The Warriors (1979)
Today marks 35 years since the cult classic The Warriors dropped in theaters. This was one of the first movies shot depicting a close description of what gang life was in New York City in the mid to late 70’s. The movie which was picked up by Paramount Pictures and was actually a never suppose to happen. Lawrence Gordon (Producer) and Walter Hill (Director), had a western movie in the works and when it failed to go into production they pitched The Warriors script. Being a huge fan of comic books, Hill had plans to break the movie into chapters with illustrated pages opening each scene. Due to a tight schedule and even tighter budget that idea was shelved and later released on the Ultimate Directors Cut in 2005.
The entire movie was filmed on location in the streets of New York City with some interior scenes done at Astoria Studios. They would shoot from sundown to sunrise. While they shot in the Bronx, people tossed bricks at the crew. Actor Joel Weiss remembers the filming of his scene at Avenue A being canceled because there was a double homicide closeby. For the big meeting with Cyrus at the beginning of the film, Hill wanted real gang members in the scene with off duty police officers also in the crowd so that there would be no trouble.
The Warriors opened on February 9, 1979 in 670 theaters without advance screenings or a decent promotional campaign and grossed USD $3.5 million on its opening weekend. The following weekend the film was linked to sporadic outbreaks of vandalism and three killings - two in Southern California and one in Boston - involving moviegoers on their way to or from showings. In its sixth week, The Warriors had grossed $16.4 million, well above its estimated $6–7 million budget.
Sol Yurick, whose book was the inspiration for the film expressed his disappointment speculating that it scared some people because “it appeals to the fear of a demonic uprising by lumpen youth”, appealing to many teenagers because it “hits a series of collective fantasies”. President Ronald Reagan was a fan of the film, even calling the film’s lead actor, Michael Beck, to tell him he had screened it at Camp David and enjoyed it.
The Warriors video game, based on the movie, was released by Rockstar Games on October 17, 2005. Levels 1 through 13 acts as a prequel to the film, creating backstory and elaborating on the characters from the film. Levels 14 through 18 recreates much of the film’s events. Several of the actors from the movie returned to perform the voices for their original characters. Also In 2005, Mezco Toyz released Warriors action figures, including Swan, Cleon, Cochise, Ajax, Luther, and a Baseball Fury.
In 2009, Dabel Brothers Productions began a five issue comic book adaption of the film and then followed that with a four issue mini series entitled The Warriors: Jail Break which takes place several months after the film’s events.
If you are a cult movie follower or just the everyday movie goer, this flick is a must see masterpiece that captured the feelings of rebellion in NYC during the early days of the drug era.
1. The Warriors Theme Song
Produced by: Barry De Vorzon
2. King Just - Warriors Drum
Produced by: RNS
3. Royce The 5’9” - The Warriors feat Slaughterhouse and Melanie Rutherford
Produced By: Streetrunner
4. Lloyd Banks - Warrior
Produced by: Thayod Ausar
5. M.O.P. - Warriorz
Produced by: Mahogany
6. Ky-Mani Marley - Warriors
Produced by: N/A
7. Nas - Warrior Song feat Alicia Keys
Produced by: Alicia Keys
8. Lloyd Banks - Warrior pt. 2 feat. Eminem, 50 Cent, and Nate Dogg
Produced by: Eminem
9. Dead Prez - Walk Like A Warrior feat. Krazie Bone
Produced by: Stic.Man
10. Marlene Johnson - We Are Warrior feat. Marlon B.
Produced by: N/A