BOT: The Outsiders (1983)

BOT stands for Back on Track and this is this feature’s sixth post.

Since I’m born in the late eighties, I have missed out on lot of the 80’s classics that might have not been as talked about but still worth the time. But now (I have a massive headache and lack of coffee in my system), I don’t even remember how I got to The Outsiders and what motivated me to put it down on my list. Francis Ford Coppola might have had something to do with it but I also think that seeing Matt Dillion, C. Thomas Howell and Patrick Swayze in their youth played a small role of convincing me as well. Howell was actually the biggest surprise because he was quite handsome although I should have not noticed that because he was 17 at that time. Anyways, I did watch the movie and to be honest, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped for.

Since I’m a bit late today, and the fact that BOT posts regularly don’t get much attention either way, I’m gonna make it short. The Outsiders is a movie about two young kids who are involved with a stabbing and run away into hiding. They decide to turn their selves in but end up saving bunch of kids from a fire – heroes yet criminals. While the plot is promising and there is a director behind it, skilled as Francis Ford Coppola is, one might think this movie can’t be anything less than amazing. Yet, the story stretches into a boredom at one point and the whole middle part is a mess of some sorts. Though there is nothing wrong with a slow movie, because The Outsiders is actually based on a novel which might influence its rhythm, I was in a bad place myself so I still ended up being slightly bored..

“Over a half hour of the film was cut before release, due to movie executives fearing it to be too long and a chance of upsetting fans of the book, making the movie a mere 91 minutes. In 2005, a “director’s cut” DVD of this film was released that restores much of this footage.” – now, I’m not sure which version I saw but it might have been the longer one which would go together with the fear of the executives, it was too long.

I must say that there were couple of cinematic moments I thought were interesting, the way the scene was built with the kid in front and the “crime” behind him but sort of closer than actually. The playing with the distance and bringing in the back into the front plan was something I noticed and appreciated right away.. That is something I could analyze for hours and hours but I must admit I’m quite tired. The whole last week was utterly exhausting which is why I didn’t manage to write about The Outsiders before and am left with doing it on Monday instead. Not at all what I was planning and hence the not so good post about The Outsiders which does deserve much more than I’m giving it at the moment but when one feels tired and unmotivated, it takes an utterly amazing movie to bring that person out from that dark hole of not wanting to write.

Still, the movie did end up giving me something which I was not expecting at all. C. Thomas Hall is now an actor I want to know more about. I know who he is, I’ve seen his face, I recognize him constantly, yet.. I don’t know much about him. And why is Tom Cruise now everywhere while he is barely shown in The Outsiders? I just thought that even though I didn’t see much of Cruise, Howell has much more charisma on the screen for sure. But that’s not the point. The fact of the matter is that The Outsiders is a good movie but for me it didn’t became a great movie. Since 12 Angy Men, my bar has set high for BOT and this week it wasn’t reached but hopefully something amazing will happen next week and I promise I will try my best to be more in the “mood”.

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4 thoughts on “BOT: The Outsiders (1983)”

  1. I recently watched this movie, because I couldn’t believe I had overlooked a teen 80s movie with an all-star, up-and-coming cast. I got through about half the movie before giving up…there was just nothing there to hold on to.

    1. The middle was very shaky.. I really want to read the novel to see if it had more to catch on to. I think it had a lot of inner monologue (the novel) but it wasn’t shown as well on the screen. Though the sunset or sunrise (can’t even recall) scene had promise of being emotionally enchanting, it didn’t because the movie didn’t give enough characteristics to hold on to when it came to the kids. Still, it has a pretty high score on IMDb.

  2. Had you read the novel? It was one of those assigned readings in school that I actually loved. I think that helped me connect to the film much more. It’s not the best movie by any means, but I think it’s fun to see all of those young familiar faces in one film. I can see why it didn’t really leave a big impression on you though.

    1. I haven’t read it.. I think most of my literature at school failed to introduce me some good things but I guess some movies just need the book to have a better impact.

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