Walter Hill, director of The Warriors, talks about creating that classic moment in the 1979 cult movie.
It’s an iconic scene at the conclusion of The Warriors. After being wrongly accused of killing the Gramercy Riff’s gang boss Cyrus, the Warriors have to fight their way though the night to get home to Coney Island, with every gang in New York looking for them.
In hot pursuit are the perpetrators of the crime, the Rogues, headed up by Luther (David Patrick Kelly). After making their own way to Coney Island by car to finish the job, the Rogues find the Warriors and trail them for a final confrontation.
Inside, Luther begins taunting them in an unforgettable sequence where he starts singing, “Warriors, come out to play”. At the same time, he rhythmically clinks together beer bottles on the end of his fingers.
It remains one of the most memorable scenes in the film, and recently director Walter Hill outlined its conception during a podcast with Marc Maron.
“I have to give him (David Kelly Patrick) the credit for that. I said ‘Think of f-king something to say. I don’t care, sing to them if you want, but let them know of your presence and taunt them’,” said Hill.
“Then I went over to the camera we were getting ready for the next shot, and I saw him in the corner of my eye jump out of the car and he ran under the pier where he grabbed some old beer bottles from the trash and ran back into the car,” he continues.
“I’m like, ‘OK, let’s rehearse once more and then we’ll shoot. Action.’ And then he does the clink, clink and I thought, this is what a real director is about. You don’t get in the middle of this, you just shoot it.
“In a way, it’s what directors do; it’s what actors do and he deserves the lion’s share of the credit, but at the same time I created an opportunity, and I was open to something that wasn’t in the script so I give myself 20 per cent on that.”
Check it out here.