Francis Ford Coppola and S.E. Hinton's 13-episode follow-up to the 1983 movie, which builds on each character from the film immensely. Series finale (entitled "Union Blues") reaches an ... See full summary »
Jay R. Ferguson,
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1965. Fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis is the youngest of three orphaned brothers who live on the north side of town, the "wrong side" of the tracks. Sensitive Ponyboy used to have a good relationship with his oldest brother Darrel, but since Darrel became the household caregiver, he is always on Ponyboy's case. Caught in the middle is third brother Sodapop, who dropped out of school to work full time. They all belong to The Greasers, a gang of boys from the north side also from working class families, often broken. Ponyboy's main concern is that any problem they may encounter, especially in their Greaser activities, will lead to the authorities splitting up their family. He also believes Darrel would have outgrown them and become something in his life if it wasn't for his loyalty to the gang, and the need to take care of the family. The rest of the world sees the Greasers as all the same, the face being Dallas Winston, the most volatile one who has just been released...Written by
A terrific tweener for kids of any era. Serious but sweet, and refreshingly free of cynicism.
Godfather Coppola has a real way with family, go figure. But here he keeps the themes and emotions simple. One of the reasons for this story's lasting power is that it was written by a teenager, and so accurately reflects kids' perspective. It would have been very tempting to try and infuse an adaptation with "layers," to comment on the action and show yourself superior, but Coppola exercises great restraint and appropriate respect for the material. He knows it isn't profound stuff, but he understands that it *feels* profound to kids who identify with it. In walking this tightrope, he creates a rare thing: a movie that's for kids but neither talks down to or indulges them.
Lowe, Dillon, Estevez, Howell, Macchio, Garrett, Swayze. Only Cruise and Lane (and Sofia!) seem bigger now than they are here. That, and the 20-some years since, makes The Outsiders all the more poignant.
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