In 1967, author S.E. Hinton published a book titled, “The Outsiders.” Set in The 60s, a dispute between The Greasers and The Socs goes haywire when a greaser named, Ponyboy Curtis gets beat up, his friend Johnny Cade kills a Soc in self-defense. With no other choice, the pair seek somewhere safe. The novel earned praise from critics and readers alike. It also sold enough copies nationwide. Sixteen Years Later, Francis “Frank” Ford Coppola (The Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now) made a film adaptation launching the careers of then unknown actors C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, the late Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, and last but not least one of my all time favorite actors, Tom Cruise.
The Outsiders was officially released in 1983. (same year Return Of The Jedi came out) It received positive reviews from critic and movie goers alike. Besides good reception, the film made enough money at the box office. It’s a shame The Outsiders & “Scarface” (my number one movie of 1983) never got nominated at The Oscars for “Best Picture.” They had to give it to the wrong nominee known as “Terms Of Endearment.” Sorry folks, I hated the aforementioned film.
There’s a variety of reasons I wanna share my thoughts on The Outsiders. Number 1, I read and learned about the book in literature class during middle school and it eventually became one of my favorite books of all time. Number 2, Tom Cruise’s upcoming films “Top Gun: Maverick:” & “Mission Impossible 7” will be separately released in 2022. Number 3, Francis Ford Coppola officially restored extended cuts of “The Godfather Part III: The Death Of Michael Corleone” & “The Outsiders: The Complete Novel.” They’re best described as “The Coppola Cut.”
This review contains no crucial SPOILERS. I’m giving some of you a chance to read the book and watch the adaptation. Is The Complete Novel an improvement? Let’s find out shall we?
Wealthy & Poor Aspects
Wealthy: C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, the late Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, & Tom Cruise all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Francis Ford Coppola did a decent job translating the book to the big screen. Too bad he hates Marvel movies alongside haters Martin Scorsese, William Friedkin, (The Exorcist) Roland Emmerich, Terry Gilliam, Ridley Scott, Dennis Villeneuve, & Peter Bogdanovich. They’re all close-minded curmudgeons.
Fun Fact: Frank made another S.E. Hinton related book turned movie called, “Rumble Fish.” A coming-of-age drama starring Matt Dillon. I haven’t read the book or saw the film. If I don’t have anything on my plate, I’ll probably give it a shot. By the way, Rumble Fish is part of “The Criterion Collection.”
Cinematography never succumbed to any technical difficulties.
Frank’s real life father Carmine Coppola orchestrated the music. He also composed “The Godfather Trilogy.”
Chemistry between Ponyboy & Johnny serves as the main highlight. Their friendship moves the story forward. Their interactions with fellow Greasers is another highlight.
Set in The 60s, the film recaptures the time period. Set Pieces were manually built by set decorators, costume designs match the setting’s authenticity and other things felt accurate.
The Outsiders is arguably the start of “The Brat Pack” with young actors in coming-of-age films. Most notably, John Hughes’ films. After The Brat Pack’s disestablished in 1994, former members including Rob Lowe, & Emilio Estevez are doing ok. Sadly, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, & Andrew McCarthy’s (who went AWOL after Weekend At Bernie’s) careers are in the sewage. Oh how the mighty have fallen!
Tom Waits makes a brief appearance.
Primary Themes are Bonding, Social Class, Coming-Of-Age, Loss, & Friendship. Each one is handled maturely.
In the Opening Credits, Stevie Wonder performs a song titled, “Stay Gold.”
If you watch the regular cut and extended cut, you’ll notice some key differences. I won’t say, because I refuse to spill the beans.
The Complete Novel’s version of The Ending is drastically different. Reflecting the book’s actual ending.
If you have a sensitive side, you’re gonna cry. No offense, I didn’t shed any tears.
Poor: I couldn’t find any flaws. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a flawless movie as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
The Outsiders remains as one of my favorite books. The Complete Novel slightly improved the adaptation faithful to the source material. I’m glad Francis Ford Coppola restored the film. Someday, I’ll watch and review The Godfather Part III: The Death Of Michael Corleone. Only when the time is right. If you’re interested in The Outsiders, read the book first and then watch both the regular and extended cut. Again, the latter cut is a slight improvement.