The Warriors

A powerful gang leader at a city wide peace summit is shot and the Warriors are wrongfully accused. Now they must make it back to their home turf in one piece.  Story based on a 1965 novel by Sol Yurick is vivid and consistently engaging, a model of how to edit an action thriller. Highly stylized vision of NYC gangs is a perfect marriage of tough inner city drama and 70s disco-era style.  The production design’s concept of the near future possesses the realistic look of  gritty NYC streets but the multi-racial gang members appearance more closely resembles something out of West Side Story than actual thugs. Indeed every group sports colorful attire that represent their faction with visual flair. The urban drama’s infamous reputation for sparking violence in theaters at the time, seems perplexing today. The onscreen brutality is cartoonish as death is downplayed at each opportunity.  With two exceptions, there are virtually no guns as the violence is physical combat. For example, one altercation versus the Furies (they wear baseball uniforms) is fought swinging bats much in the same way an ancient battle would be with swords. The costumes, music, and acting are somewhat dated, but enjoyable fun. The plot is skillfully kept simple and the pacing is enthusiastically brisk. It’s easy to see why in subsequent decades, the film has become a cult classic.

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2 Responses to “The Warriors”

  1. “Warriors……..come out and play…..”. Love that line. This movie was so much better than I remember. Had a lot of fun with it.

    • This was David Patrick Kelly’s debut film. What an auspicious beginning. He should’ve gotten more work, so memorable in that part.

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