The Warriors Still Resonate 40 Years Later

Released in 1979, the film “The Warriors” was an instant cult classic. Centered around a group of teens who makeup a gang by the same name who have to find their way back to Coney Island from the Bronx in the span of one night. Impeding their path are numerous gangs and their followers who believe the Warriors are the culprits in the death of the man who was trying to unite all the New York gangs.

What makes the film “The Warriors” unique was not just the youth of its cast, but the fact that it was based on real events. New York in the 1970s was crumbling and gang culture was seen as an increasing problem. There was a real meeting between various gangs in the early 70s to kind of quell their issues and form a bond. For a more in depth picture of the gangs and their influence in the 1970s, I strongly recommend checking out the documentary film “Rubble Kings” which talks to the real life former members of these groups.

As for the film itself, it was shot on location in New York and it’s quite interesting seeing how the subways looked 40 years ago (they were still decrepit). The film holds up as well though there is one huge flaw in the portrayal of the Warriors gang: they were integrated. This is significant because this was not the case of the real life gangs in New York at this time due in large part to housing segregation. However the studio apparently pushed for this even though it wasn’t a realistic depiction to have black and white teens as members of the same gang within a particular neighborhood. Nevertheless, this is still a quality film.

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