on September 20, 2005
Coppola's original version was quite faithful to Hinton's book and this new edit is even more so. He has put back in 22 more minutes, most noticeably at the beginning and end of the movie. This new footage opens up the film more. We are introduced to the greasers much earlier on now that Coppola isn't reigned in by the dictates of test screenings. He is able to take the time to immerse the audience in this richly textured world shot in glorious widescreen by Stephen Burum who adopts a look that evokes another epic about troubled youth, Rebel Without A Cause (1955). The film is drenched in the golden hues of warm sunrises and sunsets like something right out of Gone with the Wind (1939).
Another significant change has Coppola replacing all of his father's beautiful, classical score in favour of period rock `n' roll music. In some cases, like the opening scene where Ponyboy is jumped by some Socs, it works and in others, like the whimsical surf music that plays over the scene where the Socs jump Johnny and Ponyboy, it feels awkward and out of place. Part of the film's original charm was its moments of `50s style melodrama, as epitomized by the film's orchestral soundtrack, and this diminished by the newly inserted period music that could be right out of an episode of Crime Story. Hinton's books are timeless with their universal themes and the original music reflected that. This new music, while accurate for its time period, contributes to a loss of some of the timeless feel.
On the first DVD is an audio commentary with director Francis Ford Coppola. He addresses the changes in the soundtrack by saying that after all these years he wanted to move away from a score that commented on what was happening to music that the characters would actually be listening to. The filmmaker delivers another top notch commentary full of smart observations and talks at length about why he prefers this cut.
There is an additional commentary featuring Diane Lane, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Rob Lowe and Matt Dillon. Coppola invited all of them back to see this new cut of the film with Lowe and Dillon recorded separately. This is an entertaining track that fans will love. It's great to hear these actors talk about this movie after all these years.
The second disc kicks things off with a retrospective look at the movie, entitled, "Stay Gold: A Look Back at The Outsiders." In a nice touch, we see Lane, Macchio, Swayze and Howell being reunited with Coppola at his ranch where they recorded their commentary. This is an excellent look at the movie with all kinds of good, on set footage.
"S.E. Hinton on Location in Tulsa" features the publicity-shy author revisiting the locations that Coppola used in the movie, including the drive-in which still exists. She talks about how Coppola worked closely with her on the set to make sure that the script was true to her book.
"The Casting of The Outsiders" has casting director now producer Fred Roos take us through the casting process with audition footage from back in the day. People like Kate Capshaw and Adam Baldwin tried out for the film. Anthony Michael Hall even read for the role of Ponyboy!
A nice addition is "Readings," with some of the cast who came back for these featurettes reading their character descriptions from Hinton's novel.
"NBC News Today Segment: The Outsiders Started by School Petition." This is a new story done during the film's original release about how a class of California school kids wrote a letter to Coppola asking him to make Hinton's book into a movie.
There are six "Additional Scenes" with more footage from the opening that is even more faithful to the book but the rest of the scenes amount to extensions of existing ones.
Finally, there is a theatrical trailer.
on August 28, 2005
I'm so glad they decided to put out a Two-Disc Special Edition. This movie is well worth it and now we get to see the deleted scenes we've been waiting for. I hope the rest of the 80's classics get this treatment. It's awesome that Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and Diane Lane all made a commentary segment for this DVD, the only bad thing is Tom and Emilio aren't in the commentary.
Just watched my Copy of THE OUTSIDERS---
Wow. This was so freakin' awesome you guys. There is 22 extra minutes added to the movie and 10 additional deleted scenes as special features. For the people who were disappointed in the movie because it lacked scenes from the book you have got to buy this edition. All of the scenes are added to the movie like I previously said. The special features are outstanding as well. They show a reunion at Francis Ford Coppola 's house screening the new extended movie with Diane Lane, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze and Ralph Macchio. There are cast interviews and a special with S. E. Hinton talking about the book and the movie. She also shows the places the movie took place. Like the movie theater, the school, the brothers house and the street Dallas was killed. There's much more extra's, so enjoy.
on February 27, 2006
I loved the Outsiders when it first came out - it is so campy, but it is truly a classic movie. The cast is simply amazing, with a lot of future heavy hitters. The special features on this DVD are truly amazing, and long overdue!
Now, the reason why I did not give this DVD five stars - the music! Why did Coppola get rid of the beautiful score from the original movie and replace it with that god-awful music? Perhaps that music worked in a FEW scenes, but for the most part, it really tended to minimize some of the more dramatic parts in the movie. The new music did not work for me at all.
on November 30, 2005
I don't know if you could find a bigger fan of the original version of this film than me. I watched it almost every day growing up and can still repeat every line as I watch it today. I was so excited to see it on DVD but the movie was 100% spoiled by the new soundtrack. I am STUNNED at how many reviewers have said it is an improvement and how Coppola could have done this and thought it was good. The new music completely changes the tone of the entire film and removes all of the tension, drama and tragedy that are at the center of this movie. To replace the emotional soundtrack at key moments like the murder of the Soc, the rumble and Dally's run from the law with chipper surfer tunes is so confusing and jarring that I am no longer able to enjoy the film. This is a travesty and should never have been messed with - where can I find a VHS copy?
on August 20, 2011
I was stunned by the horrible new score to this film. I hadn't seen the film in years, and I kept thinking, "Man, this music is terrible. Has it always been like this?" It sounds like a cheesy Pulp Fiction ripoff, and has no relation to the drama that's on the screen. Scenes I knew I had been moved by years ago now had no emotional resonance at all, particularly the rumble. Wow. The new music literally ruined this film, and I cannot fathom why FFC wouldn't recognize that.
on January 3, 2010
I loved watching this new version because of the new footage (what is better than The Outsiders? MORE of The Outsiders!). It introduces us to the characters better and answers a few questions (what is that thing on Ponyboy's neck?). These scenes were obviously not cut for cinematic, storyline or dramatic reasons. The only thing that is bothersome is the removal of the beautiful, melodic music that is its own character in the original film. It exists (sort of) in a couple of scenes, but for the most part the rock & roll 50's music that is laid over most of the footage (and which drowns out some of the dialog) takes away from the emotional aspect of the scenes. It is too upbeat or corny, or both in many scenes. But it's worth owning to see the extras, from test screenings to meeting the class that requested the movie be made, not to mention seeing the 2005 cast reaction to the scenes that were cut 25 years ago. I'll just keep my original VHS tape when I want to watch the version with the original music, the one that made me cry when the Greasers won victory in the rumble - a moment of pride that shouldn't be ruined by mis-matched music.
*Because Amazon does not distinguish between reviews for the original cut and the revised cut of The Outsiders, this review discusses both cuts.
Many differences exist between the original cut of The Outsiders and the revised cut. However, the most profound difference is the dramatic change of tone in the revised. The original cut, through its classic music (used sporadically) creates a melancholic tone. For me, the classic music makes me think about class conflict and highlights the deep friendship between Ponyboy Curtis and Johnny Cade. The classic music score is always appropriate in setting this mood. Furthermore, the classic music score is more intelligent and emotional than the revised, which makes the film far more relatable to people like me, who are not very interested in 60s rock and roll music or most films very popular to 21st century teenagers of lower social classes. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer classic music.
In contrast, the revised cut, by employed 60s period music including songs like "My Hair is a Mess" when Ponyboy and Johnny are giving one another haircuts, alters the tone and creates a light mood, almost as though Ponyboy and Johnny are enjoying cutting one another's hair and causing the other pain, which is a stark contrast to the original. The original cut, by not playing music during the haircut scene, highlights the loss of identity that the haircuts produce. Remember: to these young Greasers, their long, greasy hair is a substantial part of their identity and should not be downplayed by crass 60s music.
Secondly, the original cut focuses largely on the characters of Ponyboy and Johnny, with some time given to Dally. However, the revised cut widens the scope of the film to include more scenes in which other characters in the novel play a role, which somewhat diminishes the power of the relationship between Ponyboy and Johnny, which is quite strongly communicated in the original. Some scenes included in the revised cut do make sense. For instance, the scene in which the three Curtis brothers (after Johnny's and Dally's deaths) discuss how they only have one another and need to stand by one another. However, at other times, the revised cuts seen to take away from the message of the film. For instance, the scene in which Ponyboy asks an older man for directions to the location at which the abandoned church exists, simply adds a bit of humor to a film that is better communicated as a tragedy rather than a comedy. Adding comic scenes to the film as the revised cut does downplays its tragic elements, as does the rarely appropriate comic music. If the viewer is supposed to laugh when Johnny cuts Ponyboy's hair, the rock and roll music score is effective. In contrast, if the viewer is supposed to mourn the cutting of the hair as a loss of identity, the rock and roll score falls flat - in fact, it has the opposite effect.
Thirdly, sometimes the rock and roll music starts at an inappropriate moment, such as in the scene in which Dally robs the store. The music begins when Dally demands money rather than, as in the original, when the cashier shoots at Dally. Thus, the music focuses on Dally's actions as its basis for existence rather than on the cashier's actions. In the original, with its dun-dun da-da da-da classic music, which begins when the cashier fires two shoots, we, as viewers, are supposed to see Dally as somewhat of a victim. After all, Dally just lost Johnny, the only person about whom he ever really cared. Also, sometimes the rock and roll music of the revised cut, begins or continues through some of Ponyboy's and Johnny's more intimate conversations, which, in addition to altering their serious interpersonal meaning, makes hearing the words of the conversation more difficult than in the original cut.
Lastly, how a film ends is very important. The end of the original cut conveys Ponyboy's speech with very good and very melancholic classic music in the background, as though it is up to us whether we, as viewers, will embrace greater economic equality and secular humanism. In contrast, the revised cut downplays the original film's (and Johnny's) humanist message by having the less-effective and a bit too upbeat classical music of "Stay Gold" playing in the background.
on May 29, 1999
FILM REVIEW "The Outsiders" Rated PG. 88 minutes. First screened in 1983. As a film-lover myself I believe that this movie is one of the most beautiful and touching that I have ever seen. Based on the stunning novel by S.E. Hinton, only. a teenager herself when she wrote the book, this movie conveys all the emotions and tension of the book. This movie, directed by Francis Ford Coppola( director of the famous films : The Godfather, The Godfather 2 and Apocalypse Now) has a certain magic about it that you just don't get in a Disney movie. The reason for this is that this tale is one of sadness, despair and a teenager in the 50's reaching out for help and finding nothing there. Eventually the movie makes you realise that with the togetherness of the gang, Pony boy has got all that he ever needed. The acting in this film, while touching, left a little to be desired. The plot was simple but solid and supported by a range of very well known modern actors. Starring such actors as Tom Cruise as Steve Randle, C. Thomas Howell as Ponyboy Curtis, Emilio Estevez as Two-Bit Matthews, Rob Lowe as Sodapop Curtis, Patrick Swayze as Darrel Curtis, Matt Dillon as Dallas Winston, Ralph Macchio as Johnny Cade and Diane Lane as Cherry Valance. All of these roles in the movie were played expertly by the characters listed and they portrayed all the emotions of the book.
on February 9, 2012
It's like watching a different movie, due to the change in tone. The original movie is loved by many, partly because of the beautiful score by Carmine Coppola, which provides emotional impact to key scenes. You're moved by the story and think of the movie for days long after you "step out into the bright sunlight." This new edition, however, replaces the original score with lighthearted rock-and-roll songs that completely suck the emotion out of dramatic scenes. There's a detached feel to the movie, and it becomes less engaging and more lightweight. You forget about it after it's over, and don't grieve over Dally or Johnny's fate or ponder the fact that there's still good in the world amidst social injustices, like you would have had you just watched the original movie.
Coming of age, social issues and the prisms through which people view the world are all universal themes that transcend time, and for that, you need a soundtrack that's classic, not necessarily one that's cool and hip. Yes, the original music may have been melodramatic at times, but it was effective and produced the needed response from viewers, who actually feel for the characters and are engaged in the story. Plain and simple, the new soundtrack ruins the movie.
However, I loved, loved the new scenes that fleshes out the other characters (such as Sodapop) and includes more scenes from the novel. So my suggestion is this: watch the first movie first, so you can actually care about the story and characters and fall in love with the movie. Then, watch this extended edition to see the missing scenes. I think people who watch the extended edition first consider the movie forgettable and boring. Those who see the original movie first find it a memorable and moving film.
on June 15, 2006
This 2-disc set is fantastic....except one MAJOR problem. The decision to replace the original melodramatic score with more "up-beat" 50's rock 'n roll songs. Total mistake. It turns the entire mood of the film into more of a comedy than a drama. If you can get past the horrible new soundtrack, this is a great purchase. The extra 22 minutes of footage almost makes up for it.