Parachute pants, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Growing Pains, L.A. Gear, Breakfast Club....what do all of these have in common? They all helped define the 80s. Come take a fun "Journey" with me as we revisit the totally radical decade.
I grew up reading YA novels, and S.E. Hinton is one of my all-time heroes. Her novel, The Outsiders, painted a vivid 1965 world where social status dictated everything. Huh, not much has changed. The book and the movie center around Ponyboy Curtis and Johnny, two friends known as The Greasers. They live on the rough side of town, and they're known for their tough exteriors and greasy hair.
Then there's the Socs, the socialites of the day. Rich and snobby. They drive nice cars and are the football players and cheerleaders of the high school.
The two sides constantly clash, and then one night, things get out of hand and Johnny kills one of the Socs in self defense.
Susan Eloise Hinton wrote this coming-of-age novel while in high school. Her classmates and a teacher encouraged her to continue to write and improve her story, and it was published while Hinton was still a freshman in college. The publisher decided to abbreviate her name, since boys wouldn't want to read a boys book written by a woman. Interestingly, that truth still exists today (i.e. J.K. Rowling).
The 1983 film adaptation was a smash hit as well. Just look at all the young actors that would one day become huge stars: Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane. Hell, Leif Garrett is even in it - as a Soc that gets stabbed to death by Johnny.
Directed by Francis For Coppula, the movie propelled both the novel and these up-and-coming actors.
The theme song is one my all time favorites too. Stevie Wonder captures the movie and the central theme of the book/movie which is inspired by Robert Frost's poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. I had to memorize this poem in middle school. Do they still have kids do that in English class?
I don't think so, which is sad.