All posts tagged Francis Ford Coppola


On Monday 7th October we began screening Francis Ford Coppola’s star studded drama about teen angst, The Outsiders. Screenings will continue each Monday and Wednesday through term 4. Any students who wish to participate need to see Daniel in the library to sign up. Bring your own popcorn!

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Cast:  C. Thomas Howelloutsiders

Ralph Macchio

Matt Dillon

Rob Lowe

Patrick Swayze

Emilio Estevez

Tom Cruise

Written by: Kathleen Knutsen Rowell

Based on the novel by S.E. Hinton

Genre: Drama / Crime

Rating: M

Duration: 88min

Colour: Colour (Technicolor)

Country/Language: USA /English

Budget: $10,000,000 (estimated)

Year of Release: 1983

Production / Distribution Company:

Zoetrope Studios


Background notes:

• Francis Ford Coppola had not planned to make a film about teen gangs until Jo Ellen Misakian, a library aide from Lone Star Elementary School in California, wrote to him on behalf of her students about adapting The Outsiders. When he read the book, he was moved not only to adapt and direct it, but to follow it the next year by adapting Hinton’s novel Rumble Fish.

• The cast consists of some huge stars, but at the time they were all relatively unknown. This film helped to boost their careers and also helped start the ‘Brat Pack’ films of the 1980s.


Things to think about:

• Think about the issue of prejudice and stereotyping. Are all Greasers rough, violent types who just want to fight? What about the rich Socs? Do they have it all?

• There are obvious differences between the Greasers and Socs. Can you think of any similarities?

• What do you think about Dallas’ character? Is he a good person? Do you think he acts honorably ?

  • What do you think this poem means? What does Ponyboy mean when he tells Johnny to “stay gold”?


Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.


Famous People and Their Letters

Letter writing may be a long lost communication form due to today’s digital technology, but thanks to the internet we can read some amazing correspondence by some famous people. Letters of Note is a remarkable website that archives fascinating letters from well known people, complete with scans and transcripts of the originals where available. Some of my favourites (though there are too many to add them all) include:

  1. letter to the band Nirvana from recording genius Steve Albini in which he discusses his philosophy on recording rock bands. His take on payment is particularly interesting.
  2. The letter of response from writer Robert Heinlein to his troubled peer Theodore Sturgeon, who asked for help with his writers block. Heinlein sent back a letter with a bizarre and staggering 26 story ideas (two of which Sturgeon ended up using) along with a cheque for $100!
  3. A request sent to director Francis Ford Coppola to make a film based on the book The Outsiders by S.E.Hinton, a favourite of the kids at Lone Star School, California. The letter was sent by Librarian Aide, Jo Ellen Misakian and after reading the book Coppola agreed to make the film. I think we might show The Outsiders for our next CineCity screening since it was thanks to a librarian that it was made at all!

There’s an abundance of literary, quirky, funny, heart-warming and insightful correspondence to be found, so check out the site and dive into a treasure trove of letters!