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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Walter Hill
USA 1979

 

In 1979, fresh from directing bare knuckle boxing movie Hard Times and supercool crime thriller The Driver, Walter Hill delivered his third stone cold classic in a row: The Warriors, a slam-bang, visually kinetic action movie that mixed a heightened comic-book sensibility with a timeless tale from ancient Greece and set them loose in the streets of modern America.

In New York the gangs outnumber the cops by 5-1. Together, they could rule the city. Gang-leader Cyrus has a dream to do just that and calls a summit. The gangs of New York gather in their thousands, Cyrus takes the stage. From somewhere in the crowd a shot rings out and Cyrus falls down dead. In the chaos that follows, a small gang from Coney Island – the Warriors – are blamed. Now everyone is out to get them. On foot, in enemy territory, can they make it through the night to get back across the city to the safety of home turf?

For all you boppers out there, for all you street people with an ear for the action… the iconic cult classic is back in a brand new 4K restoration approved by director Walter Hill.

***

Prominent gang leader Cyrus calls a meeting of New York's gangs to set aside their turf wars and take over the city. At the meeting, a rival leader kills Cyrus, but a Coney Island gang called the Warriors is wrongly blamed for Cyrus' death. Before you know it, the cops and every gangbanger in town is hot on the Warriors' trail.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 1st, 1979

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Review: Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime

Theatrical Cut: 1:33:09.917      

Alternate Cut: 1:34:00.509

Video

Theatrical Cut:

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 93,556,798,256 bytes

Feature: 75,534,825,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 93.35 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

Alternate Cut:

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 65,625,116,726 bytes

Feature: 64,926,982,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 84.71 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Theatrical Cut 4K Ultra HD:

Bitrate Alternate Cut 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

Theatrical Cut:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1587 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1587 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby TrueHD/Atmos Audio English 3724 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 3404 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / DN -31dB)
Isolated Score:
DTS-HD Master Audio Undetermined 859 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 859 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -30dB

Alternate Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2023 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2023 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1027 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1027 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

Theatrical Cut:

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 93,556,798,256 bytes

Feature: 75,534,825,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 93.35 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Alternate Cut:

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 65,625,116,726 bytes

Feature: 64,926,982,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 84.71 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

DISC 1: THEATRICAL CUT (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY)

• New commentary by film critic Walter Chaw, author of A Walter Hill Film
• War Stories, a new interview with director Walter Hill (15:47)
• New roundtable discussion in which filmmakers Josh Olson (A History of Violence), Lexi Alexander (Green Street), and Robert D. Kryzkowski (The Man Who Killed Hitler and then Bigfoot) discuss their love of The Warriors and the work of Walter Hill (1:24:12)
• Battling Boundaries, new interview with editor Billy Weber (8:13)
• Gang Style, new interview with costume designer Bobbie Mannix (9:08)
• Armies of the Night, new exclusive look at costume designs and photographs from the archive of designer Bobbie Mannix (5:48)
• Sound of the Streets, new appreciation of composer Barry De Vorzon and the music of The Warriors by film historian Neil Brand (24:33)
• Isolated score option
• Come Out to Play, new look at the iconic locations of the Warriors’ Coney Island home turf (10:08)
• The Beginning, archive extra (2005) looking back on how The Warriors came to be (14:06)
• Battleground, archive extra (2005) in which director Walter Hill and assistant director David O. Sosna look back at the difficulties of shooting on location in New York City (15:23)
• The Way Home, archive extra (2005) on the look of film with director of photography Andrew Laszlo (18:06)
• The Phenomenon, archive extra (15:22)
• Theatrical trailer (1:43)
• Image gallery (8:20)
 

4K Ultra HD disc
DISC 2: 2005 ALTERNATE VERSION (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY)

• Archive introduction by director Walter Hill (1:16)

100-page collector’s book containing new writing by film critic Dennis Cozzalio plus select archival material
Limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Laurie Greasley
Double-sided fold-out poster with original and newly commissioned artwork by Laurie Greasley
6 postcard-sized artcards


4K Ultra HD Release Date: December 19th, 2023

Black 4K Ultra HD Case inside custom box (see below)

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Arrow 4K UHD (December 2023): Arrow have released Walter Hill's 1979 "The Warriors" on 4K UHD. It is an extensive package, offering; "Exclusive new 4K remasters of both the Theatrical Cut and the 2005 Alternate Version of the film sourced from the original camera negative, supervised by Arrow Films and approved by director Walter Hill. 4K Ultra HD (2160p) presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) of both versions of the film. Theatrical Cut presented in original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 for the first time on home video."

The colors are more balanced than the older Paramount Blu-ray, reviewed by Leonard HERE. The 2160P also showcases wonderfully thick and consistent grain texture, colors gain a touch of richness and, overall, the visuals are darker than the 1080P. It remains authentically thick. The Paramount Blu-ray was in the, slightly bastardized, 1.78:1 aspect ratio (we lose a sliver of information) and has some there is some stretching that is corrected by the very stable 4K. The theatrical transfer compares well to the alternate version on a second 4K UHD disc. The former has the highest bitrate I have seen for this format. Flesh tones warm and appear more authentic. Bottom line is that the 2160P image quality is excellent - often as gritty as you might expect from a Walter Hill film and looks far more film-like than any previous digital presentations. Arrow perfection.    

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 50 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages recently: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (software uniformly simulated HDR), Blackhat (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mark of the Devil (software uniformly simulated HDR), Barbarella (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Last Picture Show (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Knew Too Much (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rope (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frenzy (software uniformly simulated HDR), American Graffiti (software uniformly simulated HDR), East End Hustle (software uniformly simulated HDR), Three Days of the Condor (software uniformly simulated HDR), Witness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Fascination (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lips of Blood (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Others (no HDR), It Came From Outer Space (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rosemary's Baby (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Last Wave (no HDR), The Train (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Trial (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Walkabout (software uniformly simulated HDR), Black Magic Rites, The Night of the Hunted (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Rape of the Vampire (software uniformly simulated HDR), Gorgo (software uniformly simulated HDR), Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Man From Hong Kong (software uniformly simulated HDR), One False Move, The Tall T (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cold Eyes of Fear (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rules of the Game (no HDR), The Manchurian Candidate (software uniformly simulated HDR), After Hours, Rain Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Changeling (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Night of the Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR), 12 Angry Men (software uniformly simulated HDR), Branded to Kill (no HDR), Picnic at Hanging Rock (software uniformly simulated HDR), Two Orphan Vampires (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shiver of the Vampires, Drowning By Number (software uniformly simulated HDR), Serpico (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cool Hand Luke (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Seventh Seal (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Maltese Falcon (software uniformly simulated HDR)..

On their 4K UHD, Arrow offer original uncompressed (linear PCM) mono, or DTS-HD stereo 2.0 or Dolby Atmos audio options for the Theatrical Cut... plus stereo 2.0 and DTS-HD MA 5.1 for the 2005 Alternate Version. "The Warriors" is filled with impressive effects beyond the anticipated violence. They can define scenes but remain authentically flat for the purist's option. Barry De Vorzon's (Dillinger, Rolling Thunder, Hard Times, Looker) score suits the milieu - notable is Joe Walsh performing 'In the City". The Dolby Atmos* has impressively separated moments and also supports the film in more subtle ways. Arrow include an isolated score track (DTS-HD 2.0 channel) and it's a lively option. Both discs offer optional English (SDH) subtitles - and is, like all 4K UHD, these are region FREE, playable worldwide.

*NOTE: For Atmos many non-compliant systems will recognizes it as TrueHD 7.1, but from Wikipedia: "Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is not a real-time mix rendered the same way as in cinemas. The substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. This substream only represents a losslessly encoded fully object-based mix. This substream does not include all 128 objects separated. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital channel. Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channel, but it is not an object-based real-time rendering. Filmmakers need to remix and render the TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks with Dolby Media Producer."

There are plentiful extras on the theatrical Cut 4K UHD disc. Firstly we get a new commentary by film critic Walter Chaw, author of the 400-page critical study of Walter Hill’s work entitled A Walter Hill Film. Walter is DVDBeaver-reviewer Colin Zavitz's favorite critic (Film Freak Central and a contributor to The New York Times, Vulture, NPR etc.) - and with good reason. He discusses the tradition of filmmakers like Nicholas Ray, Sam Peckinpah, Howard Hawks and, especially, Robert Aldrich that Walter Hill's cinema echoes. He references specific conversations with the director and many of his machismo oeuvre.

War Stories, a new interview with director Walter Hill running over a 1/4 of an hour.  Included is a 1 1/2 hour roundtable 'Zoom' discussion in which screenwriter Josh Olson (A History of Violence, The Movies That Made Me podcast), and directors Lexi Alexander (Green Street Hooligans), and Robert D. Kryzkowski (one of my favorites; The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot) talk about their love for The Warriors and the work of director Walter Hill. Filmed for Arrow Video in 2023. Battling Boundaries is a new 8-minute interview with editor Billy Weber and Gang Style is new 9-minute interview with costume designer Bobbie Mannix. Armies of the Night is a new 6-minute exclusive look at costume designs and photographs from the archive of designer Mannix. Sound of the Streets is a new 25-minute appreciation of composer Barry De Vorzon and the music of The Warriors by film historian Neil Brand. Come Out to Play is a new 10-minute look at the iconic locations of the Warriors’ Coney Island home turf with modern day footage. The Beginning is one of four archival extras from 2005 looking back on how The Warriors came to be. They (plus Battleground, The Way Home and The Phenomenon with assistant director David O. Sosna, a the look of film with director of photography Andrew Laszlo etc.) run over an hour in total and were on previous digital disc editions. Lastly, on this 4K UHD disc are a theatrical trailer and image gallery.

The second
4K UHD disc (Alternate version) has the same archival introduction by Hill from 2005. No other supplements.

The
4K UHD package has an impressive 100-page collector’s book containing new writing by film critic Dennis Cozzalio plus select archival material, a limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Laurie Greasley, double-sided fold-out poster with original and newly commissioned artwork by Laurie Greasley and 6 postcard-sized artcards (see image above.)

What red-blooded male doesn't love Walter Hill's cinema? (Hard Times, Streets of Fire, Southern Comfort, The Long Riders, The Driver). I was highly impressed with the 2160P image - I didn't think they could do that much with a film of this era and its less-resilient late 70's film stock. But again, this higher resolution and HDR pass have raised the bar significantly when viewing on my system. Notably grittier and still very effectively film-like - fans will cherish this rendering. I hope you have the same impressive reaction to the presentation as I did. Audio? The older Paramount Blu-rays had lossy Dolby ?!? This 4K UHD has original uncompressed mono, lossless stereo and an Atmos, surround, option. A dramatic bump to the viewing experience with significant choices. Before I forget - we get both theatrical and alternate cuts in 2160P!... great commentary, a plethora of extras, 100-page booklet and more! Walter Hill's "The Warriors" is based on Sol Yurick's 1965 novel of the same name, which was, in turn, was based on the most famous work of the Ancient Greek professional soldier and writer, Xenophon's entitled Anabasis. The seven books making up the Anabasis were composed circa 370 BC. Film rights were bought in 1969 by AIP (American International Pictures) but no film, by them, was ever produced. Hill found the narrative simplicity of the script appealing. Sigourney Weaver was considered for a part in "The Warriors" and Orson Welles to narrate / expand upon the Greek themes. Neither partook, but the end result an addictive cult-classic and delivered to us in a fantastic Arrow 4K UHD package. Despite coming out very late in the year (rightly perceived as potentially neglected by pollsters) our Year End Best of 2023 includes this remarkable edition. Very strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

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Alternate Cut 4K Ultra HD

 


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