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Not a bad movie at all. It's got a certain charm to it that you just can't resist.
Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of The Outsiders somehow manages to star lots of big stars in their first or nearly first film - Tom Cruise, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Patrick Swayze… - but it's C. Thomas Howell, who hasn't become as much of a household name, who takes the lead as Ponyboy. The 80s were as in love with the 50s as today's cinema is with the 70s, on account of when filmmakers and audiences grew up, but Coppola fails to make it resonate with me, employing lots of dissolves and what sounds like generic music. Some ropey performances show that everyone has to start somewhere, and I know this is a problem with the book, but pitting Greasers against Socs is just about the most Young Adult nomenclature I could imagine. When the film uses the book's prose, it's to good effect, and I completely respect its then (the book was published in 1967) controversial use of violence, language and family dysfunction, but by 1983, and certainly today, the shine if off that particular apple. Macchio is particularly engaging, but when the story necessarily drifts away from him, so does my attention. I've come off sounding more negative than I intended, but I nevertheless consider the film only okay, especially in relation to Coppola's greatest works.
It's got its charms, and seems to have its heart in the right place. At the same time, it's nearly a complete rip-off of Rebel Without a Cause, with rich vs poor and innocence of youth themes instead of gay subtext (not that this movie lacks homoeroticism)
Also, Matt Dillon is really chewing that scenery.
4% of the viewers favorited this title, 0.8% disliked it
Currently in 2 official lists
Highest official list rank ever is #8 and lowest is #679