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The Outsiders' S.E. Hinton Remains Close With The Whole Cast Except Tom Cruise

What movie truly defines the 1980s? Is it something that fills you with rip-roaring action by way of "Top Gun" or "Die Hard?" Or is it one of the many teenage-oriented films that captured the youth experience of the decade a la "Pretty in Pink" or "Stand by Me?" If you fall in the latter category, then there's a good chance the defining film of the '80s is none other than "The Outsiders," a perennial favorite amongst junior high students who didn't feel like reading the book and instead opted for checking out the movie. 

Not only did it earn rave reviews, but it helped propel its young, talented cast to superstardom. Starring the likes of Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, and Matt Dillon, among others, it's easy to see why it was such a hit. And that's not even getting into the fact it was directed by "The Godfather" helmer Francis Ford Coppola. 

The author of the original book, S.E. Hinton, was heavily involved with the film, serving as a sort of "den mother" to the cast (via Variety). And she's still close to most of the cast, with one noteworthy exception. 

S.E. Hinton has fond memories of the cast

It's hard to believe it's been over 50 years since "The Outsiders" came out in book form and nearly 40 since the movie came out. Both mediums still clearly hold special places in people's hearts, especially seeing how author S.E. Hinton is regularly asked about it. During the 50th retrospective in 2017, Hinton was asked about her favorite memory working on the film, and she couldn't pick just one. She also revealed how she still keeps in touch with the cast members ... minus Tom Cruise. 

As she explained, "I'm still close to all of them except Cruise. I see Matt [Dillon] whenever we're in the same city. Tommy [C. Thomas Howell] and Ralph [Macchio] and Darren [Dalton] are going to be here in May for The Outsiders house museum fundraiser" (via Us Weekly). It's obvious working on "The Outsiders" movie wasn't just another job for Hinton or the cast. It was a life-changing experience, and she also mentioned how she looked after them during filming, stating, "They seemed like my kids, except Patrick [Swayze] who was closer to my age. Rob Lowe even called me Mom half the time. They were just these little boys that were turned loose in Tulsa with no adult supervision. I had their back. They were sweet kids. They were a lot of fun."

"The Outsiders" captured a very specific feeling and period of time. It's unlikely it could be replicated today, but at least new generations are constantly being introduced to a one-of-a-kind story.