Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Still Enthralled by The Outsiders

On March 25th, 1983, a young James Clarke celebrated his birthday by going to an opening day showing of The Outsiders, the now celebrated S.E. Hinton adaptation starring a gaggle of young talent including C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez and a debuting Rob Lowe. Two years later, Clarke appeared briefly on screen as an extra in another Hinton adaptation, That Was Then, This Is Now and all these years later, the Dallas filmmaker finds himself working on a documentary revisit of the Greasers-and-Socs tale wrapped around a return to The Outsiders' Owasso, Skiatook and Tulsa, OK filming locations. For example, last month, Clarke attended a 60th anniversary celebration at Tulsa's Admiral Twin Drive-in, used for a key scene.

Titled The Tulsa Connection to The Outsiders, the documentary, done right, could tap into how the shocking-for-its-time material as adapted by Francis Ford Coppola essentially bridged the gap between earlier classics like Rebel Without a Cause and the subsequent onslaught of youthful reality TV programming. Browsing through Clarke's Flickr photo stream brings back a lot of memories, and if there is poetic justice, the filmmaker will figure out a way to premiere his trip down memory lane on a future March 25th birthday.

[The Tulsa Connection to The Outsiders]

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