Most Controversial Films
The 100+ Most Controversial
Films of All-Time


Written by Tim Dirks

The 100+ Most Controversial Films of All-Time
Movie Title Screen
Film Title/Year, Director

Caligula (1979, It./US)
D. Tinto Brass

Variety dubbed this hardcore historical epic - written by Gore Vidal, produced by Penthouse's Bob Guccione and directed by Tinto Brass -- a "moral holocaust."

This lavish Roman-Empire epic was the last major attempt of its era to include graphic sexual content in a mainstream film. It was written by Gore Vidal and co-financed by adult-oriented Penthouse magazine's producer Bob Guccione, though the script underwent several re-writes after the director and cast found Gore Vidal's interpretation unsatisfactory (Vidal later disowned it and removed his name). It advertised itself as "the most controversial film of the 20th century" - and was the most expensive pornographic film ever made.

The objectionable film was originally intended by Guccione to be high-art (although it turned out to be excessive cinematic sleaze), with major and notable stars (Malcolm McDowell as the infamous, crazed and corrupt heir to the Roman throne, John Gielgud as Senator Nerva, Peter O'Toole as Tiberius, and Helen Mirren as promiscuous courtesan Caesonia), but was described as a "moral holocaust" by Variety and reviewers considered it worthless fantasy trash.

Roman Senator Nerva
(John Gielgud)
(Malcolm McDowell)
Caligula's Grand Uncle Tiberius (Peter O'Toole)
(Helen Mirren)

Hollywood's recent attempts to sensationalize antiquity, which owe some debt to Caligula, have found their way into feature films (such as Gladiator (2000), Troy (2004), Alexander (2004), and 300 (2007), and cable TV shows (such as Rome (2005-2007), Game of Thrones (2011-2019), and Spartacus (2010-2013)).

This was Hollywood's first big-budget ($17.5 million that later ballooned to $22 million), bizarre blockbuster sexploitation epic of 'classy' hardcore sex and gory violence - and it became both a critical and commercial disaster after a very limited theatrical release (due to fear of prosecution for obscenity). Fearing an X rating, it was originally self-rated as MA (mature audiences only) and shown in a 156-minute version, but it was then severely edited for an R-rating down to about 102 minutes.

This depraved movie, condemned as worthless fantasy trash, arrived just before the new conservatism that took place during the Reagan administration and its subsequent Meese Commission Study of Pornography (finally published in mid-1986). The film's director Tinto Brass had only one major film in his resume, Salon Kitty (1976) about a German brothel used by the Nazis.

The film's plot followed the rise and fall of "Caligula" (Latin term meaning 'Little Boots') (Malcolm McDowell), the 24-year-old young heir to the throne of his grandfather - the syphilitic 77-year-old half-mad, depraved Emperor Tiberius (Peter O'Toole). Caligula was summoned to the island of Capri. He was accompanied by his sister Drusilla (Teresa Ann Savoy) with whom he was having an incestuous affair. Caligula was treated by Tiberius to a massive area where dozens of subjects were engaged in an orgy.

The sordid film included graphic and steamy sex scenes of sexual depravity, degradation and orgiastic excess during the large-scale orgy, including a phallic swing, masturbation, rape, torture, genital mutilation, views of deformed freaks, among other thngs.

Male Nudity
Phallic Swing
Orgy Scene
Perversions with Snake


Orgy Scene - Filmed on Three Levels

There were maneuverings behind the scenes to determine who would become the next emperor, due to Tiberius' ailing health. Caligula played a part in the drowning death of Tiberius' trusted Senator Nerva (John Gielgud), and also was complicit in the murder of Tiberius by the head of the Praetorian Guard Macro (Guido Mannan).

Once attaining the emperorship, the ruthless Caligula had Macro's wife Ennia (Adriana Asti) arrested for "insubordination" and exiled to Gaul, while rival Macro was subjected to a mock-trial (for Tiberius' murder) and decapitated during a gruesome public execution.

Caligula then went on a quest to find a wife, aided by Drusilla as they surveyed dozens of mostly-naked young females in a holding area - all priestesses of the goddess Isis. Disguised as a female, Caligula was intrigued by promiscuous divorcee Caesonia (Helen Mirren) and selected her as his mistress for rear-entry sex.

Later, he chose to 'deflower' virginal Livia (Mirella D'Angelo), even though she was engaged to his loyal soldier Proculus (Donato Placido). He forced Proculus to watch Livia's first painful and bloody sexual intercourse, and then forced his friend to also partake, while 'fisting' him in the anus. He eventually schemed to rid himself of his rival Proculus - Caligula disemboweled and castrated him in a gory torture-murder.

Caligula 'Deflowering' Livia
Caligula's Virginal Bride Choice Livia
(Mirella D'Angelo)

While Caligula was making love to both Drusilla and Caesonia in a later threesome sequence, in a nearby bed chamber, two Isis priestess lesbians Messalina (Penthouse Pet Marjorie Thoreson (credited as Anneka Di Lorenzo)) and Agrippina (Penthouse Pet Lori Wagner) were engaged in explicit oral sex. [Note: The sequence was filmed at a different time and inserted for prurient interest.]

Part of Censored Hard-core Lesbian Scene

Caligula's fortunes and mental state began to take a turn toward paranoia and insanity as his behavior turned erratic and he acted tyranically without impunity against perceived rivals, the government, and even the gods. When Drusilla died of a fever (he reacted by dragging and carrying her nude body around the palace), and Caesonia bore him a daughter, he imagined the child was his son. He haphazardly executed Roman Senators, forced their wives and daughters into prostitution (in a large brothel-ship built in the palace - with an extended, second orgy sequence raunchier than the first one), senselessly declared war on Britain, and proclaimed that his horse Incitatus was a Senator.

In January of 41 AD, a plot to assassinate the deranged and hated Caligula were in the making by a group of conspirators. As he returned to his Imperial Palace, Senator Chaerea (Paolo Bonacelli), head of the Praetorian Guard, mortally wounded Caligula with a sword, stabbed Caesonia, and murdered their child. A dim-witted Claudius (Giancaro Badessi) was hailed as the new Emperor.

Tiberius (Peter O'Toole) with Slave Girl

Caligula's (Malcolm McDowell) Incestuous Love Affair with Sister Drusilla (Teresa Ann Savoy)

Priestesses of Isis - Possible Brides for Caligula

"Promiscuous" Courtesan Caesonia (Helen Mirren) Selected as Caligula's Mistress

Caligula's Rear Entry Sex with Caesonia

Nude Caesonia - Caligula's Wife

Ennia (Adriana Asti), the Wife of Praetorian Guard Head Macro (Guido Mannari) - Rejected as a Wife by Caligula, and Exiled

Caligula's Threesome with Caesonia and Drusilla

Drusilla Dead of a Fever

Ship-Brothel Sequence - Another Excuse for Extended Orgy

Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979, UK)
D. Terry Jones

Defiantly tasteless and daringly irreverent, this satire lampooned religious zealotry and was labeled blasphemous and sacrilegious.

This Terry Jones-directed tasteless and daringly irreverent, pseudo-biblical satire of Biblical blockbuster religious films (from Cecil B. DeMille's works to Ben-Hur (1959)) and religious intolerance was often considered blasphemous and sacrilegious for its depiction of hypocritical faith, modern organized religion, and its religious zealotry and conformity. The film illustrated the kind of outrage that would come later for Martin Scorsese's film The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).

Biblical history was rewritten in its parody story of reluctant Messiah Brian Cohen, a Jerusalem nobody and "very naughty boy" (according to his shrewish Jewish mother, whose life uncannily and coincidentally paralleled that of Jesus since he was born on the same day. A common misunderstanding was that Brian lampooned Christ or Christianity, but that was definitely not the case. Depictions of the figure of Jesus in the film were treated non-humorously and with respect, although the way in which Jesus was worshipped by followers was mocked.

Self-appointed moral guardians criticized the idea of the film's production, until Beatles' George Harrison set up HandMade Films to finance it. [An hour-long UK TV documentary was made to chronicle the making of the film and the accusatory atmosphere surrounding it - The Secret Life of Brian (2007).]

When released in the UK, the film -- regularly regarded as one of the funniest films ever made - was banned in some towns and counties by several town councils and organizations (one of which was Festival of Light), and efforts were taken to reclassify it as X-rated so that audiences would be further limited. It was also banned for eight years in the Republic of Ireland and for a year in Norway. The film was not released in Italy until 1990, eleven years after it was made. Various pressure groups in the US (especially in Bible Belt states) tried to prosecute the film or ban its showing, and Catholic groups condemned the film and suggested it was a sin to view it. Citizens Against Blasphemy attempted to prosecute the film.

An animated title sequence featured a James Bond-like musical number and a "I love sheep!" scene with three Shepherds. After the titles, Three unwise Kings, astrologers from the East, erroneously visited infant Brian Cohen's (Graham Chapman) stable manger thinking he was the future King of the Jews - bringing gifts to an ungrateful, shrewish Jewish and Virgin mother Mandy (Terry Jones):

"Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o'clock in the morning? That doesn't sound very wise to me....Is this some kind of joke?...Homage? You're all drunk. It's disgusting. Out! The lot, out!...Go and praise someone else's brat! Go on!"

Mandy had a change of heart when they mentioned their gifts. They humorously discussed what myrrh was: ("It is a valuable balm" - misunderstood as a 'bomb'), and after realizing their mistake, the three decided to grab back their presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

In one scene, the Sermon on the Mount was lampooned - listeners were too far away to hear the real Jesus (Kenneth Colley) clearly when he delivered his well-known sermon from an inaudible distance, and they misunderstood and misinterpreted what they heard: ("Blessed are the cheesemakers" and "Blessed are the Greek...apparently he's going to inherit the Earth").

In the hysterical sequence of a "stoning," a group of women (disguised as men) anxiously awaited permission from an annoyed, weary Jewish Official (John Cleese) to stone a prisoner named Matthias: (Official: "You have been found guilty by the elders of the town of uttering the name of our Lord, and so, as a blasphemer, you are to be stoned to death"). They ended up stoning the official himself when he accidentally said Jehovah: ("I'm warning you. If you say Jehovah once more...!"), even though he cautioned everyone: ("Now, look! No one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle! Do you understand?! Even, and I want to make this absolutely clear, even if they do say 'Jehovah'") - he ended up being crushed by a massive boulder.

One of its ongoing gags was about the various factional, anti-Roman revolutionary groups (i.e., 'The Judean People's Front', 'The People's Front of Judea') that were protesting against Roman rule and occupation - and more often against each other.

In the conjugation scene, a Centurion (John Cleese) caught Brian painting "Romanes Eunt Domus" on a wall [Romans Go Home] - and Brian received a lesson in proper Latin grammar for the graffiti, and by sunrise, had written out the corrected phrase 100 times on the palace wall: "Romani Ite Domum" (known as "The Graffiti Scene").

In the "What Have the Romans Done For Us?" scene, disgruntled Reg (Cleese) asked his commando followers: ("And what have they ever given us in return?") - and received numerous suggestions: the aqueduct, sanitation, the roads, irrigation, medicine, education, wine, public baths, public order, the fresh water system, public health - and peace!

In the "Biggus Dickus" scene, lisping, effeminate Pontius Pilate (Michael Palin) was upset when he mentioned his friend Biggus Dickus (Chapman) and his guards began to snigger: ("I have a vewy good fwiend in Wome named 'Biggus Dickus'"). He taunted his men: "Anybody else feel like a little giggle when I mention my friend 'Biggus Dickus'? And what about you? Do you find it risible when I say the name 'Biggus Dickus'? He has a wife, you know. You know what she's called? She's called 'Incontinentia'. 'Incontinentia Buttocks'!"). Then, he ordered:

"Shut up! What is all this? I've had enough of this wowdy webel sniggewing behavior. Silence! Call yourselves Pwaetowian guards? You're not -- Seize him! Seize him! Blow your noses and seize him!"

Brian was often mistaken for a prophet, and some insanely devoted followers worshipped Brian as the Messiah (one group worshipped a gourd he used, while another a sandal he lost while being chased). Brian made futile attempts to get rid of his followers. At one point, Brian fled from a crowd of crazed Messiah followers and jumped in a pit with Simon the Holy Man (Terry Jones). The hermit accidentally broke his vow of silence for 18 years when Brian landed on his foot. Brian repeatedly denied his Messiah-hood: ("Now, f--k off!"), when one of the men shouted back: ("How shall we f--k off, oh Lord?").

There were two full-frontal nudity scenes:

  • Brian made a nude appearance when he opened his window after a night of love-making with feisty lover Judith Iscariot (Sue Jones-Davies) - and was rudely greeted by thousands of followers demanding to follow him
  • Judith vowed to Brian's mother about how she would follow Brian - the Messiah, as Brian cowered behind her: ("Your son is a born leader. Those people out there are following him because they believe in him, Mrs. Cohen. They believe he can give them hope - hope of a new life, a new world, a better future!"). Brian's mother later warned her son: "Leave that Welsh tart alone!"

Brian's mother Mandy also assertively protested against the crowds: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!" - and "There's no Messiah in here. There's a mess all right, but no Messiah."

The R-rated film's most controversial scene was the ending sequence of a mass crucifixion. A despondent Brian was crucified next to others, and was encouraged by fellow sufferer Mr. Frisbee (Eric Idle) to be cheerful:

"Cheer up, Brian. You know what they say. Some things in life are bad. They can really make you mad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle. And this'll help things turn out for the best. And.."

The film ended with the incongruously upbeat, life-affirming comical song "(Always Look on the) Bright Side of Life." It was spiritedly led by Mr. Frisbee and performed by the chorus-line of dozens of crucified individuals, including Brian:

"Always look on the bright side of life. (whistling) Always look on the light side of life. (whistling) If life seems jolly rotten, There's something you've forgotten, And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing. When you're feeling in the dumps, Don't be silly chumps. Just purse your lips and whistle. That's the thing. And, always look on the bright side of life."

Three Unwise Kings at The Wrong Stable Manger

The Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the Cheesemakers"

The Stoning Scene (Literally) of a Jewish Official

Lesson on Proper Latin Grammar

The "Biggus Dickus" Scene

Brian with Simon the Holy Man

Brian with Welsh Tart Judith Iscariot

Brian's Mother Mandy: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"

Ending: Crucifixion Scene
("Always Look on the Bright Side of Life")

The Warriors (1979)
D. Walter Hill

Worried that Walter Hill's stylized depiction of warring gangs might incite real violence, Paramount Pictures temporarily pulled it from several theaters.

This urban fantasy cult movie (a modern retelling inspired by the Greek tale Anabasis by Xenophon) was director/writer Walter Hill's third feature film. It was a surprise hit although it had a large cast of unknown actors from the New York theater area, and it presented a cartoonish-like display of violence (without blood) and an unrealistic view of NY street gangs (with each group sporting their flamboyant or similar uniforms or costumes, face paint, and/or distinctive weapons).

Most of the filming was on-location, shot overnight from dusk to dawn, and the film shoot quickly went over-budget and over-schedule. On a budget of about $4-7 million, the film successfully grossed $22.5 million.

However, the film's original poster, which stated the film's tagline, outraged and scared many people:

  • "These are the armies of the night"
  • and this additional phrase: "They are 100,000 strong. They outnumber the cops five to one. They could run New York City"

Some of the film's early showings incited lethal violence (in Palm Springs and Oxnard, California, and also in Boston) and caused gang outbreaks. Due to these reports of criminal violence in a few locations, the film was temporarily pulled out of circulation in over half a dozen theaters by its nervous Paramount Studios despite being a box office success.

A number of theaters were forced to hire full time security until the end of the film's run. Paramount also attempted to modify the film's advertising campaign by pulling its print and TV advertising, but then was compelled to remove the film from release entirely. The film later gained a cult following when the cable TV and the VCR revolution occurred, and through midnight showings.

The Director's Cut opened with a voice-over:

"Over two millenniums ago, an army of Greek soldiers found themselves isolated in the middle of the Persian Empire. One thousand miles from safety. One thousand miles from the sea. One thousand miles with enemies on all sides. Theirs was a story of a desperate forced march. Theirs was a story of courage. This too is a story of courage."

This controversial film told the story of a number of gangs (approximately 100), who were invited to attend a midnight truce meeting - unarmed ("unpacked") - with other gang members in Van Cortlandt Park in the West Bronx. Representatives from three main groups in attendance included:

Three Main Gang Groups
The Warriors
The Riffs
The Rogues
  • The Warriors (from Coney Island), (recognized by maroon pleather vests with a skull with wings patch on the back), led by African-American Cleon (Dorsey Wright), and then after his death by "War Chief" Swan (Michael Beck)
  • The Gramercy Riffs, martial-arts experts led by charismatic gangleader Cyrus (Roger Hill) known as "The One and Only" - it was the largest and most powerful gang in the area, composed mostly of African-Americans; originally group members wore orange, blue, white, or black robes; after Cyrus' death, he was replaced by Masai (Edward Sewer), and the members reverted to black costumes
  • The Rogues, black vest-wearing outcasts and punks located in Hell's Kitchen, led by anarchistic, bullying psychotic Luther (David Patrick Kelly), who packed a revolver from a murdered police officer

The many gangs (composed of almost 1,000 individuals) converged on the park (via the subway system) under the opening title credits. During a powerful speech to the assembled gangs, Riffs' leader Cyrus (with the repeated phrase: "Can you dig it?") spoke about how the massive combined strength of the gangs, if they worked together, could overpower and outnumber the police and city authorities:

Can you count, suckers? I say, the future is ours, if you can count! Now, look what we have here before us. We got the Saracens sitting next to the Jones Street Boys. We've got the Moonrunners right by the Van Cortlandt Rangers. Nobody is wasting nobody. That is a miracle. And miracles is the way things ought to be. You're standing right now with nine delegates from a hundred gangs. And there's over a hundred more. That's 20,000 hardcore members. Forty-thousand, counting affiliates, and twenty-thousand more, not organized, but ready to fight: 60,000 soldiers! Now, there ain't but 20,000 police in the whole town. Can you dig it? Can you dig it? Can you dig it? (cheers)

Now, here's the sum total: One gang could run this city! One gang. Nothing would move without us allowing it to happen. We could tax the crime syndicates, the police, because WE got the streets, suckers! Can you dig it?

The problem in the past has been the man turning us against one another. We have been unable to see the truth, because we've been fighting for ten square feet of ground - our turf, our little piece of turf. That's crap, brothers. The turf is ours by right because it's our turn. All we have to do is keep up the general truce. We take over one borough at a time. Secure our territory, secure our turf, because it's all our turf. (cheers)

Cyrus extended his arms (in a crucifix pose) just as police cars pulled up on the perimeter, the Gramercy Riffs' leader was shot dead on stage by Luther (with a concealed weapon), a member of the Rogues. (Note: It was theorized that Luther had received the go-ahead by an organized crime boss somehow tied to the police.) Fox, a member of the Warriors, witnessed Luther as the trigger-man. During the chaos of the police raid on the summit, however, Luther pointed to and framed Warriors' leader Cleon for the death ("There he is! That's him! That's the Warrior! He shot Cyrus!"). As a result, Cleon was assaulted and apparently beaten and killed by a mob of Riffs gang members.

The Warriors quickly fled and replaced Cleon with second-ranked, reluctant "War Chief" hero Swan. The assailed gang had to return back to their home turf at Coney Island on the elevated subway (and other means of transport) without weapons (by criss-crossing through other gangs' territories), and with every rival gang in pursuit through the dark night of NYC.


The original nine members of the Warriors included:

  • Cleon - deceased African-American leader, wore a leopard-skin do-rag
  • Swan (Michael Beck), a main lieutenant with a wiry build, who became the newly appointed leader
  • Ajax (James Remar), stocky build, tough, always proving his manhood
  • Snow (Brian Tyler), quiet, tall, African-American, with an Afro
  • Cowboy (Tom McKitterick), with a Stetson hat, wore a brown T-shirt under vest
  • Vermin (Terry Michos), curly-haired, a great fighter
  • Cochise (David Harris), African-American, with braided hair and a turquoise necklace
  • Rembrandt (Marcelino Sánchez), Puerto-Rican/Hispanic, short-statured, with an Afro, a graffiti-artist with a spray-paint can
  • Fox (Thomas G. Waites)

The word went out to all the gangs from melodic-voiced, omniscient radio DJ (voice of Lynne Thigpen), reporting that the Riffs had targeted the Warriors as responsible for the murder of Cyrus (they were dubbed: "the gang that broke the truce"), with the playing of "No Where to Run." The radio DJ communicated God-like through coded-message broadcasts, providing a running commentary about the progress of all the rival gangs and the movements and location of the Warriors - she was represented only by her full, sensual fire-red lipsticked lips. The various gang groups regrouped and sought to locate the Warriors and punish them for the killing.

Stranded in the West Bronx, the Warriors encountered one gang or group after another:

  • The Turnbull ACs (multi-racial skinheads riding in old green schoolbuses, with chains and planks of wood for weapons) on Gunhill Road in the Bronx who were patrolling Broadway near the subway station and unsuccessfully attempted to run down the Warriors with their bus before they could board the train
  • The Orphans (a small and weak group of low-class, low-status hoodlums with jeans, dirty green T-shirts and razor blades), led by Sully (Paul Greco) confronted the Warriors in the Tremont district of the Bronx (where their subway train had been prematurely stopped by a fire); one of the Orphans members, tough-talking, foul-mouthed troublemaker Mercy (Deborah Van Valkenburgh in her screen debut role), Swan's future girlfriend, caused hostilities to escalate, and the Warriors were forced into a brief switchblades stand-off and fiery Molotov-cocktail confrontation; afterwards, Mercy changed allegiances and decided to join the Warriors on the train, bound for Union Square (she explained: "I'm lookin' for some real action")
  • The NYC Police - the authorities chased the Warriors through the 96th Street and Broadway subway station in Manhattan, where Fox was rolled onto the tracks and run over by a fast-approaching train; three of the Warriors (Vermin, Cochise, and Rembrandt) escaped on a train bound for Union Square, but the four others (Swan, Ajax, Snow, and Cowboy) left the station and went outside, while Mercy escaped on her own
  • The Baseball Furies (an infamous gang represented by baseball bats as weapons and war-paint) led by Thurman (Jerry Hewitt); the group of bat-wielding gang members were awaiting them and surrounded them; they attacked the foursome of Warriors on the street and chased them into Riverside Park in Manhattan, but were defeated; after the fight, Ajax was arrested by an undercover police officer named Chloe (Mercedes Ruehl) when he sexually assaulted her, and she handcuffed him to a park bench
  • Swan returned to the 96th Street Station and reunited with Mercy (where she had separated from the group earlier), where they were forced to flee down a train tunnel from a group of policemen, and briefly found time to reconcile and kiss each other, but Swan cut the romance short: "Let's just get to the next station, OK?...You're just part of everything happening tonight, and it's all bad... Just go back to wherever it was you came from"; Swan proceeded on his own to regroup with all of the other remaining Warriors at Union Square, with Mercy tailing after him
  • The Lizzies (a seductive, all-female, mixed-race gang with tye-died T-shirts) were led by Starr (Kate Klugman), headquartered in the Bowery and Union Square sections of Manhattan's East Village; after arriving at the Union Square station, the three Warriors (Vermin, Cochise, and Rembrandt) were invited back to their apartment for "a break in the action," to 'party' and smoke dope, where they were tricked, double-crossed and assaulted (with gunfire and switchblades), but escaped mostly unscathed
  • The Punks (a group from the Bowery composed of roller-skating, dungaree-clad gang members wearing rugby shirts), led by Vance (Konrad Sheehan); in a major brawl, they fought the full contingent of six Warriors (and Mercy) in the men's room of the Union Square station, in one of the film's most masterfully-choreographed scenes; the Warriors turned the tables on the Punks - they ambushed them from the toilet stalls and decisively conquered them

There were now only six surviving Warriors (and Mercy). Ajax had been arrested in the park, Fox had lost his life in a subway station, and Cleon had been murdered. By dawn, the Warriors had arrived back in Coney Island on their home turf. Swan wondered to himself: "This is what we fought all night to get back to?"

Luther: "Waaaaarriors, come out to plaaaay"
Luther: Disabled by Swan's Switchblade
Masai to Swan: "You Warriors are good, real good"

The Rogues were awaiting them driving a graffiti-decorated hearse (led by Luther who memorably and repeatedly taunted them with three empty clinking beer bottles in his right hand, stuttering: "Waaaaarriors, come out to plaaaay"). On the sandy beach, after Luther non-chalantly admitted that he had killed Cyrus for no reason: ("No reason. I just like doing things like that!"), Swan and Luther engaged in a quick one-on-one gun/knife challenge on the open beach. Swan threw his switchblade into Luther's left arm-wrist to disable him.

The entire Gramercy Riffs gang members (dozens of them) were watching from afar. They approached and their leader Masai finally acknowledged the Warriors' innocence and courage: ("You Warriors are good, real good"). Masai claimed he was there to eliminate the Rogues once and for all ("The rest is ours"). The Riffs allowed the Warriors to leave before determining Luther's expected fate.

The DJ provided the film's final lines of dialogue - and the playing of the Warriors' theme song, Joe Walsh's "In the City" - as the six Warriors walked down their hometown beach - Swan was looking expectantly at Mercy:

Good news, boppers. The big alert has been called off. It turns out that the early reports were wrong. All wrong. Now for that group out there that had such a hard time getting home, sorry about that. I guess the only thing we can do is play you a song.

The Boppers

The Hi-Hats (Dressed Like Mimes)

The Savage Huns

The Electric Eliminators

The Saracens

Cyrus (of the Riffs) Delivering Speech to Gangs in Park

Luther's Assassination of Cyrus During Speech

Luther's Framing of Warriors' Cleon For Cyrus' Death

Riffs' Replacement Leader: Masai

Radio DJ (Voice of Lynne Thigpen)

The Flight of the 8 Remaining Warriors Back to Coney

Bus of the Turnbull ACs Pursuing Warriors on Broadway to Subway Station

The Orphans

Mercy (Deborah Van Valkenburgh)

Stand-Off: Orphans vs. Warriors

Swan with Mercy

The Baseball Furies

Ajax Arrested by Undercover Cop (Mercedes Ruehl) in Park

The Lizzies

Swan and Mercy - Brief Romance

The Punks in Union Square Station

The Warriors Finally Triumphant

The 100+ Most Controversial Films of All-Time
(chronologically, by film title)
Intro | Silents-1930s | 1940s-1950s | 1960-1961 | 1962-1967 | 1968-1969
1970-1971 | 1972 | 1973-1974 | 1975 | 1976-1977 | 1978 | 1979
1980-1982 | 1983-1986 | 1987-1989 | 1990-1992 | 1993-1995 | 1996-1999
2000-2002 | 2003-2005 | 2006-2009 | 2010-present

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