Productions like The Warriors will never cease to amaze me: they were hits when launched, but they soon faded away. No buzz around them, except for the occasional references made in other movies, suggestions in music videos and lyrics. A game is, perhaps, released, meaning to revive the theme, the subject, the characters.
This is, to the letter, the case with The Warriors. It is that kind of production that is gradually buried under the increasing number of box-office hits, but has the strength to haunt pop culture and emerge, at times, from its indistinctness.
In my opinion, there is something timeless about The Warriors that makes it so worthy of being referenced in other productions (in its case, mostly hip hop hits). If I were to put my finger on it, I would say it is the dynamics of the underworld as key players understand to make the law.
The fact at one point there is a consensus, an agreement to sit and talk is amazing in itself: diplomacy is not known to be the way gangs solve their issues. Of course nothing good comes out of it, but the initiative remains. And it is worth reflecting on.
I like to think what happens in the underworld of New York, as depicted in The Warriors, is, at a smaller scale, the way society evolved in general. I don’t believe diplomacy was the province of men in the days of old. And history shows that betrayals, accidents or whatever unpredicted circumstances often occurred when the context for peaceful treaties were set in detail.
Now, returning to The Warriors, the existence of an underworld is not shocking at all. It would, if the official law enforcement were spotless. But we all know better or, at least, we can suspect. Naturally, antagonists rise and claim their rights in the ways they know best.
Codes of honor have always been abided by amongst the outlaws. Cyrus, the Gramercy Riffs, The Warriors themselves are not symptomatic of what is wrong with society. The existence of an underworld is a reaction to whatever is already festering within the status quo. And their morals are not to be rejected simply because they oppose the official conventions.