Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘The Outsiders’ Director Shares Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon Casting Video 42 Years Later

‘The Outsiders’ Director Shares Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon Casting Video 42 Years Later

Sometimes, taking a trip down memory lane provides surprises and The Outsiders casting video does not disappoint with Tom Cruise on board. The same goes for Matt Dillon and others, too. Director Francis Ford Coppola, who has been fairly active since joining Instagram, put up a classic casting video for his movie The Outsiders. It hit movie theaters in 1983, yet looking back at people like Cruise, Dillon, Diane Lane, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, and others is wonderful.

Back then, these future superstars of the movie world were just young actors looking to make it. Anthony Michael Hall, who made a splash in Sixteen Candles, is also shown in this audition film. Coppola offered some background information about this video in Instagram’s caption area, according to People.

Francis Ford Coppola Shares ‘The Outsiders’ Memories

“42 years ago we cast The Outsiders in a unique way,” Coppola wrote. “We had all the actors together on a soundstage and would alternate different actors reading for different roles.” He also said that having each actor keep an eye on his peers’ audition “could’ve been a volatile situation, it turned into a very positive one.”

“There emerged the natural respect and sense of colleagueship among them,” Coppola wrote. “The result worked beautifully and reminded me of my days as a camp counselor.”

It was interesting to note that some of the movie’s cast members left comments. Still, take a look at this amazing collection of actors trying to impress Coppola and his staff in these auditions. See if you can find an element of each actor that they carried forward into future roles.

The mere fact that Coppola kept this video after 40-plus years and that it looks pretty good, speaks a little about the man himself. It’s hard to believe he would not have kept this around if he didn’t feel a sort of kinship to the movie and its cast members.

Now, what are the cast members saying? C. Thomas Howell, who got the Ponyboy role over Hall and others, said, “The people that came to these auditions… so many went on to have great careers,” Howell, 57, wrote. “Amazing.” For his part, Lowe, 59, said, “Feels like this was just yesterday!”

Macchio, now 62, wrote after noticing this video as well. He said, “These auditions and this film experience still inform me today,” Macchio said. “Thank you, Francis (and Susie) ❤️.” 

For his part, filmmaker and actor Eli Roth called The Outsiders an “instant classic.” Actor Frank Grillo wrote that this audition footage was “amazing to see.”

Movie Takes Place In 1960s Tulsa

As for the movie itself, The Outsiders happens to take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1960s. This movie follows Ponyboy Curtis, Darrel Curtis (Swayze), and Sodapop Curtis (Lowe) and their group of friends. This all happens after the death of the Curtis brothers’ parents.

For a movie plot, the central one goes around conflicts between the greasers and the Socs, who represent the affluent teens in Tulsa.

On another matter, Dillon, 60, and Lane, 59, had roles in another movie adapted from author S.E. Hinton. Besides writing The Outsiders, he also wrote Rumble Fish. Coppola did that film, also released in 1983.

Thanks to Coppola cranking up his own Wayback Machine for the world, we all can enjoy these actors honing their craft. Notice, too, that each actor did their best to impress Coppola. This definitely was not a time or place to fawn over Coppola’s earlier work.

A lot of these actors are still quite active in their careers. Sadly, we lost Swayze a few years ago. But the way they express themselves while reading the movie’s script is wonderful to see. Maybe a bunch of up-and-coming actors can see this and give them a sense of hope.