The Outsiders (1983)

PG   |    |  Crime, Drama

The Outsiders (1983) Poster

The rivalry between two gangs, the poor Greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.

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  • Matt Dillon at an event for The Outsiders (1983)
  • Rob Lowe in The Outsiders (1983)
  • Leif Garrett in The Outsiders (1983)
  • Rob Lowe in The Outsiders (1983)
  • Ralph Macchio in The Outsiders (1983)
  • Tom Cruise in The Outsiders (1983)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

23 September 2007 | Electrified_Voltage
| Not the stunning adaptation it could have been, but not a bad one
I studied the 1967 novel, "The Outsiders", by S.E. Hinton, back in middle school. It has been years since then, but it's a very powerful story, and rather hard to forget! I was shown this movie a couple years later, in my first high school English class. I can't remember exactly what I thought at the time (I guess I thought it was so-so), but I have seen it twice since then, and can't say it reached its full potential, but overall, it's still a reasonable adaptation.

Ponyboy Curtis and Johnny Cade are two teenagers who are members of the "greaser" gang. Their rivals are the "socs". One night, Ponyboy and Johnny fall asleep in a vacant lot. When they wake up, it is still dark, and they are clueless as to what time it is. Ponyboy goes home, where his eldest brother, Darry (who has looked after his two younger brothers, Ponyboy and Sodapop, since their parents' tragic death), has been worrying about his absence. Darry ends up hitting Ponyboy, and although he then says he didn't mean it, Ponyboy runs away. Pony wakes up Johnny, who is still in the lot, and they go to the park. Unfortunately, they are attacked by a group of Socs, who nearly drown Ponyboy, but Johnny comes to the rescue by killing one of them, and causing the others to run off! To try and avoid arrest, the two leave town, after getting directions from fellow greaser Dallas "Dally" Winston, who tells them to go to an abandoned church in Windrixville. What does the future hold for these two?!

One problem with this movie is that some scenes seem a bit rushed, such as the scene where Darry hits Ponyboy and he runs away. Also, the acting isn't that great, at least not from C. Thomas Howell (who plays Ponyboy) and Ralph Macchio (who plays Johnny). Mainly for those two reasons, some parts of the film are not as gripping as they should be. Fortunately, this adaptation of "The Outsiders" also has its merits. It's a faithful adaptation (it probably helped that S.E. Hinton was a consultant), despite not including certain parts of the book, which some would be disappointed by. It also includes at least some of the tension and poignancy from the book, and gets more gripping towards the end.

Overall, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathleen Rowell did a good job bringing S.E. Hinton's highly acclaimed story to the motion picture format. Far from a perfect job, but a good one nonetheless. For those who have been blown away by the book, I wouldn't expect this movie to be all you could possibly hope for, or else you could easily end up sorely disappointed. However, if you watch the film with moderate expectations, it will probably have a better chance of pleasing you, at least to a certain extent.

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Did You Know?


This was Tom Cruise's only film of 1983, in which he did not have a starring role. The others are Risky Business (1983), Losin' It (1983) and All the Right Moves (1983). It was also his last supporting role in a film until Magnolia (1999).


Ponyboy: 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.


Johnny's newspaper photo has him with short hair, but he didn't have his hair cut until just before the fire- from which he got severe burns. In his photo he is fresh faced.

Crazy Credits

Closing dedication: This film is dedicated to the people who first suggested that it be made... Librarian Jo Ellen Misakian and the students of the Lone Star School in Fresno, California.

Alternate Versions

The 2005 special edition contains a re-edited cut of the film, a new soundtrack and 22 minutes of additional footage, including:

  • an extended opening scene where Ponyboy is attacked by the Socs when walking home from a Paul Newman movie. The principle Greasers are also introduced. Later, Ponyboy and Sodapop talk to each other in their bedroom.
  • a scene where Ponyboy asks some farmers how to reach Jay Mountain. He claims that he's playing "army" and "needs to report to base."
  • an alternate scene in the church where Ponyboy imagines that both Sodapop and Darry are present.
  • a short scene where Ponyboy splashes some water on his face outside the church while Johnny is out buying supplies.
  • a scene in the church where Ponyboy and Johnny become emotional over the events of the past 24 hours.
  • extended reading of "Gone With the Wind" in the church.
  • a short scene where Ponyboy finds Tim sitting on his couch in the morning.
  • a small extension to Ponyboy and Two-Bit at the hospital where a doctor allows them access to Johnny's room after being denied entrance by a nurse.
  • a short scene where Two-Bit and Ponyboy encounter Johnny's mother at the hospital.
  • Following the death of Dally, Darry lashes out at the cops while Ponyboy faints. Later, we see Sodapop and Darry caring for him in bed while Ponyboy asks if someone is sick, not realizing that he is.
  • A courtroom scene where Cherry, Randy, and Ponyboy all make statements. In the end, Ponyboy is acquitted and left in the custody of Darry.
  • A scene where Ponyboy runs into Cherry at school, but she walks away from him. Ponyboy's teacher also informs him that he is flunking, but allows him to write a paper on a personal experience in order to raise his grade.
  • A dinner scene where Sodapop becomes angry that he's always stuck in the middle between Ponyboy and Darry's tug of war and runs away. When they eventually catch him, they agree to stop fighting all the time.


When It Rains It Really Pours
Written by William Emerson
Performed by
Elvis Presley


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Crime | Drama

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