a decade of zanity

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Title: The Outsiders (1983)

This movie was one of the gems of the 80s. I saw it at the local Rosemead 4 theater that's no longer there. In fact, most of the movies in this blog, I saw at the Rosemead 4. This movie was so sad, I almost cried in the car on the way home.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on a popular coming-of-age book by SE hinton, The Outsiders was about the trials and tribulations of young Greasers, a gang of poor kids who were in a constant turf battle with the rich kids called the Socs. The Socs always had the better cars and, of course, most of the girls.

In one encounter, the young Ponyboy was being assaulted by a group of Socs as a retalliation from an earlier incident. His friend Johnny, in defending Ponyboy, stabbed and killed the lead Socs, Bob Sheldon. Fearing the wrath of the authority and, more so, Darrel, his older brother, Ponyboy and Johnny ran away to hide. They sought help from Dallas, a close friend and fellow Greaser who supposedly had experience in dealing with the law.

The three set-off to hide in the nearby woods where Dallas went back and forth to sort out the problems in town. Only kids themselves and barely hitting puberty, Ponyboy and Johnny had to grow up and quickly learn how to "man up" to their situation. Meanwhile, Bob's death brewed anger among the Socs and an all out rumble against the Greasers was called to settle things.

The Outsiders Patrick Swayze C Thomas Howell

Although I never read the book, I was completely enthralled by the characters, especially Johnny. His death at the end was sad, but necessary (and unfortunate). I also took particular fond of Dallas as he took care of Johnny and Ponyboy while lecturing them on toughening up. Yet, he was scared of Darrel as well.

One obvious feature of the movie was the casting of then-virtually unknowns who became the who's who of today's and the 80's-90's film scene. C. Thomas Howell played Ponyboy and later on starred in classics The Hitcher and Red Dawn. Ralph Macchio played Johnny and he starred Daniel-san in the memorable Karate Kid. Matt Dillon was Dallas and he was in my favorite blockbuster comedy, There's Something About Mary. Darrel was played by Patrick Swayze who became famous in Dirty Dancing. There was a really funny Chris Farley-Patrick Swayze skit on SNL.

Matt Dillon Diane Lane C Thomas Howell The OutsidersBut the supporting casts were just as big as the main casts. Rob Lowe played Sodapop. Emilio Estevez as Two-Bit. Diane Lane as Cherry. And perhaps the biggest actor of our time, Tom Cruise as Steve Randle. He did not even have a nickname!

Favorite The Outsiders Quotes

Johnny [as he was dying]: Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Dallas: We gotta win that fight tonight. We gotta get even with those Socs! Let's do it for Johnny, man. We'll do it for Johnny!

Randy: Greasers will still be Greasers and Socs will still be Socs. It doesn't matter.

Steve: Don't worry, Ponyboy, they don't do that to heroes.

Dallas: Man, I thought New York was the only place to end up in a murder rap, Jesus Christ!

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