[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_warriors_1979_poster.jpg]]

->''"There is such little glory in a poor man's life''\\
''He works for his money, and he takes a wife''\\
''But a poor man's son can be a hero in the night''\\
''With a fist full of anger, and the will to fight."''
-->-- '''Desmond Child''', "Last of an Ancient Breed"

''The Warriors'' is a 1979 crime/action movie, directed by Creator/WalterHill and based on the 1965 novel by Sol Yurick, that tells the story of nine members of a UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity street gang known as the Coney Island Warriors as they fight for survival throughout one very bad night.

The movie starts with the Warriors arriving in the Bronx to attend a summit called by Cyrus, the intelligent and charismatic leader of New York's most powerful street gang. Cyrus makes an ambitious proposal to the assembled delegates of the city's various gangs: if they all unite under his leadership into an army, they can rule New York City and take out the cops, the mob, and anyone else who gets in their way. The gangs all seem eager to unite and make Cyrus's dream a reality -- but in the midst of his speech, Cyrus is shot and killed. The Warriors are framed for Cyrus's murder, and as the police converge on the scene, all of the Warriors (except for their leader, Cleon) manage to escape the frenzy. The remaining Warriors are now faced with a nearly impossible task: They must make their way from literally one end of New York City (the Bronx) to the other (Coney Island) while being hunted by every gang member in the city, the cops, and the people who actually killed Cyrus.

The film and its source material are notable for being very loosely based on Creator/{{Xenophon}}'s ''Literature/{{Anabasis}}''.

Because the film was about street gangs, when it was shown in theatres, it often attracted members of actual street gangs. A number of theatres had extra security on hand after several riots broke out with rival gangs in some cities (most notably, Los Angeles) where it was shown. Ironically enough, there were no reported riots involving the film in New York City.

More than twenty-five years after the film's release, it was used as the basis for [[VideoGame/TheWarriors a video game]] that is generally considered a spectacular aversion of TheProblemWithLicensedGames.

----

!! Tropers! Come out to Plaaaay!

* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Mercy spills an account of her woeful life to Swan while the two are wandering through an empty subway tunnel.
* AdaptationalNameChange: The Warriors were called the Dominators in the original book, but the name change avoids a potential CowboyBebopAtHisComputer issue.
* AllThereInTheScript:
** The second-in-command of the Riffs who takes over when Cyrus is killed is named Masai. This name is not used in the film, however it does appear in the credits.
** According to the movie's source script, the full name of "The Warriors" gang was actually "The Coney Island Warriors". The main gang in this film, it was not the name of the main gang in Sol Yurick's source novel where the main gang was called "The Dominators" aka "The Coney Island Dominators". The element the two gangs had in common was the they were both from Coney Island.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Mercy looks and sounds [[SpicyLatina Puerto Rican]], but the movie never makes this clear. Actress Deborah [[TheVonTropeFamily Van Valkenburgh]] is of Dutch descent, making this possible FakeNationality as well. (Van Valkenburgh was reportedly surprised when she was cast in the film, assuming that the producers wanted the character to be played by "some blonde".)
* AmbiguouslyGay:
** The Lizzies are hinted at being a lesbian gang, due to two members who are seen dancing with each other during the party scene. Their name might be a play on "lezzies", a reference to Lizzie Borden, or maybe even both.
** Rembrandt, a young and fairly meek twink who was recruited to be the gang's "artist", is completely immune to the Lizzie's seductions (and even seems repulsed and disgusted by his friends attraction to them), though it could just be his cautious nature.
* AnnouncerChatter: DJ Lynne Thigpen.
* AntiHero: The heroes of the film are a street gang, who probably do some pretty lousy things when they're not running for their lives. We sympathize with them because they're honorable and unjustly accused. Ajax may not even qualify as an AntiHero, given that he stops to essentially rape a woman for the heck of it [[spoiler: and is promptly arrested]]
* AnyoneCanDie: Out of the nine Warriors at the start of the film, only six of them make it to the end. [[spoiler: Cleon is implied to be killed by the Riffs, Fox is run over by a train, and Ajax gets arrested.]]
* AssShove: Ajax's threat to one of the Baseball Furies:
--> '''Ajax:''' I'll shove that bat up your ass and turn you into a popsicle!
* AuthorAppeal: The Baseball Furies were created due to Creator/WalterHill's love of baseball and Music/{{Kiss}}.
* AxCrazy: Luther, and, to a lesser extent, Ajax.
* BadassCrew: The Warriors. Pound-for-pound, they prove to be one of the toughest gangs in NYC. Nine guys, outnumbered a thousand to one, are chased from Van Cortland to Coney Island. And they do it Crazy Awesome style.
-->'''Masai''': You Warriors are good. Real good.
-->'''Swan''': The best.
* BasedOnATrueStory[=/=]{{Expy}}: story is a version of Creator/{{Xenophon}}'s ''Literature/{{Anabasis}}''
* BatterUp: The Baseball Furies use bats as their signature weapon. The Warriors pick up a few of their bats during their rumble.
* BigApplesauce: New York City's rather fantastical underworld is the setting and subject.
* BigBad: Luther, Cyrus's true killer.
* TheBigRottenApple: New York at night is dominated by violent warring gangs and the police.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Cleon, the black DecoyProtagonist, dies first to make room for the real hero of the film, Swan (whose name even reflects his whiteness).
* BloodKnight: Ajax
* BrooklynRage: New York City is apparently a warzone of brightly-clad boppers out for blood.
* ButtMonkey: The Orphans. A minor street gang so low on the pecking order they didn't even know about Cyrus' event. The entire gang can't even handle eight Warriors walking through their turf.
* ChairmanOfTheBrawl: Used in the skirmish with the Lizzies.
* CombatPragmatist: The Warriors in general qualify, particularly Rembrandt, who uses his spraypaint as mace in the bathroom fight.
* ComeOutComeOutWhereverYouAre: One of the most-quoted scenes of the film is Luther calling out the Warriors to "come out to play" while clinking beer bottles together. This was mostly improvised by the actor. He originally wanted two dead pigeons, but beer bottles are easier to get.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Mercy, (apparently) leaving her self-described [[ReallyGetsAround colorful past]] behind to ally with the Warriors, balks at entering the site of their last subway battle. "I can't go in there, that's the men's room!" Vermin leans out of the door with a perfectly timed and inflected "Are you kidding?!?" and yanks her offscreen like a VaudevilleHook.
* CounterAttack: This seems to be Swan's preferred style of combat. Nearly every single attack he does in the movie is either a counter to someone else attacking him, or disarming a foe.
* CueTheSun: [[spoiler:The Warriors, having reached home and had their name cleared, play on the beach while the sun rises during the credits]].
* DeathBySex:
** While not killed, [[spoiler:Ajax is arrested when he gets rough with a woman he's trying to pick up.]]
** [[spoiler:Three of the Warriors are seduced and then ambushed by the Lizzies, but they all manage to escape. Originally Vermin was supposed to get killed by the Lizzies, but this was changed when the filmmakers were forced to kill Fox instead due to his actor's departure.]]
* DeadpanSnarker / IceQueen: The DJ qualifies throughout, but especially at the end: "Now for that group out there that had such a hard time getting home last night...sorry about that. I guess the only thing we can do is play you a song." The written line can't do justice to the tone.
* DecoyProtagonist: Cleon, the gang's leader, is the first to go. The focus then shifts on Swan, the former second-in-command.
* DirtyCoward:
** Luther, the leader of the Rogues, in spades. He violates the truce and snipes from ambush InTheBack [[spoiler: to kill Cyrus]], then frames the Warriors. He is the only (male) gang member to use a gun in a fight. And his meltdown when the Riffs show up [[spoiler: and reveal they know what he did]] is classic (see below).
** The Orphans are an entire gang of them who immediately scatter and flee as soon as something looks too hard.
* DistractedByTheSexy: [[spoiler:Ajax]]. This also seems to be the Lizzies' tactic of choice.
* DownerEnding: The movie is anything but. However, in the book, Hinton, the Dominators leader, goes home, finds his baby sister neglected because his mother is having sex with some stranger. After feeding her, he goes to the fire escape and sobs, falling asleep on the escape while thumbsucking.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Fox. The character was originally written as the love interest for Mercy, but the actors did not get along. Swan was rewritten as the LoveInterest and Fox gets hit by a subway train halfway through the film. The actor had already quit by the time his death scene was filmed, hence the FakeShemp.
* DumbMuscle: Ajax is only interested in the two Fs.
* EnemyMime: The Baseball Furies paint their faces similar to mimes and never speak. There's also the Hi-Hats, who wear more traditional mime attire and are seen in the background of the gang conference.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: All the action takes place over the course of a single night/morning.
* TheFaceless: All we see of the DJ is her mouth next to the microphone.
* FantasyGunControl: Since this film is very close to UrbanFantasy (as others have noted, it's as realistic a portrayal of NYC street gangs as ''Film/WestSideStory''), it's played with in an odd way. On the way to the conclave, while the truce is on, it makes sense that none of the gangs would pack heat. Afterwards, though, especially with the bounty the Riffs put on the Warriors, it seems odd that no gang uses guns at all, except the Lizzies [[spoiler: and Luther]]. The best explanation seems to be it goes against a [[DoesntLikeGuns code of honor]] for all the male gang members, but women are given a pass.
* FightMagnet: The Warriors fight every gang they come across because they've been framed for murder and refuse to take off their colors when entering rival gangs' territory.
* FingerlessGloves: Ajax sports a pair, almost certainly to cushion his knuckles.
* ForTheEvulz: Luther kills Cyrus and blames it on the Warriors. When asked why, he responds, "No reason. I just like doing things like that."
* GangOfHats: New York's streets are apparently ruled by these. Each gang has a theme, which carries into their dress and behavior. The Orphans dress shabbily and are total wimps. The Turnbull [=ACs=] are a large gang of skinheads. The Baseball Furies never speak, wear facepaint and baseball uniforms, and wield baseball bats. The Lizzies are all female. The Riffs (NYC's most powerful gang) have an Asian martial arts theme. The Hi-Hats (seen briefly in the opening and given a bigger part in the game) dress like street mimes. The Warriors themselves wear red leather vests and Native American accessories. Needless to say, the New York underworld [[UncannyValleyMakeup comes across as very surreal]]. In any case, this movie is definitely one of the {{Trope Codifier}}s.
* GangsterLand: Nearly every character that isn't a cop is a gangbanger.
* GiantMook: One of The Punks is notably taller than anyone else in the film.
* GrandfatherClause: The book that ultimately inspired TheMovie was published in 1965, and in various ways ''The Warriors'' is a 1960s film made about a decade too late. The youthful impulse of the various gangs to seize control of their collective destiny, as well as their naive belief that they can affect sweeping social change through their sheer numbers alone, reflects many of the famous factions of TheSixties, from the Berkeley Free Speech Movement to the various antiwar movements to Black Power. By the time the movie was actually made, American street gangs had generally moved away from political activism and were more concerned with exploiting the then-burgeoning market in illegal drugs. Despite what the film seems to imply, they had started openly using guns by this point. The clause could have been avoided by making the film a period piece, but then Creator/WalterHill would probably not have been able to introduce the various fantastical elements that ultimately define the film.
* GreekChorus: The DJ, in DeadpanSnarker mode.
* AHandfulForAnEye: During the fight with the Punks, Rembrandt sprays paint into the eyes of one his attackers.
* HarmlessVillain: The Orphans weren't even invited to the meeting in the park and lamely try to intimidate the Warriors with newspaper clippings detailing their misdeeds, all while holding weapons like belts and straight razors.
* {{Homage}}: Of course, being based on Greek mythology, the Baseball Furies are The Furies, the Lizzies are the Sirens, and so on.
* HomageShot: Swan's showdown with Luther is a shot-for-shot reference to a scene from ''Yojimbo''.
* IAmSong: "Last of An Ancient Breed" sums up the Warriors' life.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Characters are occasionally seen whacking each other with objects they grab in the middle of a fight. Just before the final showdown, several Warriors rip off a piece of metal or wood from the alley they're standing in. Few guns and blades are actually seen in the movie. In the video game, random items such as beer bottles and bricks come in handy during street fights.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The Lizzies, who [[spoiler:only manage to graze a single Warrior after ambushing them at close range. In the original script, Vermin was supposed to die.]]
* FakeShemp: [[spoiler:The actor who played Fox left during filming, so a stand-in was used when they recorded Fox's death scene.]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Ajax is a real {{Jerkass}} who doesn't seem to get along with anyone. Still, Cowboy has to admit, "He saved my ass back there." After failing to seize power from Swan, he doesn't hold a grudge and brushes it off with a simple, "Aww, fuck!"
* JiveTurkey: The film features a small lexicon of slang terms with somewhat dubious authenticity. To "bop" is to fight, and gang-bangers are called "boppers." To "soldier" means to openly act as a member of a gang, including wearing their gang colors. The words "waste" and "wasted" are almost always used instead of "kill" or "dead." Cyrus's triumphant rallying cry to the assembled gangs is, "Can you dig it? Can you ''dig'' it?"
* LargeHam:
** Cyrus. ''CAN YOU DIG IT??''
** Luther's sneering, unhinged delivery in almost every line.
* LaserGuidedKarma:
** [[spoiler: Luther gets ratted out by his own man, and his murder of Cyrus gets avenged by Cyrus's own gang.]]
** Also, Ajax stops in the park in order to sexually harass a woman [[spoiler: and is promptly arrested by her]].
* LeeroyJenkins: Ajax is the most hotheaded member of the gang and his strategy is always to go on the attack, regardless of the odds. Sometimes it works out for him, sometimes it really doesn't.
* LetsGetDangerous: At least two examples. Cowboy, who comes off as whiny and a little cowardly in earlier scenes, kicks major ass in the subway men's room brawl. And Rembrandt, the smallest and weakest of the crew, punches a guy out in that very same scene.
* LighterAndSofter: The original book is far bleaker. The Coney Island gang is composed of {{Villain Protagonist}}s who murder an innocent man and commit multiple rapes and various acts of vandalism on the way back to their territory. The other gangs are never particularly gunning for them; the fights they get into are primarily instigated by themselves.
* LyricalDissonance: Arnold [=McCuller's=] rather upbeat rendition of "Nowhere To Run" is a naked threat to the Warriors' lives.
* MeaningfulName: Ajax is the DumbMuscle, as was his mythical namesake. Rembrandt is in charge of tagging, making him the gang's "artist." Fox is the gang's scout and quickest member. Snow always stays cool. Swan is calm, dignified, and handsome. Cleon is named after a famous Greek general. Cowboy is never seen without his stetson hat. Cochise is dressed in Native American apparel. Vermin is a criminal. Cyrus's namesake was a powerful king in ''{{Anabasis}}'' who was killed trying to reclaim a Persian empire. Masai is named for the African warrior culture.
* MockingSingSong: "Warriors, come out to play."
* MolotovCocktail: Vermin is correct that "Thirty's a lot more than eight," but a well-thrown flaming wine bottle evens the odds quite nicely against the Orphans -- especially since Swan targets the [[EveryCarIsAPinto combustible car]] the Orphans have gathered around.
* NewOldWest: There are a lot of Western plot elements. The NYPD are the U.S. cavalry, complete with dark blue uniforms (although they're the {{Designated Villain}}s here). Cyrus is Tenskatawa, the famed Shawnee prophet and revolutionary in the early 19th century. The Warriors themselves operate according to a tribal system of government, and they have the whole Native American theme. The film ends with a quick-draw duel.
* NewYorkSubway: Since its the middle of the night, it's basically the only way across town.
* NonActionBigBad: Luther, most notably in the final showdown when Swan challenges him one-on-one and Luther offers to shoot Swan instead.
* OhCrap: ALL the Rogues when the Riffs show up on that Coney Island beach, but especially Luther, who first descends into Wangst with "Nooo... It wasn't us... It was them... The Warriors..." and, finally, [[BigNo "NOOOOOOOOOO!"]].
* OpeningMonologue: Present in the special edition.
* {{Overcrank}}: The Lizzies and Subway bathroom fight scenes combine SlowMotionFall with DramaticShattering (of a chair and a stall door, respectively) to incredible effect.
* PimpDuds: Worn by The Boppers, briefly visible during the gang summit.
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: Ajax accuses his fellow Warriors of "turning faggot" when they want to avoid a fight or not go out and get laid. It's also his favorite insult toward people he doesn't like. While this was far less controversial in The Seventies, it's still used to make him seem abrasive.
* PragmaticAdaptation: To say the film adaptation is loosely based on the Sol Yurick novel is putting it lightly. However, as the author noted in a subsequent reprint of the book, it was highly unlikely that Hollywood would've been able to make a profitable/successful movie based on the [[DarkerAndEdgier original plot and structure of the book]].
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Warriors to a man. The Riffs too, although with more a soldier vibe than warrior.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner:
** Ajax: "I'm gonna shove that bat up your ass and turn you into a Popsicle!"
** Inverted with the Orphans:
*** Orphan Leader - You see what you get Warriors, you see what you get when you mess with The Orphans!
*** Orphan Lieutenant - We’re gonna rain on you Warriors! [[spoiler:The Orphans then get their own asses kicked.]]
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
** Cyrus's rallying cry of "Can you dig it?" gets repeated and emphasized until it fits this trope.
** Masai spits out breathy, "I! Want! Them! Found!" when speaking of the Warriors.
* TheQuincyPunk: The Turnbull [=ACs=] to a degree.
* RealMenWearPink: Swan must be a pretty tough guy to get nicknamed "Swan" and still command respect.
* RecycledInSpace / SettingUpdate: The story is basically [[Literature/{{Anabasis}} Xenophon's March to the Sea]] IN MODERN NEW YORK!
* RollerbladeGood: The leader of The Punks wears roller skates.
* RuleOfCool:
** Most gangs' outfits aren't realistic or practical, but it all fits in with the film's style.
** The leader of the Punks wears roller skates, which looks cool but doesn't seem practical for someone who expects to get into fights.
* SearchingTheStalls: The Punks line up in a bathroom to kick all the stalls open at the same time. The Warriors open the doors first and a brawl ensues.
* ShoutOut: The Baseball Furies' make up was inspired by {{Music/Kiss}}. Their uniforms are based on the [[UsefulNotes/{{Baseball}} New York Yankees]].
* SinisterShades: Masai wears aviators at all times.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: On this particular axis, the film's ideology shifts all over the place. In one sense, ''The Warriors'' is about as anti-progressive and nihilistic as a movie can get: The leaders of modern society are full of it, but the unwashed masses have been so barbarized by their mistreatment that if they ever did take over, [[FullCircleRevolution they'd just become the same sort of hypocritical oppressors that have always been]]. ("We could tax the crime syndicates and the police! Nothing would move without us allowing it to happen!") On the other hand, the film demonstrates that [[VillainousValor even cheap thugs can have a sense of honor]], and if they're for real, they will certainly not tolerate anyone violating their [[BlueAndOrangeMorality particular moral code]].
* SoundtrackDissonance: Joe Walsh's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUAacbCcouA In The City]]" over the closing credits. That said, it seems to fit in with Swan's line "This is what we fought all night to get back to? Maybe I'll just take off."
* SternChase: For most of the film, the gang doesn't know specifically that all the gangs are hunting them because the Riffs have a bounty on them. However, from the immediate aftermath of the big conclave, they do know that, as Cochise puts it, "Every cop in this city’s lookin’ to bust our heads." They also realize that the truce may not still be on. Their encounter with the Turnbull A.C.s confirms it isn't.
* SubvertedInnocence: A fairly common motif here. The Warriors' hideout is an old, abandoned section of a Coney Island AmusementPark. Cyrus addresses his congregation from atop what appears to be a crude jungle gym. The Turnbull A.C.'s run down their prey in a graffiti-strewn school bus. The Furies have a baseball theme. The Punks wear overalls and their leader wears roller skates. And then, there's a gang known as "The Orphans." It's suggested a few times that the Warriors are supposed to be teenagers.
* TakeThat: Sol Yurick wrote it as a rebuttal to ''Theatre/WestSideStory'''s romanticized view of street gangs due to [[WriteWhatYouKnow his time working in the New York City Welfare Office]].
* TheThemeParkVersion: Played straight and averted. Especially by today's standards, the film offers a somewhat cartoonish vision of gang life in New York, with gangs wearing elaborate costumes and getting up-to-the-minute coverage on rumbles from the local radio station. However, the film is also rather brutal, with a number of characters getting killed. One particular scene, in which the surviving members of the gang are contrasted to some suburbanites coming from prom, emphasizes the relative grittiness of the setting. The film became infamous when real gang members attended showings and got into fatal fights.
* TokenEvilTeammate: Ajax is hardcore even by the gang's standards. He's pugnacious with the other Warriors and he dooms himself by trying to force himself on a random woman.
* TooDumbToLive:
** Ajax, [[spoiler: He decides to break away from the group to score with a lone woman in the park, despite the others' warnings over how stupid the idea is. He gets arrested when she summons the police]].
** Could also be applied to Vermin and Cochise when they meet the Lizzies. Granted, they don't know everyone is gunning for them yet, but they don't seem the least bit suspicious when this female gang they meet on the street is really really friendly. Vermin initially questions how they even know about the Warriors, but then immediately chalks it up to their hardcore reputation. True to the trope, the original version of the scene had Vermin getting killed.
* TrappedBehindEnemyLines: The Warriors are far from their turf and must get through miles of enemy turf to get home.
* TravelMontage: The movie opens with The Warriors going to the big meeting in one of these.
* WalkingShirtlessScene:
** The Warriors' outfit includes a vest worn open, exposing their manly chests in the New York heat. Strangely, Ajax wears a black tank-top beneath his vest in spite of having the best physique. Cowboy wears a plain t-shirt and his vest over it, and Fox is the only one to wear his vest buttoned up.
** Masai wears his sequined black gi open to expose his muscular chest.
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: This is basically Cyrus' message at the Bronx summit.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** We never do find out to whom Luther was speaking during those phone conversations. It might be the DJ, seeing as how she's getting constant updates. Whoever it is, it has to be someone Luther knows very well ("Yeah, take care of yourself") and who is relatively unacquainted with the gang scene but still knows the lingo ("This guy, Cyrus... had an... [[NeverSayDie "accident"]]).
** Because of the time frame of the film, we never find out what become of Ajax after getting arrested. We also never find out exactly what happens to Cleon, although our last glimpse of him certainly implies he was beaten to death.
* WhiteGangBangers: The New York of this film plays host to the most [[EqualOpportunityEvil ethnically diverse gangs]] yet seen; while everyone is [[{{Jerkass}} extremely misogynistic and violent]], nobody is racist and race is never once mentioned. The Warriors gang is roughly half-black half-white with one Hispanic character. On the DVD, the director admits that he bowed to [[ExecutiveMeddling executive pressure]] to cast some white actors. The other gangs are generally homogeneous, although often they have one white/black/Asian gang member present. Even the apparently all-black Riffs can be seen to include a white member or two in the background of some scenes, possibly due to a limited supply of black extras.
* WouldHitAGirl: Vermin, Cochise, and Rembrandt beat the crap out of the all-female Lizzies. To be fair, they are being shot at.
* YeahShot: A relatively restrained example, with [[spoiler:Swan, Mercy, Vermin, Cowboy, Snow, Cochise, and Rembrandt]] [[RidingIntoTheSunset walking off into the sunrise]] just after the end credits. If you look closely, you can see (far off in the distance) [[spoiler:Swan and Mercy]] raise their hands in a "Yeah!" gesture just before the fade to black.

----

"''WHO are The Warriors?!? I want ALL the Warriors! Send the word!''...."

----