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The Wanderers (1979)

R | | Drama | 4 July 1979 (USA)
2:18 | Trailer

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Set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York's gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers. Slight comedy, slight High School angst ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Friedrich ...
Toni Kalem ...
Jim Youngs ...
Tony Ganios ...
Linda Manz ...
Terror (as Erland Van Lidth De Jeude)
Dolph Sweet ...
Chubby Galasso
Burtt Harris ...
Marine Recruiter
Samm-Art Williams ...


Set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York's gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers. Slight comedy, slight High School angst and every bit entertaining with its classic 1950's Rock n' Roll soundtrack such as "Walk Like a Man", "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons and "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels. Focusing around a football game where the different gangs play with and against each other, then at its grand finale, come together in a mass of union to defend their honour and their turf. Nostalgic stuff and above all a Rock n' Roll retrospective on a grand musical era. Timeless. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The magic, the music, the mystery of growing up. See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los pandilleros  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "elbow-tit" scene, where Ken Wahl first meets Karen Allen, was shot on Lydig Avenue, one block south of Pelham Parkway, outside of the actual Wanderers' turf, which ranged from Allerton to Burke Avenues. See more »


The Holy Mass/Holy Communion scene with the Duckies has several factual mistakes. First, before Vatican Council II in the late 1960's, evening Masses were extremely rare, usually taking place only at the Easter and Christmas Vigil Masses. In the movie, 25 candles are burning. At most 7 candles would be lit on or near the altar during the celebration of the Mass. The priest is throwing the host into the recipients' mouths when in real life he would have been gently placing them on their tongues. The movie includes a potato chip crunch sound. Being made only of wheat and water the hosts are silent when chewed. Finally when the one Duckie goes to investigate the screams of Turkey, he genuflects towards the altar on his left knee. In reality one always genuflects on their right knee. The people responsible for this should have done a better job. See more »


Turkey: Hey, look listen to me, I call my friends in the Baldies.
[small scuffle]
Turkey: NO, those Guys Like Me! If we call'em I think they'll come in with us. With them in, you know, it's all over.
Richie: Listen, I ain't callin' those guys Turkey, I got my pride.
Buddy: Yeah, sometimes all you got is pride. You got to hold your head up high. You know, I seen this movie once where this guy was being tortured by the Japs. But he wouldn't give them any information. Every time they tortured him, he started singing the Star ...
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References Palm Springs Weekend (1963) See more »


Performed by The Champs
Courtesy of 4-Star Music
Written by Chuck Río (uncredited)
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User Reviews

How come this hasn't become a classic?
7 December 2000 | by (Dobbs Ferry, NY) – See all my reviews

One of the greatest scenes ever put on film is in this movie: Ken Wahl, about to get married, facing the transition between youth and responsibility, peers through a window at the action at Gerdes' Folk City in Greenwich Village, where, he dimly senses, there's a whole new world beyond his comprehension...it's pure gold, like most everything in this movie. I don't recall rock'n'roll songs ever being put to better or more appropriate use in a sound track. I don't recall a movie ever shifting more seamlessly, effortlessly, from gritty naturalism to bizarro impressionism and back. The cast is great! Whatever happened to some of these actors? There really was a Fordham Baldies, and I grew up not far from the old Alexander's in the Bronx, so I can't pretend to objectivity. For me, this is rather like a New York version of American Graffiti; it creates a world that I feel at home in, even if I never was a gang member and we left the Bronx when I was eight. By the way, the adaptation from Richard Price's book is, I think, remarkable. The book is a series of thematically linked stories that become a single organic story in the film. And I can't blame Ken Wahl--or his character--from being besotted by Karen Allen. Personally, I'd have gone right into Gerdes and flung myself at her feet. Oh yeah, the late Dolph Sweet is superb here.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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