Review : The Outsiders (1983)

The Outsiders was directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1982 and has a terrific cast : C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, Tom Cruise and more.

The Outsiders takes place in a small town in the 1960’s and focuses on the ongoing conflict between two rival teen gangs, the Greasers (poor white trash boys) and the Socs (kids from the richer part of town). Our main character is Ponyboy (yes, that’s his name) who lives with his two older brothers, orphaned when their parents were killed in a car accident. One night, to defend Ponyboy, Johnny – his best friend – accidentally kills a boy from the rival gang. The two friends go into hiding only to return into town under dramatic circumstances. 

This coming-of-age story, despite being quite typical, has one element that elevates it above other similar films : Coppola’s vision. The movie is filled with beautiful shots, inspiring camera angles and amazing image compositions. The Outsiders is visually beautiful and poetic. Though a bit over-sentimental at times, which is a bit odd for a story revolving around young men, the film is compelling and an emotional experience.

The cast is also excellent. They all portray their characters in a very raw and realistic manner. It is not surprising most of these actors became big stars in the following years. Their brotherly affection, whether between the three brothers or their closest friends, was depicted in a very touching manner and was very believable. It is almost impossible not to care for these boys, struggling to find their place in this world.

The Outsiders is a great story and a very poetic film with a great soundtrack which I highly recommend. It might appear as overly-dramatic to some but when you’re a teenager, everything is !


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