The Warriors (1979) - Ultimate Director's Cut

Genre(s): Crime / Drama
Paramount || R - 93 minutes - $14.98 || October 4, 2005
Reviewer: Elyusha Vafaeisefat || Posted On: 2005-10-13


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Walter Hill
Writer(s): Sol Yurick (novel), David Shaber (screenplay) and Walter Hill (screenplay)
Cast: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler, David Harris


Theatrical Release Date: February 9, 1979


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Introduction by Walter Hill
  • 4 Production Featurettes
  • Deleted Scene
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

The Warriors has been a cult favorite ever since its release back in 1979. Most people probably even know the line “Can You Dig It?” without having even seen the film, so its no wonder why this DVD was put together. A barebones edition of this film was released a few years back, but the huge fan base of the film wanted more and Paramount delivered an “Ultimate Director’s Cut” of the film.

The film itself is very entertaining to watch. The plot is simple and easy to follow. Loosely based on an old Greek tale, the film begins with the gangs of New York coming together for a meeting where Cyrus, another gang leader, wants to unite all the New York gangs to make one ultimate gang. While Cyrus is making his big speech, he is assassinated by another gang, but The Warriors get framed for it. So The Warriors must make their way back to their home on Coney Island, but other gangs who want them dead are in their way.

As I mentioned before, the film is very entertaining. Many of the scenes are over the top, but director Walter Hill does a great job in making it believable in the world of the story. The film is also very stylistic with the many different gangs they encounter throughout the film as well as the music and overall look of the film.

The director’s cut has some good additions to the film. I hadn’t seen the film in a while, so I don’t remember what the original film was like entirely, but there were some notable additions to the film. The most obvious addition to the film is the comic book transitions from scene to scene. While the film isn’t based on a comic book, I still think it adds a nice touch to the film. Director Walter Hill even mentions that he always felt the film had a comic book feel to it. The film also includes an opening portion that parallels the story with the old Greek legend.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only real extra on the DVD is the 4 part documentary (which runs about 1 hour in total) on the pre and post production as well as the cult success of the film. Director Walter Hill as well as cast members Michael Beck, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly, and Deborah Van Valkenburgh also make appearances during the documentary.

The first featurette is “The Beginning,” and it runs just about 15 minutes. Director Walter Hill and the producers of the film discuss the origins of the film and what attracted them to the role. Hill talks about how he wanted to use unknown actors to give the film a more realistic “gang look.” Hill also discusses difficulties in making the film he wanted to make it, as opposed to the studios version.

The second featurette is “Battleground,” which discusses the casting of the main characters in the film as well as the crew finding the right locations for the film. They also discuss how they had to alter the story because actors Michael Beck and Deborah Van Valkenburgh had more on screen chemistry than the original actor who was supposed be her love interest. This featurette runs about 15 minutes.

“The Way Home” is the third featurette. It runs about 18 minutes and discusses more in depth about the actual production of the film. The crew discusses how they came up with the look of the film. Director of Photography Andrew Laszlo talks about how he had to hide cheap drugstore lights in the trees to add more light to the film. Stunt Coordinator Craig Baxley also talks about how he choreographed the fight scenes in the film. Actor James Remar also discusses how he improvised the famous “popsicle” line.

The last segment runs about 15 minutes and is called “The Phenomenon.” As the title suggests, the cast and crew discusses the unexpected success of the film and how it is still talked about today. The influence of the film on other filmmakers is also talked about. The actors discuss how the films success opened many doors for them, but unfortunately, none of the actors in the film really had much success after this film.

The DVD also includes a short introduction to the film by director Walter Hill, an original theatrical trailer as well as some other previews, including the trailer for the upcoming video game version of “The Warriors.”



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The audio and video for this edition of the DVD is actually very good for a film that is 26 years old. The video transfer is beautiful, which really brings out the visual look of the film. The unique looks of the gang and the New York City nightlife looks great on this transfer. The audio transfer is equally as good. The sound is clear and very effective throughout the film.



.::OVERALL::.

Overall, I must say that Paramount has put together a very solid DVD package of the film. The featurettes are very in depth and discuss many aspects in the making of the film. It was nice to see that many of the main characters from the film were willing to come back and discuss their experiences in making the film. The director’s cut is also worth watching because the few, but still very cool, additions to the film. I thought the comic book transitions gave the film a great look, however some of the huge fans of the film may find them distracting. The only thing I would have liked to see added was a commentary by the cast or even the crew. In the end, I think the big fans of the film will enjoy this edition of the DVD. I don’t think a better edition of this film will be released (although they did show some deleted scenes during the featurettes which were not included), so I would definitely recommend this DVD to those who enjoyed the film.