The year 1979 saw an epidemic of American street-gang films, including Phil Kaufman's hit period drama The Wanderers. Set in the Bronx in 1963, the film concerns the titular gang of Italian-American teens and their ongoing power struggle with the rival "Fordham Baldies." Richard Price, upon whose novel this film was based, drew from his own experiences to weave his tale. Essentially a series of anecdotes-some tension-filled, some amusing -- The Wanderers climaxes on the occasion of the J.F.K. assassination, which for Price and hundreds and thousands of his aimless contemporaries served as a wake-up call. Viewed from the vantage point of the 1990s, one would wish that the current street gangs be shocked into adulthood with such suddenness (though not through the same tragic means). Ken Wahl, Karen Allen, and Linda Manz are among the standout performers in this richly detailed period piece. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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I remember when I saw this movie for the first time, I even repeat some of my favorite lines every now and then some 20 years later, "Leave the kid alone." This movie invokes all that was great about NY in the 50-60's. My father grew up on these same Bronx streets and had a personal understanding with the real Fordham Baldies, he didn't bother them and they didn't bother him (he was 6'3 and 250 lbs.)! It is because of this movie that I fell in love with Dion and the Belmonts, hell.....when I was 16 in Boca Raton, Florida I even dated his daughter! Watch this movie, I promise you it will be a fun ride! Also check "The Warriors" if you like this one.