Last week, I came across a reference to the movie, The Outsiders, which sent me into this huge spiral of nostalgia. I loved the movie and the book, by S.E. Hinton, equally growing up. I think I've ruminated several times on my huge weakness for bittersweet coming-of-age tales.

I read the book first, one summer when I was around ten years old, and developed a huge fictitious crush on Ponyboy Curtis. He was the ideal 14 year old hero, after all - tough but sensitive, extremely loyal, enjoyed watching sunsets, plus he had a highly romantic name. I read more of the S.E. Hinton canon, Rumble Fish, Tex, Taming the Star Runner, hoping for the same magic, but none of the other titles left me with as much of an impression as the first one. I've probably watched the movie at least ten different times. It was one of those films that if I found it while flipping through the channels, I'd always have to finish it through to the end.

Because I have the tendency to obsess on subjects once they get stuck in my head, I re-watched the movie over the weekend to see if it really lived up to my memories. In my opinion it had improved, since I watched Francis Ford Coppola's 2005 director's cut version, which replaced the original melodramatic score with period music and included an additional twenty minutes of new scenes. Plus, the important elements remained - by the end credits I was still routing for the greasers, missing childhood, appreciating how much "Gloria", by Them, can really charge a scene, and wishing I had a head of fiery red hair like Cherry Valance's.

So, I'll leave you with two things: one of the most frenetic scenes from the movie - the notorious rumble between the Greasers and the Socs, filmed back in the day when Patrick Swayze could still kick some movie ass (tear), and the immortal words of Dallas Winston when asked what he wanted to do with his evening, "Nothing legal, man, let's get out of here." Oh yeah, and stay gold, of course.

The Outsiders

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  1. Have you ever seen the film Stealing Beauty? I feel like you would like it.

  2. I saw Stealing Beauty once many years ago, when I was the same age as the main character, so it resonated deeply for me. So many beautiful scenes still stick in my head from that film. I'd love to revisit it again, soon. Thanks for the suggestion!


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