When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman, and a ride home. The Outsiders was a movie released in 1983 that starred a bunch of hot guys. The movie was based on the novel of the same name that many (not me) read in middle school. It’s kind of a West Side Story in that there are two gangs who fight a lot over stupid stuff. The Greasers are the poor kids and The Socs are the rich snobs. They fight, a Socs is killed, Ponyboy and Johnny hide, Johnny saves some kids in a burning building, Johnny dies, Dallas dies. The end. I may have left out a FEW parts, but that’s basically the story.
- Tommy Howell as Ponyboy Curtis
- Rob Lowe as Sodapop Curtis
- Patrick Swayze as Darrel Curtis
- Ralph Macchio as Johnny Cade
- Matt Dillon as Dallas Winston
- Emilio Estevez as Two Bit Matthews
- Tom Cruise as Steve Randle
- Leif Garrett as Bob Sheldon
- Darren Dalton as Randy Anderson
- Diane Lane as Cherry Valance
There was a short-lived television series in 1990 which picked up where the movie left off. The TV show starred Jay Ferguson, Rodney Harvey, Boyd Kestner, Harold Pruett, and David Arquette (his first role). It lasted only 13 episodes.
- All actors were pretty close in age to the character they were portraying except for Ralph Macchio and Patrick Swayze. Ralph was 20 and playing a 16 year old. Patrick was 30 and playing a 20 year old.
- Nicolas Cage has a cameo in the rumble scene. He was a young 19 year old with not a lot of acting experience at the time. I guess it’s nice that his uncle is Francis Ford Coppola (director of the movie).
- During filming, the actors playing the rich gang kids were given nice leather bound scripts and were put up in a luxury hotel. The poor gang kids were given beat up paperback scripts and had to stay on the ground floor of the hotel. The director wanted to create tension between the two gangs.
- When Dallas falls out of his chair at the drive-in, it was completely accidental and Ponyboy looks briefly at the camera because he was expecting the director to yell cut.
- Tom Cruise had a cap in his tooth removed in order to further show the damage he got in the rumble.
- The hat that Two-Bit finds in Johnny’s yard belonged to a crew member behind the camera who lost the hat when a large fan accidentally blew it off his head.
- During the scene with Cherry and Ponyboy talking before the rumble, Diane Lane said that Tommy Howell was making funny faces at her when the camera was only showing her face which made it hard for her to concentrate and not laugh. During the commentary almost 20 years later, she reminded him of that and he said the director told him to do it.
- The reason for the actors laughing in the poster is because Leif Garrett was eating the food from the banquet and one of the assistant directors yelled, “Hey, Leif. Don’t dig in yet. Save that for the actors.” Then Ralph Macchio chimed in, “Yeah Leif, save that for the actors.” Then everyone broke out into laughter, and that was the poster. Cool. Yeah, everyone knows that Leif is a singer. 🙂
- Matt Dillon’s character is shot and killed by police after pointing an unloaded gun at them. The same thing happened to his character in Over the Edge.
- Anthony Michael Hall read for the part of Ponyboy. He ended up playing Rusty Griswold in Vacation which came out just a few months after The Outsiders.
- Sarah Jessica Parker turned down the role of Cherry.
- Brooke Shields turned down the role of Cherry in order to play Dale in Sahara.
- While filming the movie, Tom Cruise teased Tommy Howell about being in a stupid movie he had just finished called E.T. After seeing the movie, Cruise called to apologize for being a dick.
- After Matt Dillon auditioned for the part of Dallas, the director went up to him and told him, “You can go home now.” Dillon thought he didn’t get the part and called his agent and told him. It turned out that the director sent him home early because he already knew he was going to cast him as Dallas.
I love the song at the end of the movie as the credits roll. Stay Gold by Stevie Wonder is one of my most favorite songs of all time.
Seize upon that moment long ago
One breath away and there you will be
So young and carefree
Again you will see
That place in time…so gold
Steal away into that way back when
You thought that all would last forever
But like the weather
Nothing can ever…and be in time
When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman, and a ride home.