Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola
Written By: Kathleen Rowell (screenplay) S.E. Hinton (novel)
I found myself surprisingly sucked into this movie when I sat down to review it. It was the first time I had seen it in probably as many as ten years but it was one I saw frequently in my youth. This movie reminds me of my dad because he was a big fan of it and talked of it often when I was young. It has a very large cast of popular young actors from the time. Some of which would go on to be big stars today while others rose to brief stardom before fading away. The movie tells an interesting story about class differences and rivalries during the 1950s.
Francis Ford Coppola made one of the greatest movies of all time and it is one of my personal favorites. The Godfather, for all practical purposes was a perfect film and a masterpiece crafted by Coppola. Aside from that I like very little of what he has done in his career. I hate the two sequels he made for The Godfather, and I have always thought Apocalypse Now to be overrated. I know that I would lose a debate when it comes to my opinion about Apocalypse Now but I will fight till I’m blue in the face over the The Godfather II and III. While I get why Apocalypse Now is a big deal I just find Coppola’s Vietnam hitman mission film to be too long, too dark, and too confusing. Given that opinion I am inclined to consider this my second favorite film by the guy who is a big deal for the one awesome thing he did forty years ago. Truthfully I think the direction of this movie actually brings it down a peg as I think the story and the cast are what make it appealing. For example the typography in the intro is awful; the ending too fails to do anything but drag out the closing to the story.
It’s the story of this deep seeded cultural barrier between the rich kid Socialites and the poor impoverished Greasers that drives the film. The greasers with their leather jackets, switchblades, and greasy hair are the rough guys that bring down society by always causing trouble. The Socs aren’t much better however. These rich kids dress better but they like to get loaded on booze and cruise the bad part of town looking for trouble. When the two sides come together bad things are bound to happen.
The cast of this movie is its greatest strength because it is an interesting thing to look back on. The group of young actors that were cast in the movie would all have their moment in the sun, although some went quicker than they probably would have liked. Ralph Macchio never really did anything after the 80s, and C. Thomas Howell did little after a promising start to his career with films like this one and Red Dawn. Emilio Estevez would hang on to stardom through part of the nineties but is practically forgotten these days as his famous family members continue to prosper. Patrick Swayze, may he rest in peace, is such a silly actor. I have always thought he was just awful in just about everything and this movie is no different. This was actually one of his first big roles. He looks the part true enough but regardless how good the man might look on screen he has just never been worth a damn as an actor.
This was also one of the first roles for Tom Cruise who would go on to be one of the biggest actors in the business. Even today, over 30 years later, he has yet to slow down as an actor, or even age for that matter. Rob Lowe also has to be considered a big time star today. I do not know why though. I detest him as an actor because I think he ruins EVERYTHING. I used to be a big fan of Parks & Recreation until he showed up and his stupid character just ruined the whole thing for me. As far as I’m concerned, the only time he didn’t suck was in Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me. Diane Lane also had one of her earliest roles in this movie. She would go on to just get hotter and hotter for the next twenty years. It hurts my heart a bit to see her in roles as the older woman now, such as we saw in Man of Steel. However, she is still hotter than any woman her age has any business being and hats off to her.
My favorite role in this movie goes to a guy that can only be described as hit or miss throughout his entire career. I have always liked Matt Dillon in this movie the best. He is the toughest of the tough kids and in his youth you would have thought he would go on to be bigger than all his peers. Sadly that wasn’t the case but he still has plenty to be proud of with what he has accomplished in his career.
I’ve stumbled through this review a bit and still said little of any significance. I like this movie and think it is interesting to watch in hindsight. I think among all the crap its unseemly famous director has made it stands out among the rest. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and I think this movie is easily worth your time to see. I think though, if you want more insight to the film you are bound to find a better review from someone more invested in this movie.
NEXT MOVIE: Passenger 57 (1992)