Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten Film: The Wanderers

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend. It's back to the regular grind; let's ease into things with this week's Tuesday's Forgotten Film. This week, it's the 1979 urban melodrama The Wanderers.

The movie, based on the 1974 novel by Richard Price and directed by Philip Kaufman, is set in 1963 New York City and focuses on the ethnic teenage gangs that attend a Bronx high school. The titular Wanderers is an Italian gang led by Richie (Ken Wahl), who simultaneously bears the burden of the Wanderers feud with an African-American gang, the defection of one of his members to another rival gang, and his girlfriend's pregnancy. Meanwhile, Richie's friend Joey (John Friedrich) deals with his abusive father while beginning a close friendship with a new arrival to the neighborhood. Things come to a head at a school football game when a common threat challenges friends and enemies alike.

Although I earlier described the film as a melodrama, which it is, the film also has more than a good share of funny and tender moments as well. All of this is set against the backdrop of the times with a fantastic soundtrack comprised of some great early rock 'n' roll tunes. This is one of the first "grown-up" films I've ever seen, and it's held a place in my memory ever since.

Here is your chance to enjoy the film as I do. Here is the trailer, followed by the film in its entirety. Enjoy!

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