Names from my youth that I've never forgotten and to this day still hold close to my heart. The Outsiders was published in 1967 by a then 15-16 year-old S.E. Hinton. It's been called the best book about teenagers, for teenagers and written by a teenager of its generation - and I wholeheartedly agree.
It remains one of my fave books of all-time and I still have my original copy (the version above) in a box somewhere. I also have 2 other copies just because. Why bring it up now? Because I was walking through Chapters on my first outing in 2 weeks and low and behold there it was - in new form of course.
I was a big reader back in the day - yeah, guess that still rings true - and this once I got this book in my hot little hands, I'm pretty sure it wasn't relegated to the shelf for a least year, and even then was still pulled out to be read over and over. It was unlike anything I'd read before up to that point and the characters just came to life on the page - family, teenage rebellion, love, flaws, heartbreak and more love. Of course I automatically fell in love with a couple of the characters for varying reasons - yeah, I was boy crazy back then too - and then the movie was announced - in 1983.
Darryl (Darry) Curtis - Brother #1
He wasn't my fave character probably because he had the role of more responsibility
than the younger boys. He was the daddy, the disciplinarian, but he had loved his brothers
and their friends. Patrick only had a couple of tv movies under his belt before The Outsiders
but he obviously went on to have big success. You are missed Patrick.
C. Thomas Howell
The storyteller of The Outsiders or at least I think he was considered the main character
- youngest brother - sensitive, caring, looking for meaning in the world he lived in.
I loved Ponyboy and having the story told through his eyes allowed the reader to see all
of the other characters in a unique way. C. Thomas had been in a successful movie a year
before the Outsiders - you may have heard of it ET, and though he never had the popular
success of some of the other actors, he's had a good solid career and will continue to do so.
(Note - he was in a few episodes of Criminal Minds in 2009 and scared the crap out of me)
Johnny was the lost soul, the thinker, the philosopher, the heart of the group
- the one you just wanted to bundle up a soft blanket and never let go.
He was sensitive, trusting, and just looking for
somewhere to belong. Ralph played him with a heartbreaking familiarity to the book,
deep and sad but at the same time hopeful. He went on to do The Karate Kid after
The Outsiders and had some moderate success after that, mostly in tv, and is still acting.
Middle brother - teasing, joking, the one generally happy with the world or
trying to smooth things over. He was the pretty boy and I fell for him in the book because of his smiles and laughter and cuteness. And of course in the movie, he was damn hot.
Rob was perfect for Soda - looks, personality, just everything.
He went on to star in a fave movie of mine - St. Elmo's Fire where he showed his range and his passion. Rob Lowe will always be one of my faves.
Dallas (Dally) Winston
Yep, you guessed it - Dally was my fave - book and movie.
Gosh, what can I say about Dally - bad boy with a heart of gold - loyal - fucked-up -
also a lost soul looking to belong (hell, I guess they all were). His character
in the book was just so hard-core and raw compared to the others. He did what he wanted,
when he wanted, damn the consequences. Casting Matt Dillon, in my opinion, was
awesome sauce, and maybe I was a little biased because Matt had just starred in another
SE Hinton-base movie, Tex, that I just loved. He also starred in Rumble Fish by SE, too,
guess she liked him. ;) Not the oldest in the group of actors by any means but Matt already
had a few movies under his belt - Tex, Little Darlings, Liars Moon, and went on to
star in many, many more. He's still one of my fave actors and I've seen everything he's
made. Dally's love for Johnny was epic, too, he's still strong in my heart
and will also be alive there as my first bad boy love, I think.
Other SE Hinton books of my youth:
Other covers for The Outsiders
Other actors of note - Emilio Estevez who ended up having some success in the 80s and 90s
(Breakfast Club - hell, yes), Tom Cruise (yeah, blink and you'll miss him - sorry not a fave),
Leif Garrett (pop singer in the 70s, 80s who yeah, I loved), and Diane Lane.
And finally, just a few shots from the movie. And part of the poem that I've never forgotten.
And just some validation for a job well done... (couldn't leave him out, right?)
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