Movie: "The Outsiders"
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Writing credits: S.E. Hinton, Kathleen Rowell
Plot: A classic rich versus poor tale involving the mounting tensions between rival gangs.
Review: This is one of those classic movies I've always enjoyed watching whenever it happens to come on. I'm a sucker for good "rich vs. poor" storylines, and the eighties were certainly ripe with 'em, but this is easily one of the best. It's all about a poor gang, The Greasers, who live on the North side of town and their inevitable battle with the rich gang from the South side of town, The Socials (or Socs).
Two of the youngest kids in the poor gang, Ponyboy and Johnny, befriend Cherry and Marcia who are from the rich side of town. The rich guys obviously don't like this at all, so they catch Ponyboy and Johnny late one night at a park and set out to make an example of them. They nearly drown Ponyboy until Johnny comes to his rescue by stabbing one of the Socs and killing him.
Now the two kids are on the run from the cops as tension continues to build between the gangs. They eventually decide to return home and turn themselves in, but end up becoming heroes when they rescue some children from a church that caught on fire. In doing so, Johnny is badly burned and in critical condition at the hospital. Because of all that went down, the two gangs are now set to have a big rumble in the park, which is one of the many fantastic scenes in the film which I won't spoil for you.
I also have to mention that the ensemble cast was also chock full o' future stars. Just check out this impressive list: C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, Tom Waits, Leif Garrett, Tom Cruise and more are all in the film. Even if you're not a fan of them all, it's interesting seeing all of them performing at such young ages.
While I haven't read the novel, which is also supposed to be excellent, I definitely recommend you watch The Outsiders. Many consider it to be one of the criminally overlooked films of the eighties, as it was exciting, poignant and a tear-jerker. It's a fantastic story about youth, the divide between social classes and a close look at some innocent people caught in the middle of such struggles.
Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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