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The Warriors - Banging in the Bronx - Gangland Prophet Powerplay

Updated on September 11, 2014

The director's cut of The Warriors.

On the streets of the Bronx in 70's gangland, there are no good guys, no bad guys, only trying to fight you way back home. There's life and death with precious little in between. Brothers by choice, they are all you have.

Everyone else is an enemy.

Welcome to the original gang banging flick that started a cultural phenomenon or earmarked the plague of gangs to sweep America, depending on how you look at it.

Maybe, it's a chicken and the egg kind of thing. Either way, this fight filled flick got the math right in a big time scary kind of way.

The Warriors


Let us scope on how The Warriors is more than a movie.

It was a societal wake up call. America hit snooze when it came to getting the message.

But, no one was sleeping over the box office turnouts. Between the in your face gangland vibe and the sensational sound track, this film became an overnight cult classic spawning games, art and novelties.

I first saw it back in the day on HBO. I was a teenager, myself. Going gaga doesn't really describe my reaction. While I loved it for all the wrong reasons, thinking the characters were ten kinds of fine and cooler than Kool-aid, I did pick up on the math.

It all comes down to the math.

In the beginning, a gangland meeting had been called in the Bronx. Nine guys from one hundred gangs were to come listen to the leader of the baddest gang in all of New York. Could this be anything other than a recipe for trouble? Seriously?

Well, of course there was trouble. That's not the point, though it was the catalyst for the action of the entire movie. Another point, the one America seemed to miss at the time was what the guy was saying.

He was right.

Various gangs represented in the movie, The Warriors

Enter Cyrus.

Homes was the coolest cat around. Cyrus arranged this not so little parley and was the brains behind it. This guy equaled charisma cubed wrapped around clever cloaked in cool. He pointed out to the baddest of the bad the most simplest of facts. Gang bangers outnumber cops and organized crime in every city.

Now, getting 900 bad to the bone boys together without supervision is never a good idea. That's the teacher in me speaking. The only way it was possible was for all involved parties to call a truce.

Right after announcing what looked to unite New York's gangs into an army, the gangland prophet on a power play gets capped. Truce off. Our nine main characters, the Warriors, have to bop their way back home.

The backcover of the DVD

I can't count how many times I've seen this.  It still gets me every time.
I can't count how many times I've seen this. It still gets me every time. | Source

It doesn't sound too hard.

Maybe, getting through hundreds of other gangs' territories could be done. There's just one problem.

All the gangs have communication via popular radio. By means of a super silky DJ, our warriors are marked as the culprits in the death of Cyrus. It's like a wanted poster on them that everyone actually notices.

Watch as our guys fight their way home. Along the way some fall and others grow. See how they learn and come to question just what it is they are fighting for.

Note the art on the disk itself.

At the time it was released, such "art" was only seen in the larger cities.  Now these displays of gang activity are all over the nation.
At the time it was released, such "art" was only seen in the larger cities. Now these displays of gang activity are all over the nation. | Source

Notes on society and the streets.

While I was a teacher by trade, my first major was behavioral science. From that perspective, I find this movie fascinating. It accurately depicts the camaraderie and danger of the gangland subculture. The push and pull of both at the same time are shown.

Further, from a group perspective, it's terrifying. The main premise Cyrus tries to sell is correct. It's ugly but true. Gangs do out number cops and most other criminals. They are still spreading.

Worse, the gangland culture has been glorified in America to the point children aspire to rise within it. Gone are the days of little guys wanting to be astronauts, cops and President. Largely thanks to this movie and countless ones that followed, they want to be dealers and stealers, predators in a pack out for power at any price.

Main street America missed it.

But, someone didn't. Look around the cities. Do you think maybe someone put some thought into what Cyrus said? I do. Think Bloods and Crypts. These gangs are nationwide. They cooperate. Perhaps, not with each other but the point is a lot of little gangs grew into some great big ones that now are networked across the nation.

They are just as big or bigger than organized crime. They aren't alone. There are some biker type gangs just as large, though more under ground.

Do movies influence societal trends and behaviors or only reflect them?

I contend The Warriors did both. Check it out for some 70's cool, the sweetest sounds, killer gang attire from back in the day, beat downs and action out the yin yang. Think about what Cyrus had to say.

Can you dig it?

The trailer

Check out the trailers and clips from The Warriors.

Released in 1979, this urban street flick based off the book by Sol Yurick was smoking hot in the theaters and on the street. To this day, it still ranks in top gang related movie lists.

Directed by Walter Hill, it featured a rocking soundtrack. With music from Joe Walsh and Barry De Vorzon, The Warriors a great one to get your groove on.

A scene from The Warriors. Here, the warriors are on the run from the baseball furies.

Do you think movies influence society?

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Games, movie art and one sweet soundtrack.

It's off the scale how well the game has done.  I'm not really into gaming that much but you should see the boatload of video clips, tips and tricks for the game on Youtube.  Seems it's pretty popular.

© 2014 Rhonda Lytle

I think movies both reflect and influence society. What do you think? Care to share your thoughts on one you feel has shaped things for the good or the bad?

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    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 3 years ago

      Good review.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @WriterJanis2: Kind of scary to my way of thinking.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      I agree that they can do both.