The Outsiders


1h 31m 1983
The Outsiders

Brief Synopsis

Lower-class high-schoolers take on a gang from the right side of the tracks.

Film Details

Also Known As
Outsiders, Outsiders: The Complete Novel, The
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Period
Release Date
1983
Location
Oklahoma, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Synopsis

Coming-of-age drama about teenagers growing up in the 1950s Midwest. The youngest of three orphaned brothers gets into trouble with the law after he and his "greaser" friend are attacked at a park by the rich "socs."

Crew

Millie Z Alexich

Project Manager

Mitchell Amundsen

Other

William Asher

Other

James Austin

Rerecording

Jean Autrey

Production Accountant

Don Baker

Photography

R C Bannon

Song Performer

Richard Beggs

Rerecording

Richard Beggs

Sound Design

Jeffrey Block

Production Assistant

Marge Bowers

Costumes

Martin Bresin

Pyrotechnics

Karen A Brocco

Sound Mixer

Emmett Brown

Key Grip

Stephen H Burum

Director Of Photography

Jim Clark

Location Manager

David Allan Coe

Song Performer

Ronald Colby

Unit Production Manager

Carmine Coppola

Music

Carmine Coppola

Song

Francis Ford Coppola

Producer

Gian-carlo Coppola

Associate Producer

Roman Coppola

Production Assistant

Elliot Davis

Camera Operator

Steve M Davison

Stunts

Roger Dietz

Art Department

Tony Dingman

Location Coordinator

Dennis Dion

Special Effects

Walt Disney

Other

Gordon Ecker

Sound Editor

Gary Fettis

Set Decorator

Teri Fettis

Production Coordinator

Wayne Fitzgerald

Titles

Gray Frederickson

Producer

Jamie Freitag

Assistant Director

Ralph Gerling

Camera Operator

Anne Goursaud

Editor

S. E. Hinton

Source Material (From Novel)

S. E. Hinton

Consultant

Janet Hirshenson

Casting

Buddy Joe Hooker

Stunt Coordinator

Teresa Hunt

Casting

Richard Hymns

Sound Editor

Walla Works Inc

Sound Editor

Jane Iredale

Casting

Chris Lebenzon

Assistant Editor

Brian Lee

Other

Michael Lehmann

Other

Barbara Lucey

Assistant

Douglas T Madison

Props

Michelle Manning

Production Supervisor

David Marconi

Production Assistant

Connie Mccord

Production Assistant

Anthony R Milch

Sound Editor

Michael Minkler

Rerecording

Ernie Misko

Wardrobe Supervisor

Kathleen Misko

Wardrobe Supervisor

Van Morrison

Song

Anahid Nazarian

Music Supervisor

Lloyd Nelson

Script Supervisor

Bonna Newman

Production Assistant

Dee Dee Petty

Hair

Jack Petty

Makeup

Reid Rondell

Stunts

Fred Roos

Producer

Kathleen Knutsen Rowell

Screenplay

David Smith

Other

Robert Spurlock

Mechanical Special Effects

Dave Stewart

Photography

Dan Suhard

Dialogue Coach

Robert Swarthe

Special Effects

Dean Tavoularis

Set Decorator

Dean Tavoularis

Production Designer

David Valdes

Assistant Director

Jane Vickerella

Production Assistant

Wayne Wagner

Other

Laurel Walter

Production Assistant

James E Webb

Sound

Scott Wilder

Stunts

Little Stevie Wonder

Song

Little Stevie Wonder

Song Performer

Jim Zenk

Photography

Film Details

Also Known As
Outsiders, Outsiders: The Complete Novel, The
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Period
Release Date
1983
Location
Oklahoma, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Articles

The Outsiders


The life of a juvenile delinquent never looked this beautiful! For his adaptation of S.E. Hinton's beloved novel, The Outsiders (1983), Francis Ford Coppola crafted a mythic world that juxtaposes the angst and turmoil of adolescence with saturated sunsets and stunning scenery. Partly a tale of class-war and partly a story about teenage rebellion, The Outsiders is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the mid-sixties and centers around a group of local "greasers" and their affluent high school counterparts, the "Socs" (pronounced "Soshes"; think "Society" rather that "Sock-Hop"). Though the main protagonist of the film is Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell), who narrates the events in flashback, the real leader of the pack is Dallas Winston (Matt Dillon), whose charismatic personality borders on the psychotic. When Dallas and his boys aren't raising hell, other subplots surface such as a romantic liaison between a greaser (Howell) and a soc (Diane Lane) or the struggle of three orphaned brothers (Howell with older brothers Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze) to stay together despite financial problems, or a "rumble" that results in an accidental death forcing two greasers (Howell and Ralph Macchio) to go on the lam.

When The Outsiders was first released, a critic from the Los Angeles Times noted that "audiences who are not (S.E.) Hinton experts may be treading water during the first 20 minutes, desperately trying to keep half a dozen identities and family relationships straight." Hinton initially began writing the book when she was 15 and finished it when she was 17; the novel is in many respects what one might expect from a 15 year-old author. Naive and romanticized, The Outsiders attempts to uncover something poetic in the alien world of troubled teenage boys who seem at once dangerous and sensitive. Though Hinton addresses a valid need for positive role models for teenagers, she has created idealized males who are hypersensitive, know their innermost feelings and do not hesitate to express them. Ponyboy is the most obvious example of this stylization, particularly in the scene where he reads a passage from his favorite book, Gone With the Wind, to his pal Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio) while they hide out in a run-down church.

Whether intentional or not, scenes like the above clearly evoke the angst-ridden emotions of Rebel Without A Cause (1955); an idea repeatedly reinforced by the presence of Sal Mineo look-alike, Ralph Macchio. Originally prompted to make The Outsiders by an elementary school librarian and her students who sent Coppola a petition to bring the novel to life, the director set out to make a nostalgic fifties film. In an attempt to heighten the film's emotional impact, Coppola uses nature as a dramatic force; sudden storms, sunsets and sunrises are conjured up swiftly and disappear just as quickly, much like the turmoil in the teenagers' lives. And whereas Nicholas Ray used Cinemascope in Rebel Without A Cause to express the alienated viewpoint of his young protagonists (remember the sequence in the police station when you can't see the heads or faces of any of the adult characters?), Coppola goes a step further in The Outsiders and eliminates all adults from the narrative, all the better to study these scarred but passionate teenagers in their own element.

The theme of teenage alienation was driven home dramatically by Coppola during the rehearsal process. After a massive "cattle call" of over 300 male teens, which was eventually whittled down to a primary cast of "Greasers" and "Socs", the two groups were then separated. "'Socs' were treated like princes," says Coppola, "and 'Greasers' the opposite. Only occasionally did they meet, in a competitive sport, so we could fan their distrust and dislike." For weeks, the latter group prepared meals together, improvised playing a family, practiced tai chi, and played touch football - activities that bonded the "Greasers" together and separated them from their snooty counterparts. Though the process worked, there were rumors that Coppola was having financial problems, which might explain the unusually long pre-production phase for the actors. Rob Lowe recalls "Apparently there were problems with financing...(Coppola) was on the phone with his wife saying, 'Don't let them in the gate! Don't - wait, hold on a second - Action!'"

The Outsiders earned Coppola mixed reviews when the film was finally released. Praised for his beautiful technique, as much as he was criticized for his romanticized portrayal of teen life, evidence of Coppola's genuine achievement lies in these uneven reviews. The novel, despite its unsophisticated and often sentimental viewpoint, struck a chord with young readers because it was written by one of their own. So, in all fairness, it should be pointed out that the failings of the movie are really the failings of the novel. But as one insightful critic noted, "none of this will make the slightest difference to any true Hinton fan, who will find the impassioned hyperbole exactly right for this magnetic classic."

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Producer: Gian-Carlo Coppola, Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos
Screenplay: S.E. Hinton, Kathleen Rowell
Art Direction: Gary Fettis
Cinematography: Stephen H. Burum
Costume Design: Marjorie Bowers
Film Editing: Anne Goursaud
Original Music: Carmine Coppola
Principal Cast: C. Thomas Howell (Ponyboy Curtis), Matt Dillon (Dallas Winston), Ralph Macchio (Johnny Cade), Patrick Swayze (Darrel Curtis), Rob Lowe (Sodapop Curtis).
C-92m.

By Bill Goodman

The Outsiders

The Outsiders

The life of a juvenile delinquent never looked this beautiful! For his adaptation of S.E. Hinton's beloved novel, The Outsiders (1983), Francis Ford Coppola crafted a mythic world that juxtaposes the angst and turmoil of adolescence with saturated sunsets and stunning scenery. Partly a tale of class-war and partly a story about teenage rebellion, The Outsiders is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the mid-sixties and centers around a group of local "greasers" and their affluent high school counterparts, the "Socs" (pronounced "Soshes"; think "Society" rather that "Sock-Hop"). Though the main protagonist of the film is Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell), who narrates the events in flashback, the real leader of the pack is Dallas Winston (Matt Dillon), whose charismatic personality borders on the psychotic. When Dallas and his boys aren't raising hell, other subplots surface such as a romantic liaison between a greaser (Howell) and a soc (Diane Lane) or the struggle of three orphaned brothers (Howell with older brothers Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze) to stay together despite financial problems, or a "rumble" that results in an accidental death forcing two greasers (Howell and Ralph Macchio) to go on the lam. When The Outsiders was first released, a critic from the Los Angeles Times noted that "audiences who are not (S.E.) Hinton experts may be treading water during the first 20 minutes, desperately trying to keep half a dozen identities and family relationships straight." Hinton initially began writing the book when she was 15 and finished it when she was 17; the novel is in many respects what one might expect from a 15 year-old author. Naive and romanticized, The Outsiders attempts to uncover something poetic in the alien world of troubled teenage boys who seem at once dangerous and sensitive. Though Hinton addresses a valid need for positive role models for teenagers, she has created idealized males who are hypersensitive, know their innermost feelings and do not hesitate to express them. Ponyboy is the most obvious example of this stylization, particularly in the scene where he reads a passage from his favorite book, Gone With the Wind, to his pal Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio) while they hide out in a run-down church. Whether intentional or not, scenes like the above clearly evoke the angst-ridden emotions of Rebel Without A Cause (1955); an idea repeatedly reinforced by the presence of Sal Mineo look-alike, Ralph Macchio. Originally prompted to make The Outsiders by an elementary school librarian and her students who sent Coppola a petition to bring the novel to life, the director set out to make a nostalgic fifties film. In an attempt to heighten the film's emotional impact, Coppola uses nature as a dramatic force; sudden storms, sunsets and sunrises are conjured up swiftly and disappear just as quickly, much like the turmoil in the teenagers' lives. And whereas Nicholas Ray used Cinemascope in Rebel Without A Cause to express the alienated viewpoint of his young protagonists (remember the sequence in the police station when you can't see the heads or faces of any of the adult characters?), Coppola goes a step further in The Outsiders and eliminates all adults from the narrative, all the better to study these scarred but passionate teenagers in their own element. The theme of teenage alienation was driven home dramatically by Coppola during the rehearsal process. After a massive "cattle call" of over 300 male teens, which was eventually whittled down to a primary cast of "Greasers" and "Socs", the two groups were then separated. "'Socs' were treated like princes," says Coppola, "and 'Greasers' the opposite. Only occasionally did they meet, in a competitive sport, so we could fan their distrust and dislike." For weeks, the latter group prepared meals together, improvised playing a family, practiced tai chi, and played touch football - activities that bonded the "Greasers" together and separated them from their snooty counterparts. Though the process worked, there were rumors that Coppola was having financial problems, which might explain the unusually long pre-production phase for the actors. Rob Lowe recalls "Apparently there were problems with financing...(Coppola) was on the phone with his wife saying, 'Don't let them in the gate! Don't - wait, hold on a second - Action!'" The Outsiders earned Coppola mixed reviews when the film was finally released. Praised for his beautiful technique, as much as he was criticized for his romanticized portrayal of teen life, evidence of Coppola's genuine achievement lies in these uneven reviews. The novel, despite its unsophisticated and often sentimental viewpoint, struck a chord with young readers because it was written by one of their own. So, in all fairness, it should be pointed out that the failings of the movie are really the failings of the novel. But as one insightful critic noted, "none of this will make the slightest difference to any true Hinton fan, who will find the impassioned hyperbole exactly right for this magnetic classic." Director: Francis Ford Coppola Producer: Gian-Carlo Coppola, Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos Screenplay: S.E. Hinton, Kathleen Rowell Art Direction: Gary Fettis Cinematography: Stephen H. Burum Costume Design: Marjorie Bowers Film Editing: Anne Goursaud Original Music: Carmine Coppola Principal Cast: C. Thomas Howell (Ponyboy Curtis), Matt Dillon (Dallas Winston), Ralph Macchio (Johnny Cade), Patrick Swayze (Darrel Curtis), Rob Lowe (Sodapop Curtis). C-92m. By Bill Goodman

The Outsiders on DVD


Francis' Coppola's currency as a great filmmaker has dwindled in recent years, but the fallout began a quarter of a century ago when his Zoetrope empire crumbled with the box office failure of One from the Heart. The director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now found himself in the same commercial riptide other directors had to endure, having to come up with a hit to stay solvent.

His first post-genius movie is The Outsiders, from an intimate and sensitive novel about displaced teens struggling in a gang environment in Oklahoma. Coppola boosts the book's modest graces up to the level of a mini-epic, hyping the drama into the 'Gone With the Wind' of teen gang tales. The resulting movie retains all the problems of earlier delinquency movies underneath its overproduced melodramatics.

This new DVD reinstates over two reels of footage cut for the original theatrical release. The additions lend greater depth and breadth to the story and characters while changing the overall look of the picture – both the beginning and conclusion are now different. As if sensing the over-emotionalism of the original cut, Coppola also jettisons some of his own father's music score in favor of period radio rock 'n roll, in the tradition of American Graffiti. Both changes are a big improvement.

Synopsis: Young Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell) is a promising student in a bad situation. With both of his parents dead, he's being raised by his older brothers Darry (Patrick Swayze) and Sodapop (Rob Lowe). Local authorities continually threaten to break up their poverty-level family, mainly because all three boys are prominent members of the Greasers, a gang of lower class Tulsa kids that fights often with the Socs, boys from the right side of the tracks who have real prospects in life. Ponyboy is attracted to a Soc girl named Sherri Valance (Diane Lane), igniting a conflict that culminates in the stabbing death of a Soc boy. Ponyboy and his pal Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio) flee to the next town helped by Dallas Winston (Matt Dillon), a Greaser with a real criminal rap sheet. The two fugitives decide to give themselves up when it's learned that Sherri will testify on their behalf. On the way home they encounter an out-of-control fire, and stop to rescue some small children...

The Outsiders is a curious case of a movie adaptation drowned by too much creative input. Francis Coppola refers to it repeatedly as a Gone with the Wind for teens, which perfectly describes the problem. All the production trimmings and overheated drama are just too much of a good thing.

It's almost nostalgic to see a movie where race and ethnicity are not issues. The dividing line in Tulsa is between rich and poor. The Greasers mostly have to walk while the Socs have been given cars by their parents. The Socs behave like preppy boys and wear swanky threads, yet are unaccountably into gang fighting. S.E. Hinton was there and this is her story, yet the movie is almost as stylized as West Side Story.

The book's focus on the interior dilemma of young Ponyboy Curtis is only partially rendered in Coppola's film, which instead stages the story's major events as if they were chapters in a homegrown epic: Ponyboy's fated encounter with Sherri at the drive-in, the knife fight at the fountain, the exile to the (oh-so symbolic) abandoned church on the hill, the all-out rumble. A simple telling of the story is what was needed, but Coppola's instinct is to constantly hype the drama.

The Outsiders glorifies gang life by making the Greasers loyal pals that risk their lives for each other and otherwise form an insulating shield against the blindness of the outside world. The big rumble is a Gettysburg-like melee where nobody is seriously hurt, and the Greaser victory celebrates the gang's goon mentality. And yet the "sensitive" direction constantly insists that the young thugs are soulful types at heart, and verbally articulate about their problems. Every one of the lead characters has at least one if not four teary-eyed moments of emotional angst and bonding. The Outsiders is the gooshiest teen epic ever, especially considering that there is next to no female presence – it's a boy's life, all the way.

The reaffirming music track and beautiful visuals make being a Greaser look very attractive. Yes, Ponyboy has no way to counter the peer pressure that won't allow Sherri to acknowledge him in public, but that happens to every kid outside elite social circles, not just misunderstood poor boys. Finally, the conflict between hooliganism and responsible behavior is a joke. Like a good father, older brother Darry worries about Ponyboy being out late, yet he's also the ringleader for warfare in the streets. The film sees no contradiction in this.

Despite excellent acting, the other characters stack up as familiar clueless rebels from late- '50s teensploitation. Matt Dillon plays a teen punk from the James Dean mold, and we're asked to consider him a tragic figure. To make the fugitive Ponyboy and Johnny Cade into heroes (and to sidestep the need to deal with their real problems) the story suddenly gives them an opportunity to rescue some helpless children trapped in a fire. That cheap story device hasn't been used since the giant gorilla Mighty Joe Young encountered a burning orphanage. Joe's heroism helped him beat a criminal rap as well.

Johnny Cade does pay a terrible price for his heroic act in The Outsiders' one instance of facing up to the real consequences in life. It remains an isolated event with limited influence. When the toughest member of the Greasers compliments young Ponyboy as being worthy of manhood, he cites Ponyboy's role in killing a Soc, not the fire rescue.

The height of juvenile fictioneering comes when Ponyboy's diploma-saving writing assignment turns out to be the very story we're watching. Before one can say, "Call me Ishmael," we've got an instant classic on our hands, as well as a classroom lesson about the importance of creative writing.

Copppola's The Outsiders is something of an instant classic, at least as far as casting is concerned. The only movie that can boast as many future name stars in their salad days is The Magnificent Seven. Joining Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio and Patrick Swayze in future fame are Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and a barely-recognizable Tom Cruise, crooked teeth and all. Each actor shows a degree of promise, with budding Karate Kid Macchio doing particularly well. Along with C. Thomas Howell and Matt Dillon, he actually looks like he's of high school age.

Dramatic choices aside, Coppola's direction is assured and the film has fine cinematography. The reworked music track repeats a surfing tune as a riff for the Greasers, and for the most part doesn't use its songs as jukebox wallpaper.

Warners' DVD of The Outsiders is overloaded with goodies for the film's fans, many of whom have only seen the original short version pan-scanned on cable television. This handsome enhanced transfer is full widescreen and begins with a new title sequence. One new scene has Ponyboy and his brother Sodapop talking in a shared bed, which anyone could guess would give teen audiences something to jeer at. Coppola holds down one audio commentary, explaining his changes to the film as best he can. A second commentary assembles Dillon, Howell, Lane, Lowe, Macchio and Swayze (actually, two are edited in from a separate session) for a relaxed chat and mutual adoration session. Both commentaries begin with brief on-camera intros, an especially nice touch.

Extras on the second disc begin with Staying Gold, a lengthy making-of docu. Another featurette shows author S. E. Hinton on Location in Tulsa, and a vintage NBC news story backs up Coppola's claim that the film project originated with a petition sent him by a school class. Cast members take turns reading passages from the Hinton book in another extra, and two trailers are also included.

In addition to a fat selection of deleted scenes, the most entertaining menu item is a generous helping of screen tests and audition trials with all the hopeful actors. Producer Fred Roos helped Coppola hold a day-long mass audition with dozens of notable hopefuls. The video includes a lot of name talent that didn't make the cut.

With some movies DVD revisionism can be a great thing. Coppola has restored The Outsiders much closer to what he originally intended, and improved his picture in the bargain.

For more information about The Outsiders: The Complete Novel, visit Warner Video. To order The Outsiders: The Complete Novel, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson

The Outsiders on DVD

Francis' Coppola's currency as a great filmmaker has dwindled in recent years, but the fallout began a quarter of a century ago when his Zoetrope empire crumbled with the box office failure of One from the Heart. The director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now found himself in the same commercial riptide other directors had to endure, having to come up with a hit to stay solvent. His first post-genius movie is The Outsiders, from an intimate and sensitive novel about displaced teens struggling in a gang environment in Oklahoma. Coppola boosts the book's modest graces up to the level of a mini-epic, hyping the drama into the 'Gone With the Wind' of teen gang tales. The resulting movie retains all the problems of earlier delinquency movies underneath its overproduced melodramatics. This new DVD reinstates over two reels of footage cut for the original theatrical release. The additions lend greater depth and breadth to the story and characters while changing the overall look of the picture – both the beginning and conclusion are now different. As if sensing the over-emotionalism of the original cut, Coppola also jettisons some of his own father's music score in favor of period radio rock 'n roll, in the tradition of American Graffiti. Both changes are a big improvement. Synopsis: Young Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell) is a promising student in a bad situation. With both of his parents dead, he's being raised by his older brothers Darry (Patrick Swayze) and Sodapop (Rob Lowe). Local authorities continually threaten to break up their poverty-level family, mainly because all three boys are prominent members of the Greasers, a gang of lower class Tulsa kids that fights often with the Socs, boys from the right side of the tracks who have real prospects in life. Ponyboy is attracted to a Soc girl named Sherri Valance (Diane Lane), igniting a conflict that culminates in the stabbing death of a Soc boy. Ponyboy and his pal Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio) flee to the next town helped by Dallas Winston (Matt Dillon), a Greaser with a real criminal rap sheet. The two fugitives decide to give themselves up when it's learned that Sherri will testify on their behalf. On the way home they encounter an out-of-control fire, and stop to rescue some small children... The Outsiders is a curious case of a movie adaptation drowned by too much creative input. Francis Coppola refers to it repeatedly as a Gone with the Wind for teens, which perfectly describes the problem. All the production trimmings and overheated drama are just too much of a good thing. It's almost nostalgic to see a movie where race and ethnicity are not issues. The dividing line in Tulsa is between rich and poor. The Greasers mostly have to walk while the Socs have been given cars by their parents. The Socs behave like preppy boys and wear swanky threads, yet are unaccountably into gang fighting. S.E. Hinton was there and this is her story, yet the movie is almost as stylized as West Side Story. The book's focus on the interior dilemma of young Ponyboy Curtis is only partially rendered in Coppola's film, which instead stages the story's major events as if they were chapters in a homegrown epic: Ponyboy's fated encounter with Sherri at the drive-in, the knife fight at the fountain, the exile to the (oh-so symbolic) abandoned church on the hill, the all-out rumble. A simple telling of the story is what was needed, but Coppola's instinct is to constantly hype the drama. The Outsiders glorifies gang life by making the Greasers loyal pals that risk their lives for each other and otherwise form an insulating shield against the blindness of the outside world. The big rumble is a Gettysburg-like melee where nobody is seriously hurt, and the Greaser victory celebrates the gang's goon mentality. And yet the "sensitive" direction constantly insists that the young thugs are soulful types at heart, and verbally articulate about their problems. Every one of the lead characters has at least one if not four teary-eyed moments of emotional angst and bonding. The Outsiders is the gooshiest teen epic ever, especially considering that there is next to no female presence – it's a boy's life, all the way. The reaffirming music track and beautiful visuals make being a Greaser look very attractive. Yes, Ponyboy has no way to counter the peer pressure that won't allow Sherri to acknowledge him in public, but that happens to every kid outside elite social circles, not just misunderstood poor boys. Finally, the conflict between hooliganism and responsible behavior is a joke. Like a good father, older brother Darry worries about Ponyboy being out late, yet he's also the ringleader for warfare in the streets. The film sees no contradiction in this. Despite excellent acting, the other characters stack up as familiar clueless rebels from late- '50s teensploitation. Matt Dillon plays a teen punk from the James Dean mold, and we're asked to consider him a tragic figure. To make the fugitive Ponyboy and Johnny Cade into heroes (and to sidestep the need to deal with their real problems) the story suddenly gives them an opportunity to rescue some helpless children trapped in a fire. That cheap story device hasn't been used since the giant gorilla Mighty Joe Young encountered a burning orphanage. Joe's heroism helped him beat a criminal rap as well. Johnny Cade does pay a terrible price for his heroic act in The Outsiders' one instance of facing up to the real consequences in life. It remains an isolated event with limited influence. When the toughest member of the Greasers compliments young Ponyboy as being worthy of manhood, he cites Ponyboy's role in killing a Soc, not the fire rescue. The height of juvenile fictioneering comes when Ponyboy's diploma-saving writing assignment turns out to be the very story we're watching. Before one can say, "Call me Ishmael," we've got an instant classic on our hands, as well as a classroom lesson about the importance of creative writing. Copppola's The Outsiders is something of an instant classic, at least as far as casting is concerned. The only movie that can boast as many future name stars in their salad days is The Magnificent Seven. Joining Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio and Patrick Swayze in future fame are Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and a barely-recognizable Tom Cruise, crooked teeth and all. Each actor shows a degree of promise, with budding Karate Kid Macchio doing particularly well. Along with C. Thomas Howell and Matt Dillon, he actually looks like he's of high school age. Dramatic choices aside, Coppola's direction is assured and the film has fine cinematography. The reworked music track repeats a surfing tune as a riff for the Greasers, and for the most part doesn't use its songs as jukebox wallpaper. Warners' DVD of The Outsiders is overloaded with goodies for the film's fans, many of whom have only seen the original short version pan-scanned on cable television. This handsome enhanced transfer is full widescreen and begins with a new title sequence. One new scene has Ponyboy and his brother Sodapop talking in a shared bed, which anyone could guess would give teen audiences something to jeer at. Coppola holds down one audio commentary, explaining his changes to the film as best he can. A second commentary assembles Dillon, Howell, Lane, Lowe, Macchio and Swayze (actually, two are edited in from a separate session) for a relaxed chat and mutual adoration session. Both commentaries begin with brief on-camera intros, an especially nice touch. Extras on the second disc begin with Staying Gold, a lengthy making-of docu. Another featurette shows author S. E. Hinton on Location in Tulsa, and a vintage NBC news story backs up Coppola's claim that the film project originated with a petition sent him by a school class. Cast members take turns reading passages from the Hinton book in another extra, and two trailers are also included. In addition to a fat selection of deleted scenes, the most entertaining menu item is a generous helping of screen tests and audition trials with all the hopeful actors. Producer Fred Roos helped Coppola hold a day-long mass audition with dozens of notable hopefuls. The video includes a lot of name talent that didn't make the cut. With some movies DVD revisionism can be a great thing. Coppola has restored The Outsiders much closer to what he originally intended, and improved his picture in the bargain. For more information about The Outsiders: The Complete Novel, visit Warner Video. To order The Outsiders: The Complete Novel, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video November 30, 1999

Released in United States September 1991

Released in United States Spring March 25, 1983

Re-released in United States September 9, 2005

Shown at San Sebastian International Film Festival September 19-28, 1991.

Released in United States Spring March 25, 1983

Released in United States September 1991 (Shown at San Sebastian International Film Festival September 19-28, 1991.)

Re-released in United States September 9, 2005 (as "The Outsiders: The Complete Novel"; Coppola's director's cut reintegrates 22 minutes of character-building footage, including a new beginnning and ending more true to the book as well as a new rock-n-roll soundtrack featuring six songs from Elvis Presley; New York City)

Released in United States on Video November 30, 1999