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It's been 40 years since "The Warriors" hit theaters and offered moviegoers and haunting look at a New York City overrun by flamboyant gangs. The city has changed a lot since then, but the film hasn't lost its appeal. Here are some interesting facts you might not know about this cult classic.

1. The film is based on the book by author Sol Yurick, which itself was inspired by an ancient Greek epic called "Anabasis." That story chronicles the journey of 10,000 Greek mercenaries stranded in Persian territory.

2. Yurick has said that he wrote "The Warriors" specifically to counteract the romanticized portrayal of street gangs in "West Side Story." That didn't stop film critics like Gene Siskel from attacking the movie for similar reasons.

United Artists

3. Actor Thomas G. Waites was fired after eight weeks of shooting due to repeated conflicts with director Walter Hill. The script was then rewritten so that Waites' character Fox is killed during a confrontation with a police officer.

4. Fox was also originally intended to be the love interest for Deborah Van Valkenburgh's Mercy. Instead, Michael Beck's Swan became Mercy's love interest after it was decided that Van Valkenbergh and Beck had better chemistry.


5. The film is actually intended to take place in a near future version of New York. Hill wanted to open with a subtitle reading, "Sometime in the future...", but Paramount shot down the idea for fear of inviting comparisons to "Star Wars."

6. Much of the film was shot on location in New York, which resulted in run-ins between the film crew and real-life street gangs. Members of a gang called The Mongrels were hired to help provide security.

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7. The movie's production timetable had to be accelerated in order to get "The Warriors" into theaters before the release of another gang-themed movie, "The Wanderers."

8. Hill wanted the film to include comic book-inspired scene transitions, but was unable to add them due to budget and time concerns. They were eventually added in the 2005 "Ultimate Director's Cut" version.

Paramount Home Video

9. The Ultimate Director's Cut version also includes new intro narration voiced by Hill. Originally, Hill had wanted acclaimed director Orson Welles to voice that segment.

10. "The Warriors" was a box office hit initially, but it lost its momentum after concerns over gang violence prompted Paramount to pull the film from many theaters.

11. The look of the Baseball Furies gang was inspired by Hill's love of baseball and the band KISS.

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12. The scene of Luther clinking together bottles and calling, "Warriors, come out to play-ay!!!" may well be the most iconic moment of the film, and it was improvised by actor David Patrick Kelly.

13. Rockstar Games released a video game version of "The Warriors" in 2005. The game serves as both a prequel to and an adaptation of the film, and features several of the original actors reprising their roles.