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The Warriors (1979)

thewarriors

At the end of the Seventies and the beginning of the Eighties significantly there exists a movie called “The Warriors”. It does include all of the achievements of the post “Golden Hollywood” style (shooting on real locations, counterculture, activation of minorities, the young and the poor, gritty violence, rock and soul music etc.) and gives a peak into some characteristics of the beginning “post modern era” (re-mix and homage of preexisting ideas and movies, high concept, domination of studio over the director, “hip” scoring techniques etc.).

Produced by Lawrence Gordon (of the “Predator”, “Die Hard” and  “Hellboy” series), this film about street gangs in NYC was directed by his frequent collaborator Walter Hill (“The Long Riders“, “48 Hrs.”, “Trespass”, “Bullet to the Head”, and producer of the “Alien” and “AVP” series). The film features Michael Beck,  James Remar (character appearance in “Django Unchained” and many TV series like “Sex and the City”, “Dexter” etc.) and Deborah Van Valkenburg plus introduced now famous actresses Mercedes Ruehl (as a police officer) and Debra Winger (yuppie girl on subway) in bit parts. Cinematography by Andrew Laszlo (“First Blood”) and electronic score by Barry de Vorzon.  Based on the novel of Sol Yurick (a former investigator for the NYC Department of Welfare who passed away this year) that was aimed to be a more realistic view on gangs against “West Side Story”. The film was shot in 60 nights, more than a 1000 extras and members of real street gangs were featured on original locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Coney Island. With a budget of estimated US $ 7 M the movie was a success on its initial release (22.4 M domestically), but could have done even better if it wouldn’t have been taken out from release because of its popularity with gang members (the trend to wear different, significant clothing styles to distinguish themselves from others was triggered by the film and not vice versa!) that unfortunately led to some violent incidents between rivaling gangs during or after the screenings. Before that, the studio already had opposed and altered parts of the film from its early stages until post production and promotion, like Hill’s having to cast white leads instead of originally wanting to have an all African-American and Hispanic gang… Screened today will be the film’s “Ultimate Director’s Cut” which adds a new intro and end credits to the original film.

IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080120/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

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48 responses to “The Warriors (1979)

  1. Nemokenza ⋅

    The Warriors is one of my favourite films. I can’t necessarily speak about this film via any technical means. The film itself is silly. The clothes, music, and dialogue are dated, as is the gang warfare. However I love this movie. For me, personally, this movie harkens back to a time where gangs weren’t stupid, dangerous, lethal, or drug supplier, they were just stupid and dangerous. I’d much rather that gangs of today would act similarly to that of the gangs of yesteryear. It’s nostalgic to watch a movie set in NYC about gang culture where not everyone is being shot to death. I also think the notion of interracial gang members is novel and good idea. So many gangs now focus on terrorizing their own ethnic communities (while paradoxically protecting them in prison) by “beefing” with other gangs of the same ethnicity. (except for the Mexican gangs in LA who target Black Americans simply for being black and living in Compton). While it is disturbing to hear why the cast is interracial it is still nice to imagine a future where a scenario like the Warriors could actually play out (sans the deaths)

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  2. Richard Specht ⋅

    This movie was not very good. That dude McLovin rolls harder than these punks. I am happy we do not live in world where gangsters wear overalls and rollerskate anymore. It is hard for me to find words for this blog post because I do not have any other opinions for this movie because it was just plain bad. The acting, the dialouge, the plot, everything, it was not good. I mean, the main actors name was “Swan.” How tough and threatening is a dude named Swan? They sure did not look very hard for a lead female role either. She really did look like she came from the ghetto looking as busted as she did. I am pretty sure Swan contracted a STD from that girl. Also, the dude that shot Cyrus was a punk. There was nothing special about him or his character. He looked like every other white guy in that movie. For the first time in my life I was confused about who was who between all the white people in that film. Long curly blonde hair is not so fitting for these “tough guys.” Anyways, the only cool guy in the movie was that Morpheus looking dude. I am pretty sure he convinced everyone in his gang to take the red pill. I still do not understand his position in the movie except to murk that punk who shot Cyrus, but that should have been Swan’s job. So Swan is a punk for not stomping that fool. Also, that final stand off was absolute garbage. Did he just dodge a bullet? Well, Morpheus was there so it makes sense. I also hated the fight with those baseball clowns. Those dudes should have busted some heads open, but no, Swan, along with Jimi Hendrix and a young Michael Jackson gave them the beatdown. I also understand why the director used the comic book theme, but that just made it worse. Well, another movie to check on my list of movies I will not be watching again.

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    • Richard Specht ⋅

      Also, didn’t Cyrus say 60,000 soldiers to 20,000 cops? That is 3 to 1 by my count….

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      • karltuj

        Yep, film directors are really bad in mathematics! It’s almost a requirement, as you can see by movies like Cleopatra or Heaven’ Gate, these just would have never happened, if we film people would 🙂

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    • I really agree with you on this. The whole point of the film was supposed to appeal to gangsters and tough guys, but I did not get that vibe at all. It was hard to keep a straight face. It’s just a different age, I guess. It’s difficult for me to imagine a world though where and of these guys threatening.

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      • karltuj

        80+% of this world are poor outsiders, and they do not even realize it. We are 4:1 or higher, but not The warriors anymore. Being against the odds means you first must realize the definition of the word “odd”… 🙂

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  3. tbrenji

    The Warriors was one of my favorite movies, but I have to admit that there may be some favoritism present. Since the film was based in New York City, I was able to recognize a lot of area where the shootings took place. This film depicted gangs in New York as the rulers of the night streets. Which may have fueled the actual gangs that existed at that time. Most of the time, the film exaggerated how gangs acted but simultaneously used actual gang related customs that brought a bit of realism to the film. One example was the use of “gang colors” in the movie. In the scene where Swan and one of his gang members went to confront the Orphans, they were told to take their “colors” off before passing through Orphan territory. The Warriors refused to do so. The “colors” the Orphans were referring to are the jackets worn by the Warriors which displayed the gang’s name. It is what identifies them and tells the other gangs who they are. In reality, it is a bit more difficult to notice the “colors” of organized gangs but street gangs usually display their “colors” in the form of a flag (also known as a bandana). Most often the gangs are separated by color, the most known are the bloods represented by red and crips represented by blue. Gang members are willing to put their lives on the line when they see their colors are disrespected. Because of this, the scene in the movie felt very real. What I thought the movie lacked was more gangs. The Warriors only physically confronted about 4 gangs before reaching their destination,while the beginning sequence showed much more gangs and gang members during the meeting. Even during the final showdown with the Rogues who were responsible for framing the Warriors did not involve a fight scene. The majority of the movie mostly took place in Manhattan, I feel that the Bronx and especially Brooklyn should have been featured more. It also would have been nice to see how the other members of the Warriors were doing in jail seeing how they were only arrested. The film made it seem as though being arrested some how killed the other members. Other than that, I really enjoyed the film with the line “Warriors, come out and play!”

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    • Chaitea ⋅

      I was actually confused about why Swan and them refused to take off the jackets. I thought it would have been so much easier for them to just take off the jackets and get to their destination without having to go through all those fights. Then again, I suppose if they did that, there would be no story to tell. Reading your post about why they kept wearing the jackets makes things a bit more clearer now.

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  4. This film was completely ridiculous, but still entertaining.
    I can’t say that I will be puting on my favorite’s list, however. In between all the guys running around in Village People outfits and roller skating around the city, it is a very testosterone driven movie. Some of the fight scenes were great to watch while some would rival some of Captain Kirk’s greatest moments.
    I don’t really feel good about the way that women were portrayed in the film. Most of them are strong, but they are still shown as these sex toys to be used by men. The main girl that follows the protagonist almost scores some points when she says that she likes her lifestyle and doesn’t feel like changing it. However the tone quickly changes when she begs the man to have sex with her after he suggests that she tie a matress to her back.
    I also had issues with the characters in general. I didn’t find any of them particularly likeable, so I really didn’t care wheter they made it back home or not. That is probably my main critiquei of the film. I had no emotional investment in the characters, so I lost interest in the story towards the end.
    Other than that, I have to say that the movie was very stylish. I have always loved that grungy futuristic look that seemed to a popular setting during that time period. Maybe I’m pessimistic, but that’s the way I always envision the future. The comic book transitions were interesting and actually added a lot to the story. Somebody mentioned that it helped take some of the realism out of the film which I think is very important. I think that it could have been better done. It seemed to drag on too long, and it had a bit of an awkward silence. The very first comic book transition was pretty shocking. I wasn’t expecting it. Maybe something at the beginning of the film the first establish that theme would have been helpful.
    Anyway, I can’t deny that it was somewhat entertaining, but I think in all it was pretty average. It’s really just not my kind of film. In my case it just comes down to opinion.

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    • karltuj

      Ah, yes, it was a kind of close to the future image we had at that time, and some movies like The Warriors or Escape From New York or Assault on Precinct 13 just visualized that feeling, so they hit the sense of their time and became successful, very important! What is the feeling you have right now about the near future?

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  5. Hanaji0 ⋅

    I have never seen this kinds of movies before but I really enjoyed the film.
    First of all, the story itself is very simple. However, those gang groups with a baseball uniform and bat or skaters were very funny and because of having those kinds of unique gangs, we can watch the film without getting bored. Also, the professor mentions that this movie was the beginning of the gang group’s fashion. It is interesting that the real gang groups did not have their own fashion style among the group until then. The fashion style for each group also tells that what we can expect from that group, although the baseball group was a lot weaker than I expected.
    Another unique thing in this film is the stylization of the film. It use the comic book type of stylization. The story itself is also something we can expect from the comic book. Thus, this stylization really matches with the story and adds the uniqueness to the film. In fact, I felt like I’m reading a comic book.

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  6. ken032192

    I have to say, for the final movie we ever watched in this class, “The Warriors” was rather disappointing for me. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this movie is my least favorite of the bunch, and possibly the worst out of all of the movies as well. While the concept of having teenage gangs duking out with other gangs sounds quite nice on paper, it just wasn’t exactly implemented as I had expected, making the majority of the scenes being boring and lackluster to watch, and the bad outweighing the good in my opinion.

    Pretty much all the characters, dialogue, acting, and everything else just was not impressive and nothing special to me as a whole, and there were hardly any entertaining nor hilarious amusing scenes to point out here, compared to most of the other films we ever watched. The comic book transitions, while mildly entertaining to watch, just felt quite unnecessary to be included in a movie like this, and thought that the movie would have been better off without them entirely. Most of what the gang members were saying did not really appeal to me, since most of their dialogue sounded like rubbish to me: almost as if they are trying too hard to sound badass and stupid at the same time, which was that ridiculous to me. Though some of the fighting scenes were somewhat enjoyable to watch, they do not necessarily make the film any better, despite the frequent abundance of them. The “Baseball Furies” gang seemed more like filler enemies, and do not really make a huge impact to the story at all: just a bunch of freakish, mute baseball team members with face paint that are relatively weak and pose no real threat to “The Warriors”, which was a bit of a shame to say the least, and the movie would have been at least slightly better without them. Even the gang that wore overalls towards the end were rather unappealing enemies in that they not only seem to have a bizarre, twisted sense of fashion sense, but they are also just as mute and easily beaten as the aforementioned baseball gang, making me baffled for their weakness as well. The most terrible and rushed aspect of this movie was the rather lackluster ending. While I admittingly thought that the inclusion of the seemingly main, huge threat of the “Warriors”, the “Riffs” gang, who were quite shrouded in mystery and appearing to closely “monitor” the main heroes’ progress and preparing to challenge them in several scenes throughout the story amused me, I expected an epic final fight to be had right at the end. However, I was quite disappointing to find that there was no such showdown to be had between the two gangs, and instead the leader of the “Rogues” gang was left to his seemingly imposed “death” as he screamed helplessly in defeat, which was really one of the meager scenes that made me laugh as he I witnessed his inevitable misery. I understand that a final fight to be had in the ending would have been far too violent, especially since the “Riffs” outnumbered the “Warriors” by a huge difference as pointed out in class, but I still wished that a major, epic fight would have occurred right there, as it probably would have made the entire ending, or at least the movie in general, to have turned out slightly better, but it sadly was not the case, leaving my empty and wanting for more upon seeing the credits roll by.

    Overall, “The Warriors” was not the kind of movie that I expected to watch for last in this class, as it just was not nearly entertaining as all the other movies we watched. I honestly thought that the previous week’s screening of “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex” was much better and more suitable as the final movie to watch, as its impressive variety and execution of its sexuality jokes turned out to be very enjoyable than I expected. I am not exactly a fan of watching gang movies in particular, and it does not help that this lackluster movie just was not enjoyable to watching from beginning to end. Either I should start watching a more entertaining and badass gang movie sometime else in the near and distant future, or I should probably avoid watching those kinds of movies completely, as I would not want to waste my time watching a movie that is this unbearable as a whole, especially for this class in general.

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    • karltuj

      Maybe your future career is to be a film critic!!! I mean this seriously, I think you should consider this. You like watching films and put effort into your statements, and they have some punch. Go, Ken!

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  7. Chroma ⋅

    I’m shocked that I’ve never stumbled upon this film before, or the book at the very least. I’ll admit, it was a campy flick, but I think that’s what gives “The Warriors” some character. Then again, I’m drawn to movies that have that grungy, street punk theme.

    While being laughably entertaining (because it was too hard to take some of those gangs seriously), it was a wild, testosterone-fueled, late-night adventure that was simply fun to watch; using the real streets of New York added to its appeal.
    The use of the comic book-styled transitions softened the realistic edge; that may have been appropriate for the time the movie was first released, but now, it seemed more like they just didn’t fit with the story.

    Like others, I was disappointed by the ending, too. I was completely fooled into thinking there would be a remarkable final battle, only to be left hanging with an ending that was less than satisfying. Still, for a final screening, it was a good pick.

    Can you dig it!
    I sure did

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    • karltuj

      The ending would be different – I think – if being remade today (which I think may happen soon). At that time, people did not care that much, if justice just had prevailed.

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  8. Chaitea ⋅

    I’ve actually watched this film before, but I forgot that I did for some reason or the other. So watching it again was really interesting and I didn’t get bored at all. I was following along the story until someone pointed out that if they took off the jackets, it would be so much easier and practical for them to get to their destination. Then I started questioning the same thing. True, why didn’t they? After reading one of the previous comments I got my answer and it makes me respect the characters more ~ the loyalty they showed to their colours.
    Another interesting thing I noted was the scene where Cyrus gets shot. Before he gets shot, all these people from different parts of the city, different gangs were staying in one place, united, listening in earnest, trusting this larger than life figure – Cyrus… and then… someone in the audience takes a gun, and shoots him. Everything is in panic, people run around and for the longest time no one really knew who killed him. It made me really remember the assassination of president Kennedy for some reason, and later as someone else pointed out – Martin Luther King Jr.
    I also found it very interesting how the director used the close up of a woman’s lips to depict the radio – forever announcing out to the city the progress behind “the hunt” for the “warriors”. It was interesting that this time, the radio was used as a tool to hunt and not to help like in Vanishing Point.
    The character portrayals were good in my opinion.
    I was a bit sad however that Cleon had to die. I thought he was built up so well from the beginning as the warriors leader… and I barely noticed Swan until suddenly Cleon is dead and Swan became the leader. However, as the movie progressed, it became easier to warm up to him because he was a good leader.
    I think the least likeable character for me is Ajax – in addition to the annoying guy who drew out the gun at the end (his name didn’t even stuck with me because he was so annoying to listen to – which means i supposed the movie was successful in choosing him to act the bad guy – since I was made to dislike him strongly). Ajax was part of the warriors but he was so horrid. He didn’t listen to Swan and kept trying to pick a fight – which could have gotten ALL of them killed. I was so very glad when he got handcuffed – by a police WOMAN- which was refreshing to see.
    All in all, it was an enjoyable movie to watch as the last movie for this class.

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    • karltuj

      Women in this film are pretty strong. They lead guys and make their own decisions.
      Cleon, it seems the actor had some issues with director, so he had to die 🙂 Reality of life often is harsher than filmed reality… 🙂

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  9. Tatsuya ⋅

    The film “The Warriors” is one of the most interesting films I have seen in this class. It is one of the best films to project the gang scene in 70’s and 80’s in New York I guess. Using real gang members for casting makes scenes very dynamic and real beside the part of acting. I really like the parts where the connecting scenes are all animated which makes the film not too serious or dark. The gang clothes actors and actresses wear in the film seem pretty cool that people in 70’s and 80’s might like. However, I did not like the story and its storytelling. I think the story was not very well-organized and not very fun as well as acting and directing. I mentioned that I liked this film because the comic theme and the background. I also like the scenes when gang members run across the city from the park to the metro station to escape from other gangs.
    I also need to point out the ending part, it was not what I was expecting or the film did not surprise me. The ending scene was not exciting at all that it just ended. I couldn’t be into the story at some points.
    I felt that this film did not really focus on one character.
    For the last film in this class, it was very interesting and not the type of film I usually watch. It was worth to watch it.

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  10. Marya ⋅

    This was the 2nd time I had seen “The Warriors”. I enjoyed it as much as I did for the first time I had seen it. Quality wise I wouldn’t say it’s the best, but I think I enjoyed it because it’s definitely not a serious watch, it’s utterly cheesy, the over-dramatized acting and ridiculous dialogue just really sums up everything. I think the biggest part of the film was costumes and the entrée music for each gang that appeared. I think those two elements took the film to another level.

    I had no idea that the film was based upon actual gang activity in the Bronx, it’s even surprising to know that they had casted actual gang members and also shot the film during the night- time, when gang activity is very lively. Very risky and dangerous. I wonder how many were injured during the process.

    As said in class this film had caused many gang fights at the screening of the film. This film is definitely a cult classic; I’m sure that not only did it provoke many gangs in the Bronx but also encouraged many to join. One thing that I didn’t really like was how the Warriors only transportation was the train, while other gangs had their own battered, custom cars. I understand New York’s main transportation is the subway but I just think it would be inconvenient if you were a gang and you were trapped waiting for a train and other gangs attacked you. Also, like in Vanishing Point they have the mysterious Black radio DJ. Although her voice by itself has enough sass and character, I’m curious why the director had only showed her bottom half of her face.

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    • karltuj

      The filmmakers took risks by personal involvement into the subject and completed a very stylish movie despite budget limits. The style of this film may prevail for many more years… so not the money but dedication counts!

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  11. Carl ⋅

    “The Warriors” first and foremost was an amazing peace of Art. The director Walter Hill and producer Lawrence Gordon did a fantastic job of displaying the gang scenes of New York City. Some things I enjoyed about this film were the wardrobe, plot and locations. The wardrobe in this film was very colorful and diverse. Some of the fashion in this film is still used in today’s day and age. The plot to the story was also amazing. I enjoyed the fact that the action in the movie took place very early in the film alongside telling the story and building relevance and connection between characters. The budget for this film was 7 million dollars and I feel that it was well utilized. Many of the actors in this film are now A list actors and actresses. For a B movie, this movie created a huge following, short of a cult following however many people reference this film. For example a rap group by the name of “The Diplomats” created a song called “Crunk Music” in which resembled “The Warriors” significantly. The locations in which were used for this film was very colorful and refreshing. From the graffiti, to the subway scenes everything screams the New York street life. In conclusion I recommend this film to anyone who will like to get a taste of the New York City street life.

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    • karltuj

      It’s not really a B Movie, but on the lower end of a Hollywood film, and embodied the quality of B films which means to be closely in touch with your audience. Down to earth, a bit (it’s art!!!) but not too fancy.

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  12. janey ⋅

    I liked the Warriors, even though the story was corny and a bit incomplete, the guys were handsome AND shirtless, which is a plus in my book.

    But when I say incomplete, I mean the various parts of the film where characters drop off and we never find out what happens to them. For example in the beginning after Cyrus has been shot, Cleon, the former leader of the Warriors, gets jumped by other gangs and we never see him or find out what has happened to him. Same when Fox falls onto the train tracks and gets run over by a train. Also when Ajax is arrested. I guess I expected for these characters to get some resolution.

    The overall story was ok, I thought all the different gangs were cool, but ridiculous at the same time. Even though it might have been unrealistic, I liked the mixing of ethnicities within the gangs and the different themes that each gang represented (great costumes). I thought it was also interesting that gangs started forming colors and creating “uniforms” after this film. I also liked the scene in the train contrasting the gangster kids and the kids going home from prom.
    From the beginning the story was set up so that I felt bad that the warriors were wrongly accused of killing Cyrus, and I felt myself routing for them to get to union square safely. The ending was quite comical, when the Warriors and Rouges are at Coney Island and Luther pulls a gun on Swan, when Swan declares a one on one fight, thenSwan throws a knife right into Luther’s hand. We see the Rouges for the cowards they really are.

    Overall, I liked this movie. Good looking men and silly actions scenes definitely a plus.

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  13. Roger Murdock ⋅

    This film was my favorite film of the semester. As I have been watching every film with the lens to look for heroes, this film delivered an encompassing array of characters, whose personalities reflect a youthful and rebellious generation. This film was also stylized in a very interesting way. Throughout the grimy streets of New York, in a pseudo futuristic world, each gang had the strange appearance of a futuristic world that had not modernized, as we have seen in other futuristic films such as Blade Runner or Back to the Future II. In the Warriors, director Walter Hill, shows the Warriors, a mixed group of individuals who have been framed for the death of a leader who called for peace. They are then posed with the challenge of making it back to Coney Island despite having a hit being put on them. Each character is tested by moral vices and must quickly mature and work together to succeed. As soon as their journey begins, Ajax, the brute of the group becomes jealous of Swan, who was the pre-determined leader. Ajax’s jealousy endangers the group as their unity is the only thing they have against the many rival gangs. Eventually lust defeats Ajax as he deviates from the plan to hit on a woman who turns out to be an undercover cop. Lust is seen again when the other Warriors get seduced into a basement by a group of girls who turn out to be a female gang using their femininity to take advantage and kill the Warriors, who just barely escape. The only member of the group that rises above the sinful vices is Swan, who despite being pursued by Mercy, denies her interest to stick to the plan of leading the group and returning to safety. I loved Swan’s portrayal in this film as a prototypical American hero, as well as the overall rebellious movement against the police, which are depicted to be against the free-spirited youth.

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  14. Hoster Mahoger ⋅

    CAAAAAAN YOU DIG IT, SUCKA!

    The Warriors is a classic cult film, and for good reason. The concept of a city run by gangs, all dressed in ridiculous matching outfits is awesome. On top of that, the unique directing style and comic book transitions added the perfect amount of camp that continues to generate new cult fans over three decades after its release.

    Watching the Warriors as they struggle to get through New York City to get home to Coney Island is a a treat. I love how the film takes place over the course of a single night. I like to think of The Warriors as a mash-up of Dazed and Confused and any Jean-Claude Van Damme film. It is simply fun to watch. The pacing is great as the protagonist gang runs into an obstacle periodically, and usually loses a member along the way. The culmination of their journey ends with a face off with the evil Rogue gang.

    The dialogue is cheesy and great, along with the fighting sequences. The characters are fun. Each Warrior has a unique personality, but all of the other gangs sort of had a single personality. It makes it easy to root for the Warriors.

    Overall, I loved the film.

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    • karltuj

      The poor against the establishment, maybe a hot topic right now, considering that the majority in the US is poor against the top 20%…. In the world we are 5 against 1, can you dig it 🙂

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  15. This was also one of my favorite films of the semester. I have seen this film already, but watching films over again lets you view new things you didn’t notice beforehand. The variety of the gangs was much more obvious this time around, especially during the scene when the leader was assassinated. One of my favorite things about this film is that it takes place all in one night. Sometimes I think that films are too spaced out, time-wise. I also did not know this film was a depiction of actual gang activity in New York. I’m not too well-informed on the east coast already, so seeing this was interesting. Using actual gang members was a pretty bold move for the director, but I think it was very purposeful and added much to my enjoyment of this film. During the scene when the Warriors are being chased by the bus, full of other gang members, I thought it was a bit farfetched. I am pretty sure a bus would be able to run down the gang. Overall, this film was pretty amazing. It was fresh for its time and I would recommend this film to anybody and everybody I meet.

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  16. Kris ⋅

    1979 saw the release of Warriors in theaters. This film follows the normal story conventions and plot devices so no comment there. However the film really lacks in any relevance, in that it doesn’t really do anything to spark any deep change or emotion in the viewer. Though the story follows standard story telling techniques, the story itself is really bad. This is the first I’ve ever seen of gangs having some sort of bureaucratic order. I mean sure a hierarchy of some sorts but rules that follow like federal regulations, I mean come on. Gangs form out of not having any rules to follow. Maybe some sort of loose code or something like that but the film went a little overboard.
    That’s really the biggest criticism I have of the film. It wasn’t a bad film, but I wasn’t impressed by anything. But I wasn’t confused by anything either, it all made sense in the end and that’s very important. “Does the audience get the message being sent?” is the best question any film maker can ask themselves. Vanishing Point had a story that could be taken so many ways that it stopped making any sense at all. Warriors had a story that requires no deeper thought into the matter. Is Vanishing Point a better film than Warriors? In my opinion no because Warriors succeeded where Vanishing Point failed just by using a tried and true method of storytelling. And telling a story is the point of a narrative cinema film.

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    • karltuj

      Yes!!! It’s hard to say what is the better film but both actually reached their audience, and Vanishing Point is a kind of predecessor for The Fast and the Furious (R.I.P. Paul Walker), and The Warriors has the comic strip mentality we can see – on a different level – in the X-Men and other post-modern films. Both films, however, set new standards for “on location” shooting, no doubt, or have you?

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  17. maiorengi

    The film was actually one of the enjoyable films among all the films we saw in the class. The theme itself is about the gangs confronting each other for the sake of their districts. Because it had a comic effect existing inside of the story, I took this film to be rather comedy than dealing with a serious social gang problem existed in the 70s. It was hard not to laugh seeing the guys with rollerblades even with the blue overalls on.
    There was this one scene where the guy from the same team ran over by the train. This was the only shocking scene in the film but I did not get the point of killing this young man alone. Did it have to be him? It was indeed the scene where the police murdered him, accidently or almost on purpose.
    It seems to me that the film had an influence on Tarantino film. In Kill Bill, he used the similar comic touch effect that was probably inspired by the Warriors. I only wish he had only taken the comic effect style from the warriors and use it in his film ( None of the films done by Tarantino has successfully entertained me. )

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    • karltuj

      I agree with you on Tarantino and think The Warriors is cuter than his films, although I respect Tarantino for trying so hard. What is interesting that the Warriors were a bit scary in those days, but now, they look like comic book characters. It’s because the films is so stylized…

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  18. I personally really really enjoyed this film. And ending this class on this film was very nice.
    After discussing the movie after class, it was interesting to see how the different gangs’ costumes did a decent job at representing the area that they were from. I think that it does a very good job at creating the atmosphere for the different areas within New York.

    I also enjoyed that there were many different ethnic groups within these gangs. Although the main characters were predominantly Caucasian and African American, there were still some Hispanic and Asian members in the smaller gangs.

    Like Nayo had said in class, I liked how this movie was all about the fist fights instead of pulling out guns. And how it showed only one character out of the whole mob of gangs using a gun, implying his weakness. It really showed the difference between the “tradition” and the “new age” and it was very enjoyable.

    I absolutely did not like the bottle clanking the small rat character was doing when he was calling out for the warriors. It was the most obnoxious noise that seemed to go on far too long. But, it left quite an impression and I think I may use that technique when I want to get someone’s attention from now on.

    I really enjoyed this film and I am glad that this was the last film we watched in this class instead of another western (no offense =] )

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  19. michi1st

    The Warriors was an incredibly interesting film to watch—especially for someone from New York. It was interesting to see how street life and gang life ran rampant in my home city and with the commute from the Bronx to Cony Island, it had an incredibly realistic sense of timing even with all the craziness going on around it. All of the costumes and crazy gimmics that took place in the film were very fun to watch. And the multi-racial aspects of the gangs were also very interesting.

    I think as a final film to the class it wasn’t the best choice though. It wasn’t a very VERY special film and the class didn’t go out with a bang or anything. The film wasn’t horrible. It was clearly low budget and the actors didn’t exactly exude stardom. Maybe it would’ve worked better as a second to last movie?

    I spoke to some of my New York friends who are into movies and they have all seen this film. The magical teleport from the mid-town exit of Central Park to Union Square station will forever amuse all of us and we wish we could do that too. Would make all of our lives easier.

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  20. Yuki ⋅

    The Warriors is a 1979 American cult action/thriller film directed by Walter Hill. If I watched this film in 70s, I would have an impression that New York city was a dangerous place. The story was very simple but enjoyable. Since most of the film didn’t show the famous sightseeing spots in New York, I didn’t think that the locations looked old. The dark backstreets, messy trains and stations. These are something which you still can see now. On the other hand, the gangs’ uniforms were so 70s! No one wears jacket like the warriors did anymore. Other gangs too. I was kind of surprised that the gangs didn’t use guns most of the time. I wonder if the gangs were really like that in 70s there.

    I really liked the comic-ish type of transition which was frequently used in the film.

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    • karltuj

      Based on an old story, the Greek “Anabasis”, there are some patterns which worked over centuries. Many great movies are just based on approx. 30 different story patterns…

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  21. Tad ⋅

    Out of all the movies we watched in class I think The Warriors was probably the best movie of the semester. I think if The warriors hadn’t been pulled from theaters early because of fear of gang violence it would have been a much success, not that $22million profit with a $7million budget isn’t respectable.

    I liked the story, I thought the pacing was good, the acting wasn’t bad and I really liked the comic transitions a lot too. When I heard that this movie was considered a cult film I was suprised. For the most part the film didn’t seem too different from what was considered mainstream at the time compared to other movies like Vanishing Point. Not only that but the film made $22 million domestically before being taken out of theaters.

    The issues I had with the movie were mainly with characters just disappearing, specifically when the former leader of The Warriors disappears without ever being mentioned again.

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  22. Tim ⋅

    I agree with Tad, this has to be the best film of the entire semester. Wow, I haven’t been this impressed by a film in a very long time.
    I mean, where was I living all this time that not once did I hear anything about this film? “The Warriors” (1979) is one of the best films of the 1970’s and it definitely deserves more credit than it apparently has.
    There isn’t a single thing that disappoints, but quite on the contrary, everything in it is absolutely brilliant. The acting, those outstanding costumes, which inspired a whole generation of fashion designers, such as Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs; the amazing camerawork, photography and that 70s/early ’80s electronic music. From the moment it starts this film just never loses its pace and we’re not able to rest until the end. There are very few films these days that do that.
    I love the controversy with all that f*ck the police attitude, interracial skinhead gangs, pretty girls – so I am not surprised that people wanted to imitate the Warriors.
    Walter Hill did an absolute brilliant job by making of the best films I’ve ever seen. The photography, that can only be surpassed by a few outstanding individuals, like Kubrick and the sheer minimalism mixed with a deep message and controversy makes The Warriors one of the best films in the cinema history. Highly recommended. 10/10.

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  23. I thought that this film had it’s strong points and weak points. I was familiar with this film before having actually seen it, due to having played the game when I was younger.The film was a very nostalgic look back at the kind of movies I used to watch when I was really little for me. It has that fantasy/childlike sense of danger for me. As though people can get hurt and not die, they can get smashed with a baseball bat and then get up again. Plot wise I felt like the film could have been cut alot and that it dragged, but I enjoyed the locations and the way it was filmed. Looking at it from the modern perspective I feel like it’s pretty hard to take this as a serious gangster film.But that has more to do with the fact that I find these gangsters outlandish. The movie certainly spawned certain catch phrases though, and it’s quite memorable. It is kind of hard for me to imagine gangs like that existing for real. I cant say I really liked any of the characters much, but they were interesting enough to keep my attention, although they should have cut alot of this movie down in order to make it not drag so much.
    lynn

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  24. satchi ⋅

    I am late ahahaha. //OTL Anyhow, this wasn’t one of my favorites out of the class screenings, but it was pretty good nonetheless. I especially enjoyed how it was told through like a comic book format, with the scenes beginning and ending with an animation. It really added a different feel to the piece, and reminded me of what I see as American pop culture of the times. I also liked how the gangs wore themed clothing (and sometimes face paint and makeup) to distinguish themselves. During fight scenes, this also made it easier to distinguish between the main gang and their rival gangs. It is interesting how the trend of wearing significant clothing to represent being in a gang was actually started from this film.

    Character wise, I liked the leader, Swan I think his name was, best. He seemed the most mature and level-headed out of the main group and he had a cool aura. Interestingly, I also thought that the youngest member of the group was one of the more level-headed ones as well, like during the scene with the girl gang, he was the only one who seemed to suspect that they weren’t as safe as they thought. I really didn’t like the main female character either. She seemed selfish and a lot of the time was just in the way.

    Set wise, I really enjoyed how most of it was filmed on location. The grittiness of the streets and subways fit for the theme of street gangs, and the subways made for excitement and a bit of thrill on whether or not they were going to make the train on time and get away from the police. I was also impressed how it was all filmed at night. This semester I was part of a group that did a lot of night filming, so I know how difficult that can be. It worked for the story though, to follow the group back through the night to their hometown by morning.

    Again, it was okay, but not one of my favorites to see. The background story on how it was made is pretty interesting though. Compared to West Side Story, this one does seem a lot more realistic. Also the fact that they had real street gang members as extras in the film is another plus for making it seem more real.

    Overall, maybe I would care to see this again if I got the chance. I might get a different impression and take from seeing it again than from the first viewing after all.

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