Archive for March 1983

The Outsiders

March 25, 1983

It’s not every movie that finds room for Tom Cruise and Tom Waits, but this overwrought, stylized teen melodrama might only hold your interest if you were young enough to be impressed by it in 1983. I can’t for the life of me understand why Francis Coppola somehow decided to pay a double visit to the world of S.E. Hinton (in this and Rumble Fish later the same year), other than, perhaps, he needed the money really badly and he figured teen movies were the big thing in the early ’80s. The most exciting performers in it are Matt Dillon (as a surly “greaser”) and Diane Lane (as a kind-hearted “soc”), but they’re hardly in it. Instead we spend most of our time with poetic C. Thomas Howell and skittish Ralph Macchio on the lam after one of them stabs a soc. But it’s okay — they’re really good kids underneath, as we see when they actually rescue children from a burning church. (Sheesh.) As photographed by Stephen Burum, this is a beautiful empty pop homage, with seemingly nothing of Coppola in it whatsoever.