Gloria" by the band, Them.

The re-release of the film removes much of Carmine Coppola's original score, and instead replaces it with many songs that were hits from the 1960's when the film takes place, including:
*"Real Wild Child" - Jerry Lee Lewis
*"Gloria" - Them
*"Out of Limits" - The Marketts
*"Tomorrow is a Long Time" - Bob Dylan (performed by Elvis)
*"Mystery Train" - Elvis Presley
*"We're Gonna Move" - Elvis Presley
*"Lend Me Your Comb" - Carl Perkins
*"Milky White Way" - Elvis Presley
*"Teen Beat" - The Ventures
*"Stay Gold" - Stevie Wonder

Awards and nominations

"The Outsiders" has been nominated for at least four awards upon its release. C. Thomas Howell won the Young Artist Award for the movie in the category "Best Young Motion Picture Actor in a Feature Film." Diane Lane was also nominated for a Young Artist Award, her being nominated for "Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture", and the whole movie was nominated for the Young Artist Award "Best Family Feature Motion Picture." Francis Ford Coppola was nominated for a Golden prize.

"The Complete Novel" Re-release

In September 2005, Coppola re-released the film, including 22 minutes of additional footage and new music, entitled "The Outsiders: The Complete Novel". Coppola re-inserted some deleted scenes to make the movie more faithful to the book. In the beginning of the movie, he added scenes where Ponyboy gets jumped, the gang talks about going to the movies, and Dally, Pony and Johnny bumming around before going to the movies. In the end, Coppola added the scenes of court, Mr. Syme talking to Ponyboy, and Sodapop, Ponyboy and Darry in the park. Also, much of the original score was removed and replaced with music popular in the 60's. However, with the re-editing of the film, Coppola removed several scenes in order to improve pacing.


External links

* [ Official site]

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