The movie details a town split between the wealthy South Zone gang called 'The Socials' and the poor North Zone gang called 'The Greasers'. Dallas Winston, Ponyboy Curtis and Johnny Cade from 'The Greasers' befriend the rich Cherry Valance and Marcia at a drive-in. Later that night, a group of 'The Socs' chase and beat up Johnny and attempt to drown Ponyboy in a fountain. However, Johnny stabs one Soc and kills him, saving Ponyboy. The desperate boys seek Dallas who finds a hideout for them in a nearby town. One week later, Johnny and Ponyboy decide to return to their hometown, with Dallas, to claim the murder as self-defense. But on their way back, they see the church on fire and Ponyboy and Johnny help the children trapped in the church and become heroes. However Johnny is badly wounded and confined to the hospital. Meanwhile The Socs and The Greasers prepare to fight. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Diane Lane said that during the scene with Cherry and Ponyboy talking before the rumble, C. Thomas Howell was making funny faces at her when the camera was only showing her face, which made it hard for her to concentrate and not laugh. During the commentary almost twenty years later, she reminded him of that and he responded (referring to director Francis Ford Coppola), "Francis told me to do it." See more »
When the Soc's chase after Ponyboy and Johnny after he spits in Bobs face, there is a duck in the fountain in one shot (at 25:42 in 91 m.), and then in the next it's gone. See more »
When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman, and a ride home.
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Closing dedication: This film is dedicated to the people who first suggested that it be made... Librarian Jo Ellen Misakian and the students of the Lone Star School in Fresno, California. See more »
The header is from formal symbolic logic: A and ~A is a logical contradiction. The movie depicts a hellish world where two economic groups fight incessantly. First, this is wrong sociologically for after WW2, the rich moved far away from downtown way out into the suburbs. Hence, the term suburbia was born. By the 50s, the putative setting for the movie, these groups where not mixed together. They had their own respective drive ins and restaurants. The other problem is the invisibility of parents. Soda Pop's died in a crash, Johnny's are spoken of in absentia but all the others are invisible. This is necessary by Hinton for one can hardly idealize childhood without removing the most odious aspect: slavery. Yes, those halcyon, golden days featured the absence of one small word: freedom. Like, ROAD HOUSE, where apparently Jasper has no law enforcement of any kind, here children live alone in some childhood, twilight zone fantasy. The movie is ugly, depressing, slow like molasses and logically contradictory.
My header refers to in the midst of this Stygian world of eternal internecine warfare and hatred, with murder, flight, tragedy, cop execution and resignation we are treated to Robert Frost's poem about NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY. Even without parents, with this fantasy level of freedom, is this a world you would like to stay in forever? Then we get treated to moral relativism: Johnny is both murderer and rescuer good and evil are predicated on situational tricks of fate. Dallas feels that because Johnny dies that entitles him to go on a rampage and we are supposed to pity him. Hinton is a relic of the Progressive Era at the turn of the 20th century that blamed slums for producing criminals. Watch the old movie DEAD END, the same identical silliness. Look, I grew up in a rotten neighborhood and have taken care of my family for twenty years. Being in a slum no more makes you a criminal than moving into a space shuttle makes you an astronaut.
As a film, it is unrelentingly dark, depressing and nihilistic. In the middle of this hellish reality, get ready for an absolutely moving, life affirming poem about how we wish we could live forever in this heavenly paradise? WHAT? The acting is very poor with the exception of Matt Dillon who does a good job. Johnny and Pony Boy's delivery of their lines will make you wince. I always have preferred the more boring but much philosophically deeper RUMBLE FISH. If you enjoy murder, running away, tragedy, a police execution of a young boy, with the addition of two groups of people at each other's throats forever; hey, this is the movie for you. It moves like rocks eroding; I recommend drinking a pot of coffee first, or several energy drinks. Their world is not gold; it is another color, dark brown.
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