The Outsiders Wiki

Film Poster of The Outsiders

The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released in March 1983. Jo Ellen Misakian, a librarian at Lone Star Elementary School in Fresno, California, and her students[1] were responsible for inspiring Coppola to make the film.

The film is noted for its cast of up-and-coming stars, including C. Thomas Howell (who garnered a Young Artist Award), Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, and Diane Lane.


In 1965 Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Greasers are a gang of tough, low-income teens. They include Ponyboy Curtis (Howell) and his two older brothers, Sodapop (Lowe) and Darrel (Swayze), as well as Johnny Cade (Macchio), Dallas Winston (Dillon), Two-Bit Matthews (Estevez), and Steve Randle (Cruise). Their rivalry is with the Socs (pronounced "soashes"), a gang of wealthier kids. Five of the Socs jump Ponyboy and cut his neck with a switchblade; Johnny had been similarly attacked the month before. Two Socs, Bob Sheldon (Garrett) and Randy Adderson (Dalton), confront Johnny, Ponyboy, and Two-Bit, who are talking to the Socs' girlfriends, Cherry (Lane) and Marcia (Meyrink), at the drive-in. The girls defuse the situation by going home with the Socs. Later that night, Ponyboy and Johnny are attacked in a park by Bob, Randy, and two other Socs. They begin dunking Ponyboy in a fountain, but Johnny pulls out his switchblade and stabs Bob, killing him.

On the advice of Dallas, Ponyboy and Johnny leave town, and hide out in an abandoned church in Windrixville Ponyboy dyes his hair blonde with peroxide in case anybody spots him. He reads Gone with the Wind and quotes the Robert Frost poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay". Dallas arrives with news that Cherry has offered to support the boys in court. They go out for food, then return to find the church on fire with children trapped inside. Johnny is hospitalized with severe burns and a broken back after he, Ponyboy, and Dallas rescue the children. The boys are praised for their heroism, but Johnny is charged with Manslaughter for killing Bob, while Ponyboy may be sent to a boys' home.

Bob's death has sparked calls from the Socs for "a rumble," which the Greasers win. Dally then drives Ponyboy to the hospital to visit Johnny. Johnny is unimpressed by the victory, and dies after telling Ponyboy to "stay gold," referring to the Frost poem. Unable to bear Johnny's death, Dally robs a grocery store at gunpoint and is killed by police. Ponyboy is eventually cleared of wrongdoing in Bob's death and allowed to stay with his brothers. Turning the pages of Johnny's copy of Gone with the Wind, Ponyboy finds a letter from Johnny saying that saving the children was worth sacrificing his own life. The story ends as it began, with Ponyboy writing a school report about his experiences.


→ see also Film cast



In September 2005, a re-release of the film was published on a DVD set called The Outsiders - The Complete Novel. The film had 22 minutes of additional footage. Coppola re-introduced some deleted scenes to make the film more faithful to the book. Disc 2 includes some special features, among others behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew, readings from the novel, and additional deleted scenes.


  • The book separates the greasers and the Socs in the East and West sides of town respectively, but in the movie it is North and South.
  • There are many appearance errors. Dallas has brown hair in the movie, when in the book he is a blond. [2] Two-Bit is a brunette in the movie, when he should have red hair. Soda should have light hair and dark eyes, when in the movie it is the opposite.
  • Instead of a ring, Dallas has a necklace in the movie.
  • Randy's last name is Adderson in the book, but Anderson in the movie.
  • Two-Bit's last name is originally spelled with one 't' (Mathews), but in the credits of the movie, it was shown with two. [3]



  1. American Zoetrope: Films at, accessed June 4, 2012
  2. Revealed in The Outsiders, page 10 and the movie
  3. Revealed in The Outsiders, credits

External links

Novels: The Outsiders (1967) - That Was Then, This Is Now (1971) - Rumble Fish (1975) - Tex (1979) - Taming the Star Runner (1988)

Films: Tex (1982) - The Outsiders (1983) - Rumble Fish (1983) - That Was Then... This Is Now (1985)

Others: The Outsiders TV series (1990) - The Outsiders play (1990)