The Outsiders | Chicago Reader

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Francis Ford Coppola's gang film is as moony about death as One From the Heart was over romance; the film is unremitting in its morbid sentimentality, running its teenage characters through a masochistic gamut of beatings, killings, burnings, and suicides. The old Disney films, with their recurring theme of the child who falls ill or runs away to punish his unloving parents (Pinocchio, Song of the South), handled these primal urges with much more sophistication and emotional impact; Coppola can't even be bothered to create a coherent structure. With the climaxes rushing up so quickly, the characters have no time to define themselves; they're just units of suffering and pain lurching from one crisis to another. With C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, and Diane Lane; from a novel by S.E. Hinton.
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