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The Outsiders (1983)


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 8
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 136,184



Movie Info

Teen rivalry in a small Southern town sets the stage for this dramatic interpretation of the novel by S.E. Hinton. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Outsiders tells the story of the ongoing conflict between the Greasers and the Socs in rural Oklahoma. C. Thomas Howell stars as Ponyboy, the youngest of three orphaned boys who pal around with the local hoods known as the Greasers. When Ponyboy and his friend (Ralph Macchio) get into a deadly confrontation one night, the two go on the run from … More

Directed By:
Written By:
Kathleen Rowell , Kathleen Knutsen Rowell
In Theaters:
Nov 30, 1999
Warner Bros. Pictures


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Critic Reviews for The Outsiders

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (12) | DVD (16)

Because it falls in with the undulating rhythm of the life of its heroes, for whom a fatal fight and a quiet night have almost equal importance, the picture never manages to reach the peaks of satisfying Hollywood melodrama.

Full Review… | December 11, 2007
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Well acted and crafted but highly conventional.

Full Review… | December 11, 2007
Top Critic

The film is unremitting in its morbid sentimentality, running its teenage characters through a masochistic gamut of beatings, killings, burnings, and suicides.

Full Review… | December 11, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Lightly likeable.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A deeply strange film that gives '60s hoodlums the personalities of Care Bears and places them under constant attack from preppies in pastel sweaters.

September 9, 2005
New York Post
Top Critic

[Coppola's] revisions to the film, which include a new, improved soundtrack, invest it with grandeur worthy of both its characters and his own ambitions.

Full Review… | September 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Ultimately, "The Outsiders" feels like two movies awkwardly thrown together - one a tough-acting antiseptic to the sanitized-suburbia Spielberg fantasies that ruled the era's box office, the other a besotted valentine to widescreen epics of old.

Full Review… | May 5, 2013

Francis Ford Coppola's cheesy, overblown adaptation of S.E. Hinton's wonderful novel captures none of the book's gritty magic.

Full Review… | July 12, 2011
Film and Felt

Coppola's take on S.E. Hinton's classic. Teens+.

Full Review… | January 1, 2011
Common Sense Media

As a movie, it's mediocre. As a clue to Coppola's thinking, it shows he still has things to learn about the relation between technology and expression.

Full Review… | December 11, 2007
Christian Science Monitor

A devouring CinemaScope fever dream: an homage to Robert Wise and Nicholas Ray that took its chief inspiration from the timeless backlit twilights of Gone with the Wind.

Full Review… | August 7, 2007
Film Freak Central

Flawed though it might be, it's still an exciting piece of film made by an innovative director who was firing on all cylinders.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Film Journal International

The new cut of "The Outsiders" aptly entitled "The Complete Novel" expands what existed before to such a degree that the framework of the novel is restored...

Full Review… | September 21, 2005
Film Threat

While his film lacks the emotional conviction and psychological insight of Nicholas Ray's classic work, his grandiose vision pays off in some stunning camerawork.

Full Review… | September 9, 2005
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The Outsiders was relatively cheap, and also brought Coppola back to a kind of human drama that his post-Godfather work had been lacking, the result enrapturing a good number of teens and pre-teens in the 1980s.

Full Review… | September 8, 2005

Gorgeously photographed teen drama with a strong cast

January 11, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

extremely well-filmed and acted

November 15, 2003
Shadows on the Wall

Coppola's dream version of S E Hinton's popular novelette is cast with the stars of tomorrow and takes us to the other side of that rainbow.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Outsiders

"One of my favorite films and books of all time. The book is one of the reasons I fell in love with reading. I remember watching this in class and everyone, including myself, were in tears. The movie and these actor's really brought the story to life in a way you wouldn't have gotten from the book. I thought they all fit the characters so well. Matt Dillon was my favorite. Him and Patrick Swayze. The cast is one the most talented group of guys of that time and some are still hitting it big on screen. It still shocks me that there are still people out there who haven't seen the movie. So if you get the chance, do so. It's one that I will always love."


Super Reviewer

After "One From The Heart" in 1982 and his subsequent bankruptcy following that film's spiralling production costs, director Francis Ford Coppola turned his hand to a couple of adaptations of 'teen-novels' by S.E. Hinton. This was the first (followed by "Rumble Fish") and although it doesn't quite hold up today, it still shows how Coppola had an eye for acting ensembles.
In 1960's Oklahoma, 14 year old Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell) is part of a gang known as "The Greasers". At heart though, he has an interest in poetry and "Gone With The Wind" and believes in a better life. However, one evening him and his friend Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio) are attacked by rival gang "The Socs". In defence, Johnny is forced to kill one of them and with the help of Dallas Winston (Matt Dillon), they go on the run. While away though, the tension mounts between the two rival gangs.
I remember reading S.E. Hinton's book in school when I was about 13 years old and as much as I loved it then, it is ultimately a sentimental and romanticised view of adolescence. Upon reflection, there are several cringe-worthy moments and Coppola approaches the material with such a melodramatic and unashamed style. In fairness though, he sticks very closely to Hinton's novel (which she wrote when she was 15) and I don't suppose it was meant to appeal to anyone other than those harbouring their teenage angst. It's just a shame, that with such potential, the director of "The Godfather" couldn't have dropped some of the self-indulgent innocence and added a little more bite. However, it doesn't proclaim to be anything other than what it is and it's target audience should still find plenty to enjoy. I know I did - 20 years ago. A lot of scenes still retain a certain power and the music score by Carmine Coppola compliments it well. As does, the use of Stevie Wonder's marvellous song "Stay Gold". The most impressive thing about it though, is the ensemble of young actors that Coppola managed to assemble. A lot of them went on to bigger and better things while some crashed and burned but at the very least, it was a cast of familiar faces that were at the forefront of many successful movies of the 80's and 90's. Coppola released a director's cut in 2005 that restored almost half an hour of footage. I haven't seen that cut and whether or not it improves the film remains to be seen but I would be interested in viewing it nonetheless.
As a big fan of the novel in my youth, this is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Coppola portrays the characters and sets the scenes with admiration but now that time has passed and my critical faculties have developed, there's no doubt that youth and idealism played a part in my, more favourable, opinion back then.

Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

The Outsiders directed by Francis Ford Coppola is a very well done adaptation of S.E Hinton's classic novel, The Outsiders. Francis Ford Coppola brings together an impressive and talented cast of actors. This is a superb film with a terrific story. I find that The Outsiders is often overlooked as a great film, because after all, Francis Ford Coppola did direct The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. The Outsiders is a terrific, well plotted and directed film that stays truthful to the book. That's what I love about Coppola, his respect for the source material. Just like he did with Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coppola stayed true to the novel when he made The Outsiders. This boasts a great cast of now known actors, and they each deliver good performances. The Outsiders is both dramatic and funny, and Coppola's brilliant directing definitely pulls you in. You feel something for the characters and you sympathize with them. Francis Ford Coppola is a phenomenal director, and because he's directed three film classics before this, The Outsiders is often forgotten, but it shouldn't. The film will appeal to fans of the book, as it stays truthful to the source material, and is yet another solid effort from Francis Ford Coppola. The Outsiders tells a remarkable story of a rivalry between two Teen gangs and the struggle to survive a brutal confrontation and the ultimate run from the law. The Outsiders is not a perfect film, but it definitely is a classic\, and is a definite must see.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer


Notable for its, then unknown, cast of movie stars--Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane and (golly) Tom Cruise--The Outsiders must go down as a well-intentioned folly. Francis Ford Coppola's attempt to transform S.E. Hinton's syrupy teen novel into nostalgia infused pop-poetry only buckles under its faithfulness to the sentimentality of the author's saccharine prose--a book about male camaraderie clearly written by a young girl with a lot of feminine feelings.

Bob O'Reilly

Super Reviewer

The Outsiders Quotes

Sodapop Curtis:
And when you ain't got nothing, You end up like Dallas... And I don't mean dead. I mean the way he was before.
– Submitted by Kelly E (20 months ago)
Dallas Winston:
Ponyboy, I asked the nurse to give you this book so you could finish it. The doctor came in a while ago but I already knew it anyway. I keep getting tireder and tireder. Listen,I don't mind dying now. It was worth it. It was worth saving those kids. Their lives are worth more than mine, they have more to live for. Some of the parents came by to thank me and I know it was worth it. Tell Dally it was worth it. I'm just gonna miss you guys. I've been thinking about it, and that poem, that guy that wrote it,he meant you are gold when you're a kid, like green. When you're a kid everything is new,dawn. It's just. When just when you get used to everything it's day. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That's gold. Keep it that way, it's a good way to be. I want you to tell Dally to look at one. He'll probably think you're crazy,but ask for me. I don't think he's ever really seen a sunset. And don't be bugged over being a greaser. You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want. There's still a lot of good in the world. Tell Dally. I don't think he knows. Your Buddy, Johnny.
– Submitted by Kelly E (20 months ago)
Dallas Winston:
Are you a real red head? Are you real? How can I find out if this is your real red hair? If this is the same red hair you have on your, uh, your, your, these eyebrows.
– Submitted by Kelly E (20 months ago)
Johnny Cade:
I think I like it better when the old man's hittin' me. At least he knows I'm there.
– Submitted by Kelly E (20 months ago)
Two-Bit Matthews:
Two Bit: [near tears] No wonder he hates your guts. You don't even care about him, you damn drunk. You go to hell. Go straight to hell.
– Submitted by Kelly E (20 months ago)
Dallas Winston:
You'd better wise up, Pony... you get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothing can touch you, man.
– Submitted by Kelly E (20 months ago)

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