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The Major Cameo You Likely Missed In The Outsiders

S.E. Hinton's 1967 bestselling coming-of-age, young adult novel "The Outsiders" was a staple in American English literature classes for decades and lightly draws from real-life events. Taking place in the 1960s on the outskirts of Tulsa, Oklahoma, both the novel and film of the same name center on the divisive and violent rivalry between the poor, lower-class East Side Greasers and the wealthy, upper-class West Side Socs (Socials). Hinton was only 16 years old when she completed the book.

The story's focus is on Ponyboy "Pony" Curtis (C. Thomas Howell), a fourteen-year-old Greaser who, along with his best friend Johnny (Ralph Macchio), is in the throes of the socio-economical dynamics of the town they live in, and how they deal with some very difficult and rather adult themes. Ultimately, Ponyboy grapples with a tragic end that befalls him, his Greaser friends, and his family.

The 1983 film is directed by esteemed veteran filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and boasts a masterful cast, including Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, and Diane Lane. It also featured one of Tom Cruise's earliest acting roles as Greaser Steve Randle. Impressively, the screenplay mostly lines up with the major plot points of the novel, although some changes were made to service the traditional movie formula so that it could successfully transfer to the big screen. 

With a talented group of mostly then-unknown actors in the mix, it would be hard to spot one particular cameo that most viewers might not have noticed otherwise. 

Author S.E. Hinton makes an appearance

It's not uncommon for acclaimed authors to make appearances in their own films. In fact, just think about how many cameos the most famous horror writer in the world, Stephen King, has made during his lifetime. Similarly, William Peter Blatty, the novelist who wrote The Exorcist," "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer, and even Hunter S. Thompson of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" fame have also made brief cameos in the movie adaptations of their books. 

While true fans of "The Outsiders" will probably know this, most may not know that S.E. Hinton made a small cameo in "The Outsiders." In the particular scene, hotheaded Dallas "Dally" Winston (Matt Dillon) is lying injured in a hospital bed after rescuing Pony and Johnny from a church fire, with Hinton playing the nurse who aids him. Their brief interaction is rather comical — she asks him where his gown went and he replies, "I threw it away!" She starts to walk away, muttering, "I'm gonna be so happy once you're out of here," and he rudely, yet playfully, responds, "Get out, just get out. You're making my stomach sick." 

Hinton's cameo in "The Outsiders" wasn't the only one. She's appeared in adapted films such as the Coppola-directed "Rumble Fish" and "Tex," both of which were also based on her novels and released in 1983 and 1982 respectively. "The Outsiders," though, is a film that continues to resonate with audiences to this day, with the Austin Film Society calling it "one of the definitive movies and perceptive movies about the teenage years."