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.