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From the numerous gangs with their specific outfits and mannerisms, to the way they interacted and the meetings were arranged, was The Warriors an accurate depiction of 1970s gang relations in New York City?

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An article in Slate addresses that question: slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/01/07/… –  Will Feldman May 25 '13 at 2:34
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It only partially addresses it, in my opinion. At one point the author states that "...the movie adaptation was romanticized and sensationalized," then "the movie didn’t lose all connection to reality." There is insufficient detail in that article for me to agree that it fully answers my question. Helpful though! Thank you! –  stevvve May 25 '13 at 16:04
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Most probably not, always seemed quite artificial to me. But interresting question about one of my all-time Walter Hill favourites. –  Sonny Burnett May 25 '13 at 19:11

1 Answer 1

No, it was not.

New York City gangs, like most other street gangs in the United States, are almost exclusively broken down along racial and ethnic lines. The Warriors themselves were a multicultural group, which, given the racism present in New York City in the 1970s is unlikely to have formed organically. Even in present day America, street crime organization safe almost always race/ethnic or neighborhood based, precluding the formation of mixed member gangs.

Females "gangs" as depicted in the film have almost never existed. When females do act as criminals they usually do so alone, as part of a male/female partnership or as part of a small group of non-violent females. Even modern female street and prison gangs are far smaller, less cohesive and far less violent than their male counterparts.

Finally, a "gang truce" would have attracted the attention of the police as that many criminals in a single location would have alerted the police to their presence prior to any such event occurring. Coupled with the fact that most criminal organization have serious issues with informants, any attempt for any group larger in number than the leadership caste of the various gangs meeting would have been a near impossibility without attracting numerous law enforcement organizations for what would d have been mass arrests.

The Warriors is decent entertainment, but only that: ENTERTAINMENT

References:

http://www.thefader.com/2005/10/03/new-york-mythology/

http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/gangs/prison.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-prison-gangs-in-the-us-2013-4

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