By Madison G.
Zoetrope Studios (1983)
Usually when a novel is adapted to become a movie, it doesn’t go over very well. The story is usually changed, the characters aren’t how they’re supposed to look and the best parts are usually left out. This is not the case in The Outsiders.
The Outsiders is a film based off of a novel. The story of The Outsiders involves a group of young boys who have it rough growing up. The story shows a clear difference between the higher and lower class around schools and communities. There are two different groups used to show the different classes; the socs and the greasers. The socs are a group of well known, rich kids, who seem to have an easy life. The greasers are a group of less popular boys, who are labeled as hooligans and come from low income families and broken homes. The group of greasers is made up of 7 men. The main character is Ponyboy Curtis, who is played by Christopher Thomas Howell. He has 2 older brothers named Sodapop, played by Rob Lowe, and Darry, played by Patrick Swayze. Their group also includes friends: Johnnys, played by Ralph Macchio, Dally, played by Matt Dillon, Two-Bit, played by Emilio Estevez and Steve Randall, played by Tom Cruise. The movie is directed by Francis Ford Coppola, but the original novel was written by S.E. Hinton.
While watching the movie, you feel as though the greasers are a real group of friends. I’d even argue they’re more than just a group of friends, they’re a family, and you can see that in the movie. When you see interaction between the 3 brothers you can see they have a real bond. The scene where Darry hits Ponyboy when they are fighting, it looks like a natural scene that would take place between real brothers. You can immediately tell Darry regrets hitting him and feels a lot of sympathy for his brother, as any sibling would. Not only are the brother relationships convincing, the entire group of friends is. When you watch them all interact it is hard to believe they haven’t been lifelong friends. You see true friendship the most between the relationship of Johnny and Ponyboy. They are the youngest of the group so they stick together and look out for eachother.
A really great scene from the movie is the sunset scene. Johnny and Ponyboy have run away, and one night when they are outside there is a beautiful sunset they are watching. Ponyboy has always been infatuated with sunsets, but feels like he could never really talk about it with anyone other than Johnny. In this scene Ponyboy recites a Robert Frost poem, while he and Johnny are in front of a sunset so beautiful, it appears they are in heaven. Hearing the emotion in Ponyboys voice and the setting of the scene with the beauty of the sun is just amazing. Every scene in the movie had the right feel to it. When there was a fight, certain music would play and you could tell something was going down. When there was a happy scene, it would be very beautiful and whimsical. You could probably watch the movie on mute and still understand the emotions portrayed in the scenes.
Considering the time this movie was made, the special effects are pretty well done. The most convincing special effects was definitely when Johnny got hurt in a fire. You see him laying in a hospital bed with his faced marked up and his skin burnt. The camera makes sure it is always at a convincing angle so you never see any faults with the effects. Also, during fighting scenes, it was quite realistic. Obviously we have found more convincing ways to portray a fight scene now, but for that time it was pretty good.
I think this is a great movie. I first watched it in my grade 9 English class after reading the novel. I loved the novel so much and I was worried the movie would not be the same. Luckily it was. I still watch The Outsiders every once in awhile because it is such an amazing story. Even if you have not read the novel you can still appreciate the movie. Therefore, I recommend watching it whether you’re already an outsiders fan or if you know nothing about it.
Madison G is a grade 12 student who wishes boys still looked like greasers.