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Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks 

Ranker Film
Updated August 1, 2019 539 votes 93 voters 5.4k views 19 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite films that feature teenage characters with tough lives.

Rich girl falls in love with poor boy - or vice versa. It's a tale as old as time and a classic theme in wrong side of the tracks movies. The top poor teen movies feature kids from separate financial classes becoming friends or lovers despite their differences. This is a list of the best wrong side of the tracks movies including everything from Grease to West Side Story to Dirty Dancing.

What films will you find on this list of movies featuring characters from the wrong side of the tracks? No one makes films about poor teens like John Waters, and the Johnny Depp-led Cry-Baby is one of his best. It features a battle between the drapes and the squares that leaves everyone singing in honor of the "High School Hellcats." Grease is another great teen love story featuring characters from different worlds. Even the teen film master, John Hughes, put his spin on the genre with Pretty in Pink. Other good films featured on this wrong side of the tracks movies list include The Outsiders, Heathers, and Say Anything.

Which poor teen film do you like the best? Vote your favorites up to the top of the list and please add any good movies that are missing.

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1
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

Released: 1987

Directed by: Emile Ardolino

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, as well as ...more

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2
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

Released: 1983

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen ...more

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3
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack

Released: 1986

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more

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Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Stand By Me' That Prove The Film Shaped The Child Actors #9 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #294 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

4
Grease is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

Released: 1978

Directed by: Randal Kleiser

Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy-drama film directed by Randal Kleiser and produced by Paramount Pictures. It is based on Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs' 1971 musical of the same ...more

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5
Pretty in Pink is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
James Spader, Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald

Released: 1986

Directed by: Howard Deutch

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in 1980s American high schools. It is one of John Hughes' films starring Molly Ringwald, and is ...more

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6
West Side Story is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, John Astin

Released: 1961

Directed by: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise

West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn ...more

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7
Heathers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

Released: 1988

Directed by: Michael Lehmann

Heathers is a 1988 comedy, drama film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann.

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8
Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller, John Waters

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Waters

Hairspray is a 1988 American romantic musical comedy film written and directed by John Waters, and starring Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, Jerry Stiller, Leslie Ann Powers, ...more

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9
Cry Baby is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrrell
10
Some Kind of Wonderful ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Lea Thompson, Candace Cameron-Bure, Mary Stuart Masterson

Released: 1987

Directed by: Howard Deutch

Some Kind of Wonderful is a 1987 American romance film starring Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Lea Thompson. It is one of the several successful teen dramas written by John Hughes in ...more

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11
Light of My Life is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky, Elisabeth Moss

Released: 2019

Directed by: Casey Affleck

Light of My Life is a 2019 American drama film directed by Casey Affleck. A father (Casey Affleck) and his young daughter (Anna Pniowsky) find themselves trapped in the woods.
12
Thirteen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Vanessa Hudgens, Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter

Released: 2003

Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke

Thirteen is a 2003 semi-autobiographical American drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and written by Hardwicke and Nikki Reed based on events in Reed's life at age twelve and thirteen. ...more

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13
Say Anything... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Joan Cusack

Released: 1989

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Say Anything... is a 1989 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe in his directorial debut. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly ranked Say Anything... as the greatest ...more

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#87 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,120 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #29 of 114 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

14
Kids is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Rosario Dawson, Chloƫ Sevigny, Harmony Korine

Released: 1995

Directed by: Larry Clark

Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. It features Chloë Sevigny, Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, and Rosario Dawson, all in their film ...more

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15
City of God is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Alice Braga, Seu Jorge, Matheus Nachtergaele

Released: 2002

Directed by: Fernando Meirelles

City of God is a 2002 Brazilian crime drama film directed by Fernando Meirelles and co-directed by Kátia Lund, released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. The story was ...more

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16
Precious: Based on the N... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton

Released: 2009

Directed by: Lee Daniels

Precious is a 2009 American drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey ...more

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17
Less Than Zero is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader

Released: 1987

Directed by: Marek Kanievska

Less Than Zero is a 1987 American drama film very loosely based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel of the same name. The film stars Andrew McCarthy as Clay, a college freshman returning home for ...more

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18
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Clark Benson added Moonlight
19
Raising Victor Vargas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
Melonie Diaz, Victor Rasuk, Judy Marte

Released: 2002

Directed by: Peter Sollett

Raising Victor Vargas is a 2002 film directed by Peter Sollett, written by Sollett and Eva Vives. The film follows Victor, a Lower East Side teenager, as he deals with his eccentric family, ...more

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