The Outsiders: Looking Back 30 Years Later

by Student Submission

The screen cuts to black as the words “The Outsiders” slowly roll across a soft golden image of an empty street.

Since its release in 1983, Francis Ford Coppola’s classic movie, based on the novel with the same name, has been a core memory for countless people.

“I still love the movie to this day and I think it has a really valuable lesson for everyone,” Tia Kirkness, a local mom, said.

Kirkness first watched the movie when she was a teenager and says it still has an impact on her and how she values her family and friends.

“I feel that the movie taught me a really valuable lesson about treasuring what I have because there’s always going to be someone with less,” said Kirkness.

Isobel Wyman, a student at the University of Lethbridge, remembers watching the movie in her eighth grade English class and really relating to the characters.

“I think I relate the most to Ponyboy because he’s really caring towards his friends and family and just always tries to put others first which is something I think I do well,” Wyman said.

Although she hasn’t seen the movie for quite some time, Wyman can still remember which scenes impacted her the most.

“It was really sad how Dallas reacted when Johnny died. I remember trying not to cry in class,” said Wyman.

Even though the movie is nearly 39 years old, it is still being shown to kids in schools due to the valuable lessons within the story.

“I think the biggest takeaway from the movie and novel is that things are rough all over and that the only things that really matter in life are the close relationships you make,” Kirkness said.

Both Kirkness and Wyman believe the lessons of hardship are still relevant and play a key role in why it is still shown in schools today.

“Despite the movie taking place in 1967, teenagers today still go through hardships and loss which are similar to those portrayed in the film,” Wyman said.

Along with the important messages, the film also gave viewers some memorable quotes.

“I feel like ‘stay gold’ is the obvious one but that’s one that has really stuck with me,” said Kirkness.

Stay gold has become a popular reference to make when referring to the movie as it comes from Johnny Cade (played by Ralph Macchio) in one of the most heartbreaking scenes.

“It’s a very touching moment between Johnny and Ponyboy as Johnny is essentially telling Ponyboy to never lose the childish innocence he has which relates back to the poem by Robert Frost,” said Wyman.

One reason for The Outsiders’ long standing popularity is because of its star-studded cast with attractive actors such as Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze.

“I definitely had a crush on Rob Lowe who played Sodapop and Matt Dillon as Dallas Winston, and I think a lot of other girls did too,” said Wyman.

The Outsiders has been a memorable movie for many and will probably continue to be as more students are exposed to the heartwarming friendships and moments shown in the film.

Written by Kyleigh Tytula, Lethbridge College

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