Directed by Walter Hill. With Michael Beck, James Remar,
Deborah Van Valkenburgh
US 1979, 35mm, color, 94 min
Roughly based on a 1965 novel that was in turn loosely inspired by Xenophon’s Anabasis, The Warriors is a modern epic about a gang fighting its way overnight from the Bronx to its home turf in Coney Island. Despite violence said to be caused by the film during its initial release, it was a success and its popularity has grown over the years – recently spawning action figures and a video game. One of its early fans was Pauline Kael, who described it as both baroque and the visual equivalent of rock music. The film’s original blend of genres – the youth gang film, film noir, the Western – and its moody look, neon against urban shadows, are both hallmarks of the work of director Walter Hill.