When I recently watched The Outsiders (1983) not very long ago, I could still recite most of the lines with the characters – beyond “Do it for Johnny”. It was of no surprise to me or my kids, because they’ve heard me wax poetic about that movie a lot over the years. When C. Thomas Howell popped up on some show my son was watching one night some years back, my shriek, “It’s Ponyboy!”, had him shaking his head with the shame of a teenage boy embarrassed by his mom being a fangirl. When he had to read the book by S.E. Hinton in his high school English class, all of my feels for Ponyboy came back and I was too anxious to rewatch the movie with him (even though they’d also watched it in his class!). Needless to say, while all of the Curtis boys and their friends making up the darling 80s memory known as the Brat Park were adorable to say the least, none captured my heart like Ponyboy Curtis.
Ponyboy Curtis was the writer, the dreamer, the sensitive, sweet, and caring one. In the midst of all the chaos he had endured living between the rivalry of the Greasers and the Socs, that made up much of his childhood, everyone on all sides knew he was the one who could try to make sense of life for himself and the rest of them through writing. Johnny told him so through his beautiful letter after he died and Dallas tried to protect him long before he did. I certainly understood that method of coping – it’s why we were kindred spirits, I guess.
I adored him so much, I didn’t even want Cherry Valance to talk to him (and I am a Diane Lane fan). I loved that movie so much, I memorized Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay” outside of my 11th grade English class, not so long after the movie had come out. I can still even sing the ending song, “Stay Gold”, along with Stevie Wonder. And – I even had a conniption fit when I realized that the copy of Gone With The Wind my uncle gave to me when I was in college is the exact, same edition that Ponyboy and Johnny had at the church!! (It was his copy in college. Of course, I still have it – see right 🙂 )
So, yes… my movie crush is Ponyboy Curtis. I’ve got others of course, (like Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh – see him on the telephone here and you’ll know why; and Ray Milland in Beau Geste -sigh) but Ponyboy is the first to come to mind for this fun blogathon!