The Warriors

THEY COULD RUN NEW YORK CITY.

After the assassination of an influential gang leader at a gathering in a NYC park, another gang, the Warriors, are framed and hunted by murderous thugs as they try to make their way back to their turf, Coney Island. Director Walter Hill’s action-thriller, now a cult favorite, shares similarities with his previous The Driver (1978) and was partly inspired by “Anabasis”, the classical Greek epic. The setting is a dark, crime-ridden Manhattan and the story features several colorful showdowns between the Warriors and their foes; has no heroes… but a class perspective. Exciting and amusing; effective use of the soundtrack.

1979-U.S. 90 min. Color. Produced by Lawrence Gordon. Directed by Walter Hill. Screenplay: Walter Hill, David Shaber. Novel: Sol Yurick. Cinematography: Andrew Laszlo. Cast: Michael Beck (Swan), James Remar (Ajax), Thomas Waites (Fox), Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler, Deborah Van Valkenburgh… Mercedes Ruehl.

Last word: “The movie was thrown together very quickly, and for very little money. The producer, Larry Gordon, and I were going to do a Western, and the financing collapsed at the last minute. He was trying to do a deal at Paramount, and said maybe he could get ‘The Warriors’ going. I read it, and loved it, but I said, ‘They’ll never let us make this. It’s too good an idea.’ Then – I’ll be a sonuvabitch – he got it going… Then I had to figure out how to do it. The novel attempts a kind of social realism that I didn’t think worked very well. But there’s a scene in it where one of the gang members is reading a comic book about the march of Xenophon and the 10,000, and he says, ‘Hey, this is just like us!’ And I thought, that’s the way to do the movie.” (Hill, The Hollywood Interview)

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