The Warriors (1979) is a classic movie about a New York City street gang from Coney island who go to the Bronx for a multi-gang meeting.
Loads of street gangs attend in order to hear the messianic gang leader Cyrus give a rousing speech about the benefits of joining forces.
However, things quickly turn crazy after Cyrus gets shot while speaking to everyone by someone in the huge crowd packed full of gang members.
In the pandemonium that follows, another vicious gang falsely accuses The Warriors of killing Cyrus.
With all the chaos surrounding them, The Warriors flee and attempt to make their way back to the relative safety of their home turf on Connie Island.
During their dangerous odyssey home, they’re chased and confronted by many tough street gangs out for revenge, which means they have to fight to survive.
If you haven’t seen The Warriors movie, I highly recommend that you stop reading this now. Return when you have. I can assure you that you will never forget this classic movie.
Continue reading if you’ve already seen The Warriors film and want to learn what the movie is really about.
Ancient Greek Warriors are The Warriors
The Warriors movie has a wide variety of Greek mythology, ancient history, and Greek warrior associations. Here are a few of the major influences in The Warriors:
The leader of The Warriors at the beginning of the film goes by the name Cleon, the same name as a famous Greek general.
Ajax is another gang member of The Warriors, who is also a Greek warrior mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. He’s the guy that got chained to the park bench in the movie.
The Achilles Moment in The Warriors
When Achilles, the Greek’s greatest warrior, ended up being killed during the famous Trojan War, there was a big dispute about who should get his armor.
Both Odysseus and Ajax had a contest to obtain Achilles’ armor. Odysseus won it, and Ajax wasn’t happy about it.
The Warriors faced a similar dilemma.
When the leader of The Warriors was presumed dead as a result of the chaos that followed the shooting of Cyrus, two gang members from The Warriors wanted to become the new leader.
In the movie, the dispute was between Swan and Ajax. Yep, same name, same Greek warrior.
In the movie, Swan became the leader of The Warriors, while Ajax wasn’t happy about it at all.
Gangs in The Warriors
One extremely memorable gang in The Warriors movie was the Baseball Furies.
These guys dressed up as baseball players and painted their faces like demons representing the Furies, demons of the Underworld, the ancient spirits of revenge in Greek mythology.
The Lizzies, an all-female gang, represented the Sirens from Greek mythology who lured sailors to their demise.
The Turnbull AC’s gang had a patch on their jacket depicting a steaming bull. It represents the Minotaur, and the subway in the film is a metaphor for the labyrinth.
The Electric Eliminators are a gang that makes a very brief but memorable appearance in the movie.
They can be seen wearing a yellow bomber jacket with a patch on the back displaying a skull with a thunderbolt running through it.
Could it be a reminder of the power of Zeus?
Zeus and The Warriors
In one great scene, Swan throws a symbolic thunderbolt at a car to escape from the gang known as The Orphans.
He doesn’t throw it at the Orphans but chooses to throw it at a nearby car to distract them.
Swan shows them Mercy, which happens to be the name of his soon-to-be girlfriend.
The Orphans decide not to pursue him after witnessing his Zeus-like abilities. They’re awestruck by his power.
Xenophon’s Anabasis and The Warriors
The Warriors movie is also loosely based on the Greek tale from Xenophon’s “Anabasis.”
Xenophon was known as a warrior, writer, and pupil of Socrates.
He became famous for recording details about an ancient Greek battle that he witnessed.
A large army of Greek mercenaries, the 10,000, went to Cyrus the Younger’s aid in an attempt to help him take the Persian throne.
Cyrus was killed though at the battle of Cunaxa in Babylon in 401 Alpha (BC).
Because of a defeat, the Hellenes found themselves stuck deep inside hostile Persian territory.
The Warriors movie even acknowledges the ancient battle at the movie’s beginning in the Ultimate Director’s Cut of The Warriors.
Cyrus, the messianic leader in The Warriors movie, ended up being killed while The Warriors were themselves inside hostile territory.
So, The Warriors had to find their way back into safe territory, similar to the ancient Greek warriors.
After numerous Hellenic leaders were executed, Xenophon became one of the top leaders.
Xenophon then helped lead the 10,000 hoplites in their struggle to make it back into friendly territory.
After they made it back to relative safety, Xenophon heard the famous cry of exultation: “The sea! The sea!”
These details should be enough to convince you that The Warriors has quite a few associations with Greek legend, Ancient History, and Greek mythology.
The Warriors were forced to make their way home after being judged guilty of a crime they didn’t commit.
The Riffs, the biggest gang in New York, represented the Gods of the Underworld in The Warriors film.
They decided the final fate of the Warriors.
Just like in the movie and real life, one can only hope for a good judgment at the very end.
How The Warriors relates to Grease (Greece)
If you have read the secret meaning of the movie Grease, you fully understand how The Warriors forms part of a classic film trilogy.
The three films in the trilogy include Grease (1978), The Warriors (1979), and Xanadu (1980).
You’re probably wondering what anything in The Warriors has to do with the movie, Grease.
Well, the Warriors movie ends with a scene at the beach, while the movie Grease begins with a scene at the beach.
This is one significant relation, even though they’re opposite one another.
By reading section 3 in the secret meaning of the movie Grease, you will better appreciate how The Warriors relates to the movie Xanadu.
It clearly shows you how The Warriors is the key link between all three of these classic movies.
Maybe you need to watch The Warriors again! Just one more time.
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