Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Avclub recently interviewed C. Thomas Howell, who talks about his role as Ponyboy on The Outsiders.  Since I just recently reviewed The Outsiders, I'll post his comments for comparison.

The book is required reading in about 75 percent of our schools across the nation. All of my kids had to read the book in sixth, seventh, eighth grade, and it still affects so many of our young people. I can’t tell you how many people will come up to me and say something about it, whether they’re parents or kids themselves. I hear from so many parents, “Yeah, my son, my daughter, had a real hard time reading books until they had to read The Outsiders, and they fell in love with that book, then they watched the film, and not only is it their favorite movie, but they read constantly now.”

Well, we're in agreement on one point.  The book does seem to be a huge hit with young people.

75% of schools?  Is it that many?  (I know he probably just pulled that statistic out of his hat, but what does everyone else think?  Is he even in the right ballpark?)
Also, he is saying that most people fall in love with the book first, and then see the movie later.   In my review of The Outsiders, I suggested that most of us see the movie first, and then usually don't bother to ever read the book because the movie was so mediocre.  But maybe I erred in generalizing too much from my own experience.  So I'll through this question out to the blogosphere--what was everyone else's experience with The Outsiders?


Darrell Reimer said...

A couple of years back GQ did this fabulous retrospective of the film, that sort of cut-and-paste interviewing with all the major players. It sounded like everyone involved was having a high time of it. One e.g., the story behind the movie poster (which has the back row cutting up): Leif Garrett, a former teen pop star, was one of the cast members, but received constant ribbing from the others. When the photos were being taken, he wasn't in this particular line-up because he was snooping around buffet table. Ralph Maccheo quipped, "C'mon Leif: that table's for the talent." CLICK.

Joel said...

Interesting. I had no idea who Leif Garrett even was. I guess there were even more stars in this film than I realized.