Study Guide compares the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton to the movie The Outsiders (1983) This is the only movie version of The Outsiders. Chapter 11 of the book is omitted from the movie, but the film remains one of the best book-to-screen successes. The plot, characters, themes, structure, symbols, and settings are accurate. The dialogue in the movie is almost all word-for-word from the novel.
THE MOVIE VERSION OF THE OUTSIDERS
IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by S.E. Hinton
RECOMMENDED MOVIE: The Outsiders (1983) starring C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, and Diane Lane. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Warner Brothers.
WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
The slap, Great Expectations, Darry’s injury at work, Sandy’s move to Florida, Sandy’s returned letter, Dally’s pulling a gun on a doctor, the man who gives Ponyboy a ride home, Chapter 11
WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
Ponyboy’s knife wound on his throat, kids playing cards, Darry’s pushing Ponyboy, nightmare of the train/car crash, campfires in the park, men at the oil well, owl, rabbit, mouse, and raccoon at the church, rain and mud at the rumble, store clerk firing a gun at Dally, red rubber ball
WHAT’S THE SAME?
Greasers, Socs, red Corvair, blue Mustang, Bob’s murder, train ride, church fire, Gone with the Wind, “stay gold,” rumble, Johnny’s death, Dally’s death, Ponyboy’s English theme
THE MOVIE: SUMMARY
The following is a scene-by-scene comparison of the movie to the corresponding chapters in the book.
THE MOVIE: CHAPTER 1
OPENING SCENE: Ponyboy Curtis begins to write a theme for his high school English class. (ACCURATE) The theme begins: “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.” (ACCURATE, but the fact that the book is a theme is revealed in the last lines of the book in Chapter 12) As Ponyboy steps out of the movie theater, a red Corvair drives up and members of the Socs gang call him a Greaser. (ERROR: In the book a red Corvair full of Socs follows him, but the Socs do not yell at him) The boys in the car taunt and harass Ponyboy on his walk home. (ERROR: Not in the book) Ponyboy bounces a small red ball as he walks along. (ERROR: Not in the book) As he walks through the railroad yard, the Socs throw objects at him from a bridge overhead. (ERROR: Not in the book) The Corvair nearly runs over Ponyboy. (ERROR: Not in the book)
As Ponyboy nears home the Socs in the car jump him and threaten to cut off his hair. (ACCURATE) Ponyboy screams for help. (ACCURATE) The Socs pin Ponyboy down, stuff a handkerchief in his mouth, and hit him. (ACCURATE) One of the Socs pricks Ponyboy’s throat with a knife. (ERROR: In the book a knife blade grazes the side of Ponyboy’s head in the scuffle) Some Greasers, including Ponyboy’s brothers Darry and Sodapop, show up and run the Socs off. (ACCURATE)