17 user 23 critic

Wild Style (1983)

Zoro, the city's hottest and most elusive graffiti writer. The actual story of the movie concerns the tension between Zoro's passion for his art and his personal life, particularly his ... See full summary »


Charlie Ahearn


Charlie Ahearn (original concept), Charlie Ahearn | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
'Lee' George Quinones ... Raymond 'Zoro'
Lady Pink Lady Pink ... Rose 'Lady Bug' (as Sandra 'Pink' Fabara)
Fab 5 Freddy ... 'Phade' (as Frederick Braithwaite)
Patti Astor Patti Astor ... Virginia
Andrew Witten Andrew Witten ... Z-Roc (as Zephyr)
Busy Bee Busy Bee ... Chief Rocker
Carlos Morales Carlos Morales ... Hector
Alfredo Valez Alfredo Valez ... Chico
Niva Kislac Niva Kislac ... Niva
Glenn O'Brien Glenn O'Brien ... Museum Curator
Johnny 'Crash' Matos Johnny 'Crash' Matos ... Union Crew
Daze Daze ... Union Crew (as Chris 'Daze' Ellis)
Fred 'Caz' Glover Fred 'Caz' Glover ... Union Crew
Edwin 'Obe' Ortez Edwin 'Obe' Ortez ... Union Crew
Lisa Lee Lisa Lee ... Fly Girl


Zoro, the city's hottest and most elusive graffiti writer. The actual story of the movie concerns the tension between Zoro's passion for his art and his personal life, particularly his strained relationship with fellow artist Rose. But this isn't why one watches Wild Style--this movie is *the* classic hip-hop flick, full of great subway shots, breakdancing, freestyle MCing and rare footage of one of the godfathers of hip-hop, Grandmaster Flash, pulling off an awesome scratch-mix set on a pair of ancient turntables. A must-see for anyone interested in hip-hop music and culture. Written by Leon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Break Dancing Graffiti Rap See more »


Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

4 November 1983 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Estilo salvaje See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wild Style See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The stick-up guys were cast when Charlie Ahearn saw them hanging around the location. Ahearn offered them a prop gun but they insisted on using their real sawed-off shotgun. All of their lines were improvised. See more »


At 6:18 Hector tells Raymond 'Zoro' to take off his do-rag. Then Ray's hair pops back and forth between being flat from the do-rag to a picked out Afro during their conversation. See more »


'Phade': Scooby Doo!
See more »


Referenced in Brown Sugar (2002) See more »


Subway Theme
Composed by Fab 5 Freddy and Chris Stein
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User Reviews

Hip-hop classic!
5 May 1999 | by DocRocSee all my reviews

No true hip-hop head should go without seeing this movie. It is the first and probably the most accurate representation of the early hip-hop scene. IMDB has categorized Wild Style under the genre of documentary. Although the movie has a documentary feel with footage of hip-hop heads in action, it is not a true documentary because it contains a plot line which was scripted.

The plot revolves around the character of Raymond, who is played by the legendary graf artist Lee Quinones. We see what happens to him as his art starts to receive recognition from wealthy art connoisseurs. He has many personal struggles as he deals with this new attention. But it seems that all of his problems are resolved when he is painting a mural for a large hip hop concert and realizes that his art shouldn't always be about him.

There is plenty of footage that represents all four elements of hip hop: the MC, the DJ, the graf artist, and the B-boy. The Double Trouble scene and the basketball rapping scene were recently remade in Sprite commercials (Nas, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, etc.) to appeal to the hip hop crowd. We also see Lee Quinones in action in several scenes as well as footage of Grandmaster Flash. My personal favorite is the footage of a young Rocksteady Crew (Crazy Legs, Prince Ken Swift, Mr. Freeze, Frosty Freeze, etc. I think they're about 14-15?) performing at the concert at the end of the movie. And there are many other memorable scenes.

Although Wild Style is not a true documentary, I think it has preserved the true essence of hip hop during that time for younger people (such as myself) to experience. Truly a must see and a classic.

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