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The Wanderers (1979)

R  |   |  Drama  |  4 July 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 7,005 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 39 critic

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 »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Friedrich ...
Toni Kalem ...
Jim Youngs ...
Tony Ganios ...
Linda Manz ...
Erland van Lidth ...
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


It's 1963. Meet The Wanderers... They were the hottest guys in town. 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?


Jim Youngs' film debut. See more »


When the Baldies are chasing Joey and Turkey up the middle of the street, a 1970's era General Motors car is seen going across the top of the screen, after the VW Bug. See more »


Voice in the darkness as the Wongs disappear: Don't fuck with the Wongs.
See more »


References Palm Springs Weekend (1963) See more »


Performed by The Chorus and Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra (as Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic of Warsaw)
Courtesy of Phonogram-Mercury, Inc.
Music by Krzysztof Penderecki (uncredited)
See more »

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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.

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