The Outsiders (1983)

Francis Ford Coppola directs C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon and Ralph Macchio in this period teen gang drama where the tensions between the Greasers and the Socials causes one group of brothers to fracture.

And Patrick Swayze. And Tom Cruise. And Diane Lane. And Emilio Estevez. And Rob Lowe. And Tom Cruise’s car crash teeth. Did I miss anyone?! The greatest cast assembled… mainly through prescience… hug, cry, rumble, bicker and behave all sweatily sincere. It is a manly film very in touch with its feeling… far more gushingly sensitive than even your Stand By Me’s or even Beaches’. It really is a tough boy weepie. Such a strong flavour that I’d say you’ll either be in by Stevie Wonder’s dreamy but overtly earnest theme song or you’ll reject it whole heartedly. Maybe that explains why it was more one of my sister’s movie than mine own growing up. Then again that might have had to do with shots of Rob Lowe getting out of the shower than any of the gauche male bonding. The acting is pretty variable, with Tom Cruise amusingly turned up to ELEVEN whenever he thinks he is being lost in the middle ground. Beyond the casting coup, Coppola seems happy playing this one relatively straight. There are some baroque edits and an over reliance on pathetic fallacy but in general this feels like an exercise in restraint after the excesses of Apocalypse Now and One From The Heart. Oh… And Tom Waits.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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