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Thread: 'The Warriors': 1979 gang movie still popular

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 'The Warriors': 1979 gang movie still popular

    (Without a doubt one of the greatest movies of all time, one of the most stylish and exhilirating movies ever made)

    'The Warriors': 1979 gang movie still popular


    Something that can only (and perhaps inexplicably) be described as "movie magic" began on Feb. 9, 1979. That's when a silly, cartoonish but strangely compelling film - about a street gang trying to go from one end of New York City to another while being chased by rival gangs - hit theater screens. Somehow, it opened to box-office success and became an instant cult classic.

    Twenty-nine years later, Walter Hill's "The Warriors" is still being chased by art-house aficionados around the world; they'll resurface this weekend at the Red Vic.

    "It's a good summer film, it still packs 'em in," said Red Vic collective member Claudia Lehan. "We have a poster out and I see young kids looking at it and saying, ' "The Warriors" is playing.' I think younger people are still discovering it."

    What to make of this enduring piece of pop culture? It was Hill's third film during an incredible start to his career, which included "Hard Times" (1975) with Charles Bronson and James Coburn as bare-knuckled boxers; "The Driver" (1978) with Ryan O'Neal as a getaway driver; the 1980 Western "The Long Riders"; the Louisiana-set Vietnam allegory "Southern Comfort" (1981); and, of course, the San Francisco-shot "48 Hrs." (1982).

    While "48 Hrs." was Hill's biggest box-office hit, it's "The Warriors" that has held a special place in moviegoers' hearts. There are Web sites devoted to the film (most notably the British site www.warriorsmovie.co.uk). Lehan said it is annually among the top five draws at the Red Vic. Hill's inspiration, as he told The Chronicle last year on the occasion of a retrospective of his work at UC Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive, "came from Greek history: the story of Xenophon and the march of 10,000 (mercenary soldiers) to the Black Sea."

    In the celluloid incarnation, Coney Island stands in for the Black Sea, and the Warriors are chased by gangs that include apparent mimes (in whiteface, suspenders and black caps, no less) and other over-the-top creations, including the Baseball Furies, a group decked out in pinstripes, stirrups and blueface and wielding Louisville Sluggers the way Luke Skywalker swings a lightsaber.

    The Warriors themselves have such names as Swan (Michael Beck), Ajax (James Remar), Mercy (Deborah Van Valkenburgh) and Rembrandt (Marcelino Sanchez).

    Perhaps part of the go-for-broke feel of "The Warriors" stems from the fact that the production was being chased by other reel gangs. There were several gang movies at various stages of production, most notably Philip Kaufman's "The Wanderers," and Hill wanted to open first. He employed three editing houses working nearly 24/7 and ended up with a kinetic, fast-moving cut that hit a kitschy nerve.
    As a rival gang leader aptly puts it: "You Warriors. You good. Reeeal good."

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTDWyTJDaec[/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JawHRggFPGo[/YOUTUBE]

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Hill's inspiration, as he told The Chronicle last year on the occasion of a retrospective of his work at UC Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive, "came from Greek history: the story of Xenophon and the march of 10,000 (mercenary soldiers) to the Black Sea."


    Interesting that he doesn't mention 'The Warriors' by Sol Yurik, which is the book the movie is based on. Yurik wrote it based on the Xenophon story.

    Also, in the book the main character is black, but Hill used a white guy-Michael Beck.

    They're not as nice in the book either, there's much more violence and a rape as well

    But it is one of those rare instances where the movie is better than the book



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    Just had this delivered today and trying to watch it this weekend. Haven't seen this movie in years. Last time was at a drive in.
    Drive a car, drive a boat, drive a plane. What does it matter? As long as I'm drunk!
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Can you DIG IT!!!!!!

    this movie cracks me up
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

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    Elite Member TonjaLasagna's Avatar
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    Ahhhhhhhhh nice, always had a thing for Swan. I have this on VHS and am downloading the album on Itunes now.
    Thanks for the memories!!
    "the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone"

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    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    Swan was so gorgeous. But don't do an image search for Michael Beck. He has not aged well. James Remar was in that movie too. I think he's still hot. He was Samantha's bf in SatC and Dexter's father.


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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellini View Post
    Swan was so gorgeous. But don't do an image search for Michael Beck. He has not aged well. James Remar was in that movie too. I think he's still hot. He was Samantha's bf in SatC and Dexter's father.
    Swan was the evangelist in "Celebrity' which was a great mini series back in the early '80's.....awesome....

    In the Warriors book the character is called Hinton instead of Swan, and he's black.....and the gang leader is a Puerto Rican guy named Israel......

    Don't tell Spike Lee....but that really is racist...changing the color of the characters



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member TheONe's Avatar
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    This movie is the balls
    "My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat your children. Praise be to Allah." TEAM MILEY!!

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    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    OMG, I can still hear "The Warriors, come out to playayay" and I haven't seen that movie in 20 years.

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    Elite Member yoyoma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellatheball View Post
    OMG, I can still hear "The Warriors, come out to playayay" and I haven't seen that movie in 20 years.
    That's the first thing i remembered when i read the title of this thread!
    My friend was talking about this movie 2wks ago, he forgot the title and he has
    been trying to find it for years now until when i said the title and showed a clip
    on youtube...he almost cried...

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    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
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    i love this movie & i'm excited that it has a thread here.

    please, please, please don't let this movie get some lame remake. :\
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ang View Post
    i love this movie & i'm excited that it has a thread here.

    please, please, please don't let this movie get some lame remake. :\

    Thanks for reminding me, they are making a remake, coming soon! But it seems like it's being delayed, so maybe it will never be done!!

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    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
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    oh no, i'm scared. movies with pushed back release dates are rarely good news.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


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    Bronze Member Ava'sGhost's Avatar
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    I love this movie!!! I can watch it over and over...
    Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

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    Elite Member arie_skop's Avatar
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    No one should be allowed to remake this movie - the original is just awesome. One of my favourite movies.

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