Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1965. Fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis is the youngest of three orphaned brothers who live on the north side of town, the "wrong side" of the tracks. Sensitive Ponyboy used to have a good relationship with his oldest brother Darrel, but since Darrel became the household caregiver, he is always on Ponyboy's case. Caught in the middle is third brother Sodapop, who dropped out of school to work full time. They all belong to The Greasers, a gang of boys from the north side also from working class families, often broken. Ponyboy's main concern is that any problem they may encounter, especially in their Greaser activities, will lead to the authorities splitting up their family. He also believes Darrel would have outgrown them and become something in his life if it wasn't for his loyalty to the gang, and the need to take care of the family. The rest of the world sees the Greasers as all the same, the face being Dallas Winston, the most volatile one who has just been released...Written by
The Outsiders is a great adaptation of S.E Hinton's wonderful (and heart-breaking) novel. The film is a piece of art. It's got a good, solid story, beautiful photography, convincing acting by the leading actors and a nice score.
It's a star-packed film with appearances by Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze among others. (Not to mention it was directed by Francis Ford Coppola!) But I was most amazed by C. Thomas Howell's portrayal of Ponyboy Curtis, the central character of the novel and film, who did a great job carrying the story.
There are many scenes in the film that are exactly like the book, even following the same dialogue. Usually I don't think that's a good thing since I like to see someone else's interpretation, another one's point of view instead of a copy of the book. But Coppola masters everything beautifully anyway so it never gets boring and C. Thomas Howell's interpretation of his role is what makes the film stand on its own.
Thanks to Howell there are many memorable Ponyboy moments. One of those is Ponyboy's recital of Robert Frost's 'Nothing Gold can stay', which is a scene that stays with you forever. Another actor who caught my attention in this film was Emilio Estevez who plays Two-Bit Mathews, friend of the Curtis brothers and a greaser. Estevez lights up every scene he's in and the film wouldn't be as great without him.
There are only two things I don't like about the film: The greasers are too well-groomed and clean and the socs are a too one-dimensional.
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