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Trivia / The Outsiders

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  • Ability over Appearance: In the novel, "Two-Bit" is six-foot, but Emilio Estevez was only 5' 6-1/2." Steve Randle is also supposed to be tall in the novel, unlike Tom Cruise.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Emilio Estevez approached his character as a laid-back guy and thought up Two-Bit's interest in Mickey Mouse, shown by his uniform of Mickey Mouse T-shirts and watching of cartoons.
  • All-Star Cast: Zigzagged. The film stars Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, Leif Garrett and Diane Lane. Almost none of them were stars at the time it was made, however. Of course, for many of them, this film is where that began to change.
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  • Approval of God: S. E. Hinton loved the film and was heavily involved in production. The teenage cast thought of her as a Team Mom on set and she fondly remembers them calling her "mom."
  • Blooper: Dallas falling out of the chair at the drive-in was an unscripted accident. Ponyboy looks at the camera briefly, expecting Coppola to say "cut" but they kept rolling.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Tom Cruise auditioned for Sodapop Curtis, Darrel Curtis, Randy Anderson and Dally Winston before being cast as Steve Randle.
  • Creator's Favorite: Ralph Maccio said that Johnny Cade was one of his personal favourite characters to play.
  • Dawson Casting: Played with. Most of the cast were at least in their late teens. However Patrick Swayze was 31 and Ralph Macchio was 21.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Tom Cruise had a cap in his teeth removed to convey damage his character sustained in the rumble.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • The actors playing the Socs were given preferential treatment and better accommodation, while the actors playing the Greasers had to stay on the ground floor - all in the name of creating tension between them.
    • Otherwise defied by Matt Dillon. Francis Ford Coppola suggested he spend a night in jail to help him understand Dallas. Dillon balked at that idea and thus it didn't happen.
  • Fatal Method Acting: A near-miss. During filming of the church fire, Francis Ford Coppola requested "more fire" and this unfortunately triggered a larger and almost uncontrollable blaze. A sudden downpour managed to put it out.
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • While Ponyboy and Johnny are best friends in the novel and film, C. Thomas Howell recalls often not getting along with Ralph Macchio, saying he was very serious and professional. He remembers a specific argument dealing with him wanting to beat his high score on Pacman and Macchio demanding they rehearsed their lines. Their differences could be attributed to the fact that Howell was only 16 years old and Macchio was 20 years old at the time.
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    • In the film, Dallas harasses Cherry and the two have an altercation. The scene was shot early in filming, and Matt Dillon and Diane Lane recalled years later that it got them off on the wrong foot and created real tension between them off set, which is why their irritability with each other in the scene seems very real. When the cast reunited in 2003 for the 20th anniversary, the men laughed when Lane told them about this, all agreeing that they remembered the ongoing feud between her and Dillon. Lane blames her adolescent insecurities for being so sensitive to Dillon's teasing. She also admitted that she remembers fondly how protective he and the other boys were of her. Dillon and Lane ended up shooting two other films together, both of which they are each other's love interest, and became good friends.
  • List of Films You Should See By the Age of 14: #29
  • No Stunt Double: Tom Cruise and Patrick Swayze did their own gymnastics stunts in the scene leading up to the rumble.
  • Production Posse: As Francis Ford Coppola shot this and Rumble Fish nearly back to back, he used many of the same crew members on both as well as the same locations. Matt Dillon, Diane Lane and Glen Withrow also starred in both.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Ralph Macchio read the book when he was in the seventh grade.
  • Real-Life Relative: None other than Sofia Coppola is the little girl who asks Dallas for spare change.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • The first scene shot between Diane Lane and Matt Dillon was the one where Dallas harasses Cherry. The tension between them is very real and Lane claims the scene got them off on the wrong foot. However they played love interests in two later movies and became good friends.
    • The first punch that Ponyboy gets in the rumble scene was real and actually knocked C Thomas Howell out.
    • Johnny and Ponyboy's arguments had some real life basis, as their actors did not get on during filming. It's understandable when you think the age difference was twenty one and fourteen respectively.
  • Romance on the Set: Matt Dillon and Diane Lane dated briefly during filming. C. Thomas Howell admitted in an interview many years after the movie was released that he really did have a big crush on Lane during filming.
  • Staff-Created Fan Work: S. E. Hinton, the writer of The Outsiders, published multiple anonymous fanfictions based on her own novel.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The hat that Two-Bit finds in Johnny's backyard? Belonged to a crew member who lost it when a fan blew it off his head.
    • Matt Dillon ad-libbed the line "You'll never get me alive."
    • When Dallas falls out of his chair at the drive-in, it was completely accidental, and Ponyboy looks briefly at the camera while laughing.
    • Tom Cruise decided that he would be eating chocolate cake in the background of one scene. Unfortunately he had to keep eating the cake for continuity reasons as they filmed the rest of the scene.
    • In the poster for the film, the Greasers are shown laughing as Johnny is smirking. This was a candid shot, taken during the photo session in which the actors were supposed to look tough at the camera. What happened was that Leif Garrett (Bob, the Soc) was approaching the food table off-camera, and a stagehand (who did not know who Garrett was) said, "The food is for the talent (meaning the actors)," and Ralph Macchio sarcastically said, "Yeah, it's for the TALENT!" This comment cracked up the cast, and the photo was used.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The book is one for 1960s America and its depiction of teen gangs based on subcultures are very clearly a reflection of the times; note that the presence of greasers (and arguably the lack of hippies, who ARE present in some of Hinton's slightly later novels), very specifically sets it in the early to mid 1960s, rather than the later part of the decade. (The movie, on the other hand, is an intentional period piece, as it wasn't made until the 1980s but was still set in 1965.)
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Val Kilmer was offered the role of Ponyboy, but he turned it down because of a theatrical commitment. Presumably, the play in question was The Slab Boys which co-starred Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn. Supposedly, had Kilmer pulled out the play would have shut down and everyone involved would have lost their jobs. Leonardo DiCaprio and Anthony Michael Hall auditioned for the role.
    • Rob Lowe also auditioned for Randy, but did not want to play a Soc - so he actually considered lowering his performance level in the audition to seem like a better fit for Sodapop.
    • Nicolas Cage auditioned for the role of either Darry or Dallas. He did some method acting for the part by locking himself in a room for two weeks, drinking beer and staring at a photograph of Charles Bronson, hoping that the physical and mental attitude of playing a thug would rub off on him. Francis Ford Coppola turned him down and told him to audition for the part of Two-Bit, but Cage was so fed up at this point from all his hard work, being in vain, that he walked away from the project.
    • Mickey Rourke auditioned for Darry, but Francis Ford Coppola felt that he was not the right fit. Coppola did use him for his next film Rumble Fish, however.
    • Brooke Shields turned down the role of Cherry, in order to play Dale in Sahara. Sarah Jessica Parker was also offered the role.
    • Dennis Quaid declined the role of Dally to work on The Right Stuff instead. Adam Baldwin auditioned for the role and Judd Nelson was also considered.
  • Word of God:
    • According to SE Hinton, in the restored cut where Sodapop runs away, the piece of paper he's holding is a "Dear John" Letter from Sandy - whom he had hoped to marry. Sandy had cheated on Soda and gotten pregnant, so she moved to Florida to live with her grandmother.
    • During filming, Rob Lowe asked Hinton what happens to Sodapop Curtis. Hinton responded that Sodapop is drafted to Vietnam and dies there.


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