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The Outsiders (DVD)
Member Name: mikeb2102
The Outsiders (DVD)
Date: 24/09/12, updated on 07/10/12 (47 review reads)
Advantages: Great Film about the American class system
Disadvantages: Get the tissues out
At the time of making this film, Francis Ford Coppola had already made his name directing films such as; The Godfather parts I & II, and Apocalypse Now, so what made him want to direct a film about team angst and the class system in early 1960's America?
The Outsiders was part of a series of novels written by S.E. Hinton, and was part of the school curriculum. In 1980 the librarian of Lone Star Elementary School, California wrote to Francis Ford Coppola to say that the students wanted him to make a film of the novel. The director read the letter and two years later filming began. To make the cast understand the film and get them inside of the minds of what the two gangs were like, the director put the cast playing the Soc's in a nice hotel with leather bound scripts and the cast playing The Greasers were put up in poor accomodation with tatty looking scripts.
>-- The Greasers --<
Pony Boy Curtis - C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher, Red Dawn)
Johnny Cade - Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid I,II & III)
Dallas Winston - Matt Dillon (Rumble Fish, There's Something About Mary)
Sodapop Curtis - Rob Lowe (St. Elmos Fire, The Austin Powers franchise)
Darry Curtis - Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing, Ghost)
Two-Bit Mathews - Emilio Estevez (St. Elmos Fire, Young Guns)
Steve Randle - Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Mission Impossible franchise)
>-- The Soc's --<
Cherry Vallance - Diane Lane (Rumble Fish, Unfaithful)
Bob Sheldon - Leif Garrett
Randy Adderson - Darren Dalton (Red Dawn)
Marcia - Michelle Meyrink (Revenge of the Nerds)
The film is set in Oklahoma in the early 1960's, and tells the story of two rival gangs, the rich kids from the South;The Soc's(pronounced Soashes) and the poor kids from the North; The Greasers. Pony Boy Curtis lives with his older brothers Soda Pop and Darry, who is also his guardian, as their parents had died. Pony Boy and his friends Dallas Winston and Johnny Cade sneak into a drive in theatre and there they meet Cherry Vallance and her friend Marcia. Dallas tries it on with Cherry, who spurns his advances and only stops when Johnny speaks out and tells him to leave her alone. Cherry takes a liking to Pony Boy and even though they are from different backgrounds you can see that there is a mutual attraction between the two. Upon leaving the drive in theatre, Cherry and Marcias boyfriends; Bob and Randy, confront Pony Boy, Johnny and Two-Bit and the girls leave with them. Later that night after Pony Boy had left home following an argument with Darry, Johnny and Pony Boy are hanging around at the park when a car full of Soc's follows them. The Soc's get out the car and start to pick a fight with the two Greasers, Bob, Randy and two other Soc's try to drown Pony Boy in the fountain and it is only when Johnny pulls out a knife and kills Bob that they flee.
Pony Boy and Johnny go and see Dallas to get help, he gives them some money and tells them of an abandoned church in the country they can hide out in, and they are to wait there until Dallas comes to see them. A week goes by and in this time they both cut their hair and Johnny dyes Pony Boys blonde. One morning stepping out into the sunset Pony Boy recites 'Nothing Gold Can Stay', a poem by Robert Frost, the two boys discuss what the poem means and later in the film Johnny comes to his own conclusions. When Dallas finally comes to meet them, he takes them for something to eat and Johnny decides he's going to go and turn himself in. They go back to the abandoned church only to find it on fire and some school children trapped inside, without hesitation Pony Boy and Johnny go inside the burning building and rescue the children. When all the children were safe the structure collapses while Johnny is still inside, resulting in him being badly burned.
When they get to the hospital Darry and Soda Pop make up with Pony Boy and the three kids; Pony Boy, Johnny and Dallas are declared as heroes in the newspapers, gaining some respect from the Soc's as well. This respect doesn't stop the impending rumble(fight) planned for that night between the two rival gangs, which The Greasers win. After the fight, Dallas and Pony Boy go to the hospital to tell Johnny, who tells Pony Boy to "Stay gold" before dying(Time to get the tissues out).
After Johnny's death, Dallas flips out and holds up a store with a gun, whilst fleeing from the police he is shot and killed. The movie cuts to Pony Boy in his bedroom opening up a copy of 'Gone With the Wind' he had given to Johnny to find a letter from him. The letter is read by Johnny's voice and in it he gives his conclusions to the poem(another tissue moment).
There were two versions of this film made by Coppola; The first is the one I have just written about and the second is the same version with 20 minutes of extra scenes. The latter was made to make it more true to the actual novel, although I much prefer the original film. The updated version has omitted the original score throughout the film and replaced it with 60's music, sometimes the music overtakes the dialogue and it also doesn't seem to add anything to the mood of the film. Some of the extra scenes could have done without being there also, as they didn't add anything to the original movie. I have watched the original hundreds of times and I have cried every single time, when I watched the updated version it just didn't have the same feel for me. This film is great and is the only film that you are going to see all these well established actors in one film at the start of their careers. The acting is not excellent but there are some really poignant moments in the film. I suggest anyone wishing to see this film should definitely have a look for the original, which you can purchase from www.amazon.co.uk for £6.99 + £1.26 postage.
Summary: A great story that is still relevant today