Eyewitness News Vault | Pandemonium in the streets: 'The Warriors' causes chaos in 1979

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Can you dig it? Can you dig it!?

Street gang violence in the 1970s inspired the controversial film 'The Warriors,' and when it was released in 1979, there were many people who in fact, did not dig it.

The film depicted a New York City overrun with violent, over-the-top street gangs that held turf from every corner of every borough in the city.

Eyewitness News reporter Sandy Pearl covered the mayhem caused by the movie's release when she reported live outside Loews State One theater in Times Square.

Backlash from the movie was so fierce that protests took place outside the movie theater, formed by a volunteer group known as the Magnificent 13.

The group believed that 'The Warriors' was a dangerous picture, and would spread violence throughout the city.

"We've seen what it's done to people and read in the papers about the violence that's been inspired by this kind of movie," Magnificent 13 member Carl Smucker said. "And we just don't think children should be allowed to see this movie, let alone adults."

The safety concern also prompted Paramount Pictures to ask the 670 theaters showing the film to take extra security precautions.
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