Stay Gold, Ponyboy: The Making of The Outsiders

The Director Couldn’t Afford to Pay the Author

When talk of turning the novel into a film was first brought up, money was tight for director Francis Ford Coppola. He couldn’t pay the author, Susan Hinton, the amount she wanted. Hinton requested $5,000 for the rights, but the director only managed to scrap together $500 as a down payment.

Francis Ford Coppola on the set of his movie The Outsiders.

Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

Instead of giving her the whole amount, Coppola gave her a role in the movie (she appears in the scene where Dallas is being looked after by a nurse). And he also agreed to adapt two of her other works into feature films: Rumble Fish and Tex.

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