The 1979 movie The Warriors has defied all manner of cinema critics over the years to become a cult classic despite being eviscerated by the mainstream reviewers over the years. Roger Ebert whose cinematic knowledge easily outstrips that of most other reviewers in the business and whose instinct with regards to the cinema is almost flawless detests The Warriors. To Ebert this “set piece” is a stylized male ballet of violence which is so stilted and filled with unbelievable situations that it is of little to no merit as a film.
While I understand Roger Ebert’s view of the movie as an intellectual exercise it doesn’t erase the excitement of the 16 year old me in the first row of the cinema having sneaked into the R rated movie and reveling in the story of The Warriors. Set pieces are part of the tradition of story telling since we started story telling. Based on the Battle of Cunaxa in which Cyrus (head of the Grammercy Riffs) organized Greek mercenaries under Clearchus (Cleon in the movie). When Cyrus and Clearchus are slain the Greeks retreated back home in what is known as the Retreat of the Ten Thousand. As a teenager I really enjoyed this movie and as an adult I can honestly say it stands up as just as enjoyable as it was when I first saw it.
This DVD release of the Ultimate Director’s Cut of The Warriors is an absolute must have for any fan of The Warriors. If anything this cut adds to the cult status of the movie by allowing Walter Hill the possibility to expand on the story without altering the essence of it. This release is not about leaving more on the cutting room floor or adding in deleted scenes it is about creating a more complete feel for the piece. With the exception of the new comic book cuts and the opening sequence about the Battle of Cunaxa there is nothing else new in this DVD of The Warriors which is just how it should be.