You are here: Home / Blog / The Secret History of the Outsiders Movie

Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

11.19.14The Secret History of the Outsiders Movie

Lord knows I feel some misgivings about my favorite books–my favorite teaching books–being made into movies.  I wrote about my Giver angst here for example.  But superstar English teacher Maggie Johnson sent me this note about the making of The Outsiders and the role one plucky librarian played that’s almost worthy of a movie itself.  The story that almost thawed my anti-celluloid heart. I might even watch the Outsiders one day. But I’m not watching the Giver- (some books are too too precious.)  Anyway , here’s Maggie’s note:

Who knew The Outsiders only got made into a movie because a MS librarian sent a letter and a petition signed by 110 students to the film’s eventual producer explaining how much her students loved it and requested they consider making it into a film? Very cool.

Coppola’s producer even went as far as to ask the librarian to have students write essays about their favorite scenes to  help inform the screenplay, what they thought of calling the movie “Ponyboy” instead, asking what they thought of taking out the final gang fight scene. Just love this… especially in light of how the movie turned out to be so faithful to the book as it was written.

All the correspondences:


Leave a Reply