"The Warriors"

Films Net Gross: $22,490,039
Release Date: February 9th 1979
Director: Walter Hill

Film Synopsis

"The Warriors" is the story of an almost epic journey of one New York gang from enemy territory back to their own home turf. The "Warriors" must battle their way through enemy gangs, police, and their own inner turmoil if their to make it through the night alive and safe. The film begins with a gathering of all the major gangs in New York for a proposal of peace inspired by the most powerful gang in New York called the Gramercy Riffs and their leader Cyrus. Each gang is allowed to bring 9 unarmed representatives to the gathering to assure the truce is abided by. However, a gang called The Rogues smuggles a gun in, and passes it to the leader by the name of Luther who then shoots and kills Cyrus. Panic insues and one of the Warriors, Fox, catches Luther in the act, Luther screams the Warriors are responsible for the killing of Cyrus and the Riffs begin to beat the Warriors' leader Cleon while the other 8 escape. The Warriors' now begin their long and eventful journey home, fighting other gangs, police, and themselves. On the way back to their home (Coney Island) they would encounter many obstacles before finally proving their innocence.

The story and characters really tried to show modern gang life and the brotherhood each gang had, that they were not elaborate crime families like the mafia just a bunch outcast that came together to form a family. In their journey home they would lose brothers, win battles, clear their innocence, and gain their freedom.

Personal Review

"The Warriors" provided a very eye opening perspective into classic 1970's style of film making. It can easily be seen why this film generated such buzz and became a "Cult Classic" in the fullest sense of the meaning. "The Warriors" tells the inspirational story of eight wrongly accused men and their journey back home into the safety of their own neighborhood of Coney Island. Walter Hill provided a different style of film making rarely seen even today when he created "The Warriors". Looking at "The Warriors" academically it is seen as a provocative and very ruff around the edges film, with coarse language, nudity, and mature content, "The Warriors" i still seen today as one if the most controversial movies in American cinema. Personally I don't feel the film deserves the provocative label it was given but the tone and intrigue of the movie definitely sets it up to be a cult classic. The mystery of each gang and the different flamboyant attire worn by them definitely sets up an awe inspiring intrigue. This story is really an "Homer" like journey with exciting twist and turns at every juncture while constantly just wanting to get back home. Many battles are fought, friends are lost, but "The Warriors" stuck it out and stayed together through rival gangs and the police.

I personally found this film to be greatly entertaining and almost electric. Everything about this film screams classic in my eyes and I think will be viewed as we view westerns today. Nothing about this film was by any many standard or ordinary, everything was just pictured perfectly and to the tee. I would recommend that everyone watch this movie at least once so they can understand an American 1970's movie and a "Cult Classic."

Academic Review

The Warriors is an important culturally and morally relevant film for the techniques, attitude, and persona it portrayed. This film is remembered because it captures the audience, it plays into a culturally relevant situation of the time and dramatizes it. Moreover, for a film to be truly remembered it has to strike a cord with its audience and this film did just that; whether it be the journey, the intrigue, the fights, or the clothes "The Warriors" will always be remembered and a remake will be released in 2010. This film provided an Odyssey like journey keeping the viewers constantly entertained. In the initial look at the film its easy to see your pro and antagonist but at a second look we can see even deeper into what the Warriors were really fighting for. They weren't just fighting for their lives or to get home, they were fighting for themselves, for their brotherhood, for the family or gang. Because when we view this film it is like these gangs just emerged from the streets, like they had no family before the gang, because we never see a or a hear a mention of a such past life, just this one, just the gang life.

Today much is debated about the depth and perspective about "The Warriors" film but one thing that is known to all is the following that ensued the movie, and finally the title of "Cult Classic was given. Named the 16th greatest Cult Classic movie of all time by AFI "The Warriors" stood the test of time and is in the record books for its accomplishments in American Film. What many believe to be the reason for the Cult Classic status is the raw action fight scenes and the dynamically and flamboyantly dressed gangs. The attitude and individuality of each gang could not be ignored and the fans agreed.

American Style Film Making

This films proves to be very American, from the cinematography, to the plot, to the characters, "The Warriors" defines American cinema. Moreover, we could even point out many classic American cinema stereotypes in this film from the classic brawling fight scenes, to the get ups worn by each gangs, particularly the Native American style of clothing worn by the Warriors, and the baseball uniforms worn by the Baseball Furies.

Online Journal Articles

Kael, Pauline. "THE WARRIORS.." Academic Search Premier 83.1 (2007): 49. Web. 16 Nov 2009. <>.

Rafferty, Terrence. "The Paradoxes of Home: Three Films by Walter Hill." Film Quarterly 36.1 (1982): 20-27. Web. 16 Nov 2009. <>.

Sobchack, Thomas. "New York Street Gangs or the Warriors of My Mind.." Academic Search Premier 10.2 77-85. Web. 16 Nov 2009. <>.


Peary, Danny. Cult movies: the classics, the sleepers, the weird, and the wonderful. 1st ed. 1. Michigan: Self Published, 2008. 408. Print.

Pomerance, Murray. City that never sleeps: New York and the filmic imagination. 1 ed. 1. Manhattan: Arts Parts, 2007. 64-67. Print.

Yurick, Sol. The Warriors. 1st ed. 1. New York, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2003. 1-183. Print.


Anderson, Jeffery. "Coming Out to Play-ee." Combustible Celloid. 2001. Web. 16 Nov 2009. <>.

Zelazny, Jon. "Kicking Ass with Walter Hill." The Hollywood Interview. 2009. Web. 16 Nov 2009. <>.