Op-Ed: Why You Need to Watch The Outsiders

Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 book-to-movie adaptation of The Outsiders is a coming-of-age story based on S.E. Hinton’s novel about class rivalry in the 1950s between the Greasers and the Socs (Socials) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you liked Grease or Footloose, you’ll definitely love this inspirational classic.

This story follows the narrative of hood and greaser, Ponyboy, who is trying to navigate not only the bullying and physical attacks of violence between the lower class and their middle and upper-class rivals the Socs, but also the neglect from their parents at home, poverty, and bleak outlook on the future.

Though this is an older movie, its direction is brilliant, with great attention to detail and a compelling score that emphasizes the drama and seriousness of some scenes. The young, talented cast includes Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, and many more. Each actor gives a breath-taking performance, launching you deeper into the setting and story.

The Outsiders is so authentic as the story grapples with real-life issues of social class and the shallow divisions of high school cliques. The characters often resort to violence but learn through consequences that violence isn’t a solution to their problems.

This film is a must-watch classic as its story is timeless. Watchers see the evolution of Ponyboy from his experiences as a lowly greaser to realizing the bigger picture of life and how their daily struggles don’t have to keep them where they are. One of my favorite things about this movie is that the teen characters struggle with tremendous obstacles—neglective or abusive parents, poverty, bullying, substance abuse, violence—but some characters chose evolution over the status quo. While some greasers try to achieve redemption, others face more tragic ends.

This deep, honest, emotional story provides a sensitive take on class issues and calls attention to the struggles of the lower class.

Memorable characters, meaningful conversations, and an exquisite storyline—what else is there to want in a must-watch movie?

Watch the trailer here to find out more about The Outsiders:

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