The Outsiders: The Complete Novel
A restoration of the 1983 American coming-of-age drama.
Just look at the line-up: Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise. Though some of their fortunes changed over the years, these actors made up the core of what became known as the Brat Pack – a new generation of Hollywood stars who lit up 1980s US cinema. (Their numbers were bolstered by the cast members of The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire). And in Coppola’s poetic portrait of life on the wrong side of the tracks in 1960s Oklahoma, they shine.
The film focuses on the feud between the greasers, led by Swayze and Dillon’s elders and the Socs, a group of privileged teens, including Lane’s preppy teen. An altercation between the gangs escalates into a blood feud and, ultimately, death. Coppola made The Outsiders back-to-back with another Hinton adaptation, Rumble Fish. Whereas that film is an intense, stylised chamber drama, shot in black and white and with flourishes of colour, The Outsiders found the filmmaker working in a more naturalistic mode and on a much larger scale. The result is a perfectly realised coming-of-age tale driven by brilliant performances and the filmmaker’s virtuosic direction. Other cast members include Tom Waits and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos by Sofia Coppola, Melanie Griffith and Nicolas Cage.