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Reviews & Ratings for
The Wanderers More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wanderers vs American Graffiti

Author: SandyBeach46 from Sacramento, CA
2 December 2008

I was born and raised in California. I love the Wanderers for the many characters. It was great to see a different take on life in the sixties from mine. I can't believe I didn't know about this movie before. I love American Graffiti too. Just two different life styles of movies. I think all the actors did a good job. You have to cut some of them some slack since they had never acted before. I certainly have seen worse. To say that the Wanderers was the real American Graffiti. I don't think is correct. Just a different way of growing up. I don't think any of the big cities in CA have the same vibe as the inter-city feel of either the Bronx or any of the other Burroughs. All of the cities here are spread out. You know huge land mass. We didn't have the separation of kids by ethnicity. We were all civil to each other. There were some cliques. The jocks, cheerleaders vs the geeks and regular people. No clubs or gangs in my school. Maybe the big cities had some. Since I have never been NY, I have to assume Richard Prices memories are correct. Just as George Lucas is correct of his teen years. I lived it, the same time period just as he depicted in his movie. CA was and still is a car culture. You had status based on your car, whoever had the coolest one was top dog. Everyone had to have a car to drive, even if it was your parents. We were always on the move. We had the parties just as they did, and listened to the same music, did the same dances. We didn't dress up for parties like in the movie. We were more laid back. School dress wasn't all that different either. I still love the music from that time. A huge Dion fan, always was always will be. We are as much the same as we are different. To reflect back it does seem like it was the best of times. Sometimes wish I could go back, it was great!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely perfect tale of early 60s Bronx gangland

Author: TheMarquisDeSuave from Worcester, MA
10 June 2008

While "The Wanderers" is hardly an accurate depiction of gang warfare, that hardly matters. Its one of the most entertaining and powerful coming-of-age dramas I've ever seen. The hyper-stylized direction vividly brings the characters and period detail to life. The film is wonderfully evocative of early 60s Bronx and rich with atmosphere. The soundtrack of classic oldies gives the film its extra push. Fortunately, this is no case of style over substance. The characters are all drawn out, and while the screenplay is admittedly manipulative and hardly realistic, this doesn't really matter with a cast of characters this memorable. There's a certain depth to the manner in which the gangs realize they're becoming a thing of the past entirely.

The direction by Philip Kaufman is, as mentioned above, fantastic and great at telling the story. The acting, by the cast comprised of mostly familiar faces or unknowns, is great as well. It really makes one miss the 70s when a film didn't need a wide array of established stars, just great character acting. However, the lack of stars may have contributed to the films meager success. Another factor was the release of another similarly titled gang picture the same year "The Warriors". While "The Warriors" is an enjoyable cult flick, "The Wanderers" is easily superior to it in every way. Its a much more seriously minded picture and would hardly cause actual violence like "The Warriors" allegedly did. Its still unfortunately overlooked, but as far as I'm concerned, its portrayal of this changing period in America is at least five times better and more poignant than "American Graffiti". A masterpiece! (10/10)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Hidden Gem of 1979 - A True Classic

Author: (themonster2000) from United States
20 July 2007

This movie is special. It has a great flow, a great story, and captures the essence of the early 60's in NY as the times change. The acting is spontaneous, and the music has to be one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a movie. Not just because the songs are good, but how they help tell the story. They come in at the right time, and give goosebumps throughout.

Two of the best scenes in the movie ---- absolute chills down the spine ---- when the women are crying on the street for Kennedy, and the song "Stand By Me" (Ben E. King), provides an indication that there is a shift at that moment in culture. The Wanderers days are numbered. The other scene is the poker game with the girls. Ken Wahl and Karen Allen are priceless, and the song "Baby it's you" is unbelievable.

If you like a little history, some classic songs, and a really good story, mixed with good writing and great acting, this movie is a absolute must see. A Classic. One of my favorite movies of all time.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent drama

Author: Wayne Malin ( from United States
16 March 2007

Story takes place in 1963 in the Bronx NY area. It deals with a gang of kids called the Wanderers and their coming of age. It focuses primarily on Perry, Joey (John Friedrich) and Richie (Ken Wahl). Richard Price's novel was a short but horrifying view of that place and era. The movie retains the names of the characters but lightens the tone completely. There's multiple stories going on and the movie is full of incredible sequences.

Highlights include: a classroom "discussion" about race; the Wanderers marching down an alley to the title tune; the Baldies revenge on Joey and Richie; a small role for the then unknown Olympia Dukakis; a game of "elbow tit"; Karen Allen's introduction; a trip to Ducky Boys territory; a memorable party and football game; JFK's assassination and a violent rumble.

All the acting is great but Wahl and Allen stand out. There's exceptional direction by Philip Kaufman and excellent use of period music.Also nice to see Linda Manz and author Richard Price have small roles. Also noted comic book artist Neal Adams did the Wanderers poster at the football game. Some people should be warned--the violence is infrequent but strong and there's tons of swearing and racial slurs.

I've seen this movie multiple times and every single time I find it fascinating. The direction, music, acting and stories just pull you right in. This movie never hit it big because of lousy distribution back in 1979 and the violence caused by another gang picture "The Warriors" limited its release. I remember theatres in Boston MA refused to play it! Still it has attained a deserved cult attention over the years. Just fantastic. A definite must-see!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A solid film.

Author: rhinokev from Newark, Delaware
19 May 2002

Fine performances by all in this story about growing up, social alienation, belonging, and reaching across lines of prejudice in the Bronx in 1963. The rapidly changing social climate is nicely addressed as a subtext to a plot line that could have easily been dragged into hyperbole, or worse, melodrama. Thankfully, this film is a warts-and-all, brutally honest narrative with hard-hitting performances and gritty, street-level direction and cinematography. Guaranteed to keep a person from channel-surfing - provided that person has an appreciation for solid film-making.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Don't f#ck with the Wongs!

Author: theirishwhip from Montreal, Canada
31 March 2002

While in Mexico, this film popped up on the dish. I've gotta say, I was captivated by this odd little film. There's no telling why this film was made however I did appreciate it's randomness. I'd recommend this film to any teens that want 'Greese' with a little attitude.

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Author: PartialMovieViewer from United States
11 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this flick when it first came out. I loved it then and love it now. There was a whole bunch of these kinds of 50's – 60's nostalgic movies that were pumped out during the 70's. Some were almost depressing (like, 'The Lords of Flatbush') and others were too over-the-top (like, 'The Warriors,)- but the most fun, had to be this flick. What can I say? Take a spot of 'Grease'; add a splash of 'Wise Guys'; a sprinkle of 'Good Fellas'; and mix it all together with 'Friday Night Lights' and maybe flavor it with a little bit of 'Dazed and Confused'– and there you have it – 'The Wanderers'. I would highly recommend this movie for people who want to kick back, relax and just enjoy a movie about, 'The Times - Yes they are-a-Changing.' This movie's sudden era shift covers a painful transition for some and transcendence of enlightenment for others. The 50's 'greasers' to the 60's hippies transition is a sad reminder that we can never re- live our past, no matter how much we want to. A tasty bit of cinematographic candy...enjoy it...but may devour it. Or not...

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A Throwback to Halycon summer days

Author: Wrapper30 from United Kingdom
12 January 2011

I love this film. I remember this was one of the first videos I hired in the early 80's and loved it initially as a teenager for the fighting, humour and great soundtrack. I revisit it a couple of times a year and it grows on more even more and you realise there is a lot more to it. Turkey's death is more and more harrowing and most of the guys fight and play (american) football to escape from poverty and abusive parents. I am quite surprised that other than Karen Allen and Ken Wahl, none of the leads really went on to bigger and better things as there are some fine performances in this. I much prefer it to the better known "The Warriors".

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Books & rockabilly

Author: serkets from Paris, France
9 June 2006

Hi, You all have talked about the book where the film comes from but, I did not understand its name.One comment on it ?

You don't even really speech on the film's music whereas Dion's song gives his name to the film. Are the fan of it fan of 50's music too ? I remember they sang doowop in their car, danced on girls band's pop...the black gang heard soul music for the competition...

Is a soundtrack available in USA ? In France few people know the film and it sold with the name "les seigneurs" (the lords).

If someone could answer to a new great fan of gangs films, I would be very glad. Thanks

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A Highly Underrated Movie

Author: dsnyder1 from United States
9 February 2006

One of the most underrated movies of all time.Sort of an inner-city American Graffiti,showing the rapid changes the world was going through in 1963.As with The Hollywood Knights,one of my biggest disappointments was no "where are they now"sequence at the end such as with American Graffiti.Ken Wahl gave an excellent debut performance as Richie,the other actors were also very good.The music was some of the best from the era.The surrealistic turn taken with appearances of the Ducky Boys gave an implication of the emergence of the coming drug culture.Whoever played Bob Dylan in that shadowy sequence looked a lot like him,& had his mannerisms down pat.I have always wondered if he was singing or lip-synching.

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