The Wanderers

1979

Action / Drama

18
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 87%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 7971

Synopsis


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October 03, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Director

Cast

Karen Allen as Nina
Wayne Knight as Waiter
Olympia Dukakis as Joey's Mom
Ken Wahl as Richie
720p
864.17 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
P/S 1 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pfgleeson 10 / 10

One of my personal "cult classics"

A memorable film about a "club" of Italian-American teenagers in The Bronx of 1963. (Today we'd call them a "gang," but if you compare the "Wanderers" to today's "Bloods", "Gangster Disciples", etc., those l963 kids were relative sissies.)

The movie is unpretentious, Its structure, pace, and acting are outstanding, with special kudos for the renditions of various neighborhood "characters" by largely unknown players. (Karen Allen, Ken Wahl, and Olympia Dukakis went on to later fame, but I don't think they were well-known in 1979). Not since "Marty" has a film captured the essence of so many day-to-day denizens of its neighborhood.

The settings are authentic (I lived two blocks away from the hangout of the fictional "Fordham Baldies" in 1963), as is the soundtrack, featuring Dion & The Belmonts, The Ventures, and others. Try it!

Reviewed by Larry B. 8 / 10

Screenplay Notes - Part 1

Interestingly enough, most of the gangs portrayed in the film were neither symbolic nor imaginary, but were based on various real gangs who existed at different periods throughout the fifties and early sixties.

Many of these gangs were not real gangs in the common theatrical sense, but were specific ethnic groups of teens from different Bronx and Manhattan neighborhoods. Of course, each group developed its own mythical idea of what the other groups were like, and in his novel, Richard Price used much of this teenage myth and lore.

Of all the well-embellished epics common to the teens in the Wanderers' neighborhood , those dealing with the Duckies were the most detailed and commonly accepted. The Duckies, whether or not they were truly an organized group with such a name, were "the guys across the tracks", insofar as The Wanderers were concerned (the tracks being the NY Central's Harlem Line). They lived in the predominantly Irish neighborhood directly across Bronx Park. I believe their frightening, near demonic quality in the movie was based on a single actual event when two of the Wanderers were actually attacked in the park. Since The Wanderers had never really engaged in any real "gang wars" (or any significant fighting for that matter), that particular episode was the source of most of their perceptions of the Duckie Boys' penchant for unbridled violence.

Reviewed by Robert Hirschfeld ([email protected]) 5 / 10

How come this hasn't become a classic?


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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