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Movies About Kids from the Wrong Side of the Tracks

Updated August 1, 2019 560 votes 94 voters 5.7k views19 items

List RulesVote 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
    The Outsiders
    35
    9

    The Outsiders

    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage

    Released1983

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Dirty Dancing
    35
    13

    Dirty Dancing

    Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey

    Released1987

    Directed byEmile Ardolino

    Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Stand by Me
    30
    9

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Grease
    31
    15

    Grease

    John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John

    Released1978

    Directed byRandal Kleiser

    Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy-drama film directed by Randal Kleiser and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Pretty in Pink
    22
    8

    Pretty in Pink

    James Spader, Gina Gershon

    Released1986

    Directed byHoward Deutch

    Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    West Side Story
    20
    11

    West Side Story

    Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno

    Released1961

    Directed byJerome Robbins, Robert Wise

    West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Heathers
    19
    14

    Heathers

    Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty

    Released1988

    Directed byMichael Lehmann

    Heathers is a 1988 comedy, drama film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Hairspray
    18
    14

    Hairspray

    Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn Waters

    Hairspray is a 1988 American romantic musical comedy film written and directed by John Waters,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Some Kind of Wonderful
    13
    11

    Some Kind of Wonderful

    Lea Thompson, Candace Cameron-Bure

    Released1987

    Directed byHoward Deutch

    Some Kind of Wonderful is a 1987 American romance film starring Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Thirteen
    15
    14

    Thirteen

    Vanessa Hudgens, Evan Rachel Wood

    Released2003

    Directed byCatherine Hardwicke

    Thirteen is a 2003 semi-autobiographical American drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Light of My Life
    2
    2

    Light of My Life

    Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky

    Released2019

    Directed byCasey Affleck

    Light of My Life is a 2019 American drama film directed by Casey Affleck. A father (Casey... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Cry-Baby
    14
    13

    Cry-Baby

    Johnny Depp, Amy Locane
  • 13
    Say Anything...
    12
    16

    Say Anything...

    John Cusack, Jeremy Piven

    Released1989

    Directed byCameron Crowe

    Say Anything... is a 1989 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Kids
    9
    12

    Kids

    Rosario Dawson, Chloë Sevigny

    Released1995

    Directed byLarry Clark

    Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. It... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
    9
    14

    Released2009

    Directed byLee Daniels

    Precious is a 2009 American drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Less Than Zero
    9
    13

    Less Than Zero

    Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr.

    Released1987

    Directed byMarek Kanievska

    Less Than Zero is a 1987 American drama film very loosely based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel of... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    City of God
    7
    11

    City of God

    Alice Braga, Seu Jorge

    Released2002

    Directed byFernando Meirelles

    City of God is a 2002 Brazilian crime drama film directed by Fernando Meirelles and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Moonlight
    8
    14

    Moonlight

  • 19
    Raising Victor Vargas
    6
    33

    Raising Victor Vargas

    Melonie Diaz, Victor Rasuk

    Released2002

    Directed byPeter Sollett

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