The movie follows a gang of nine guys from The Warriors gang of Coney Island as they head up to The Bronx for a big meeting. The meeting was called by Cyrus, who is the leader of the biggest gang in the city, as he wants to create a 60,000-strong gang which can overpower the police. Under a truce, nine members from each gang in the city attend the meeting where Cyrus begins his speech of unity. Just as he finishes detailing his plan he gets shot dead by Luther. In the panic that ensues, Luther frames The Warriors for shooting Cyrus. As the gangs flee back to their home turf, The Warriors soon realise that they need to fight their way back to Coney Island. To make matters worse, the truce has been called off, The Warriors have no weapons and every gang in the city is out looking for them. The movie follows their struggle back home through enemy turf, and shows their encounters with various gangs including the Orphans, and the infamous Baseball Furies.
Since the film was shot in 1979, it gives the whole movie a sense of authenticity and transports you back to a time when walking around New York in the middle of the night was not such a great idea. Being the late seventies, gangs could get away with wearing brightly coloured outfits consisting of shiny purple jackets to dungarees. The subway is also an icon of the movie and is what drives the story’s progression through the city and the encounters with different gangs at each stop. The soundtrack is great and the rock synthesiser scores by Barry de Vorzon really create an atmosphere fit for the scenes they play over (The Baseball Furies chase being a particular favourite).
Each of the nine Warriors have very different personalities which have been acted well by the cast – the first appearance for many actors. For example, the bitter rivalry between Swan and Ajax is portrayed well, whereas the other Warriors look after Rembrandt as if he were a younger brother.
Of course, there can’t be a gang film without fights and clashes and The Warriors certainly delivers. Being 1979, guns were relatively rare on the street, which meant that Walter Hill could show great fight scenes such as the one with the Baseball Furies (using bats) and the Punks (spray cans and chains). Over 30 years have now passed and there are video games, action figures and all kinds of merchandise based on the movie. This all goes to show that The Warriors certainly deserves its status as a cult movie and the fan base is ever growing.