Bringing together an impressively high number of 1980s heart-throbs, including Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, and Matt Dillon, The Outsiders, is a movie worth watching for sex appeal alone.
Easy on the eyes as the talented cast certainly is, however, the same can’t be said for the devastating events that unfold for the characters they play in this tragedy-laden tale of gang warfare and redemption.
Like S.E. Hinton’s 1967 novel of the same name, from which the film was adapted, The Outsiders is set on the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where class-divided rival teen gangs, the Greasers and the SOCS (Socials), are continuously competing for territory.
When gang members Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny (Ralph Macchio) get into a fight that leaves one of their rich kid rivals with a fatal injury, the Greasers are forced to deal with the consequences of their violent and careless behaviour.
Featuring several scenes that were cut from the original 1983 release, this extended 4k restoration shines a bright light on Coppola’s original vision for the film, bringing into much sharper focus than 35mm was able to not only Stephen H. Burum’s captivating cinematography but the socio-economic inequalities by which the world’s richest country remains horrifically divided.
Famous for introducing the talented group of actors that would become known as the “Brat Pack”, this hard-hitting yet sensitively rendered film is a true gem of 1980s American cinema, not to mention a fine example of Coppola’s inimitable directorial talent.