The Warriors (1979) Cyrus Speech

I am a man of a certain age that still remembers vividly the moment when The Warriors first appeared on TV. Back in the days where everyone watched the same shows or movies, you could walk into an office or school the following day, and there would be a universal water cooler moment.

Whether it be the day that Alien was first screened and the infamous scene with John Hurt or the legendary scene in Walter Hill’s ‘The Warriors’ where he portrayed gang leader Cyrus and said the words “Can you dig it?” Fast forward into my formative years, and a band called the Mock Turtles even had a hit with Can You Dig It?

Upon hearing that actor Roger Hill died at only 65 back in 2014, I felt an incredible urge to protect his legacy and the precious memories his performance gave me.

Here is both text and video from his legendary monologue as Cyrus in The Warriors way back in 1979.

Cyrus full speech from The Warriors 1979

I say the future is ours…
…if you can count!
– Come on, Cyrus, we’re with you!
– Go ahead, bro!
Now, look what we have
here before us.
We’ve got the Saracens…
…sitting next to
the Jones Street Boys.
We’ve got the Moon Runners…
…right by the Van Courtland Rangers.
Nobody is wasting nobody.

…is a miracle.
And miracles
is the way things ought to be.
– Yeah!
– I heard that!
– I heard that.
– Come get answered!
You’re standing right now
with nine delegates from 100 gangs.
And there’s over 100 more.
That’s 20,000 hard-core members.
Forty thousand, counting affiliates,
and 20,000 more,
not organized but ready to fight.
Sixty thousand 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?
– Yeah!
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?
Right on!
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 10 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.
The other way, against the crowd!
And keep your ass down!
Get out of the way.
They’ll kill us all. Watch out, man.
Watch his head.
There wasn’t supposed to be
no guns!
Come on, move it!
– Is Cleon all right?
– He’s up there.
– Are you sure?
– No.
Come on! Move it!
There he is! That’s him!
That’s the Warrior!
– He shot Cyrus!
– Man, you’re crazy. I didn’t do nothing.
– We saw him!
– Yeah, that’s him.
He’s the one. He’s the one!
The Warriors did it!
The Warriors did it!
The Warriors did it!
The Warriors did it!
The Warriors did it!
Kill him!
Down. Everybody down!
– Shit!
– You all right?
Everybody quiet.
Everybody make it?
Just Cleon’s missing.
– Fuzz must’ve got him.
– Did you see him get busted?
I seen him,
then he wasn’t there no more.
I was hauling ass.
Why don’t you look around,
make sure we’re okay.
This is a graveyard.
What are we gonna do now?
We’re going back.
You mind telling us how?
Fucking Coney Island must be
– It’s the only choice we got.
– Yeah, real simple.
Except that every cop in the city
is looking to bust our heads.
– We got something to think about.
– Yeah? What?
The truce.
Is it still on?
If it ain’t, we’re gonna have to bop
our way back.
Shit, I wish we was packed.
If this truce is off, anything could hit us
between here and that train.
If you get separated,
make it to the platform
at Union Square.
– That’s where we change trains.
– I only got one question:
Who named you leader?
I got as much right
to take over as you.
It was Cleon’s choice.
Swan’s war chief.
Right now Cleon’s most likely got
a nightstick shoved halfway up his ass.
Shit. I bet you can’t even
find the subway.
Maybe we ought to talk
about this later, huh?
Well, what’s wrong with right now?
I wanna be warlord.
Make your move.
– Hey, Ajax, lighten up.
– Big boy, Swan’s war chief.
We better stick together.
Hey, you guys!
The train’s right over there.
Come on. Hurry up. Let’s go!
Let’s move.
Hey, man, don’t worry about it.
Stay loose.
Rembrandt, mark this spot.
Hey! Wait for me!
Yeah, right!
Who are the Warriors?
There must be some word.
I want them all.
I want all the Warriors!
I want them alive, if possible.
If not, wasted.
But I want them.
Send the word.
All right, now, for all you boppers
out there in the big city,
all you street people
with an ear for the action,
I’ve been asked to relay a request
from the Gramercy Riffs.
It’s a special for the Warriors.
That’s that real,
live bunch from Coney.
And I do mean the Warriors.
Here’s a hit with them in mind.
Be looking good, Warriors.
All the way back to Coney.
You hear me, babies?
Good. Real good.
– Come on. What kind of crap is this?
– Yeah. What are we waiting for?
A train would help,
unless you wanna go up there and
get japed on an open platform.
Bullshit, man.
There ain’t nobody on the street.
He’s right. We’re acting like faggots.
Just keep talking.
That’s the Turnbull A.C.’s.
I think they forgot about the truce.
No shit.
Those lousy skinheaded fucks.
That’s our train. We gotta make it.
Oh, Jesus Christ!
Are we gonna go for it?
Hold the fucking train!
Those guys were some
desperate dudes.
– So was we!
– Even fight. We could take them.
Bunch of chickenshits!
Those cats didn’t look
too chicken shit to me.
Me neither.
Well, we made it. And in an hour,
it is C.I., the Big Coney.
You got it. Give me that fist, buddy.
When we get there,
that’s when we’ve made it.
Hey, no sweat, war chief.
– Hey! I’ve got Coney Island!
– Yeah!
Figure out how many stops
to the Union Square?
Hey, come on, man.
That’s high math for Rembrandt.
It’s all right. Nobody can read
these maps anyway.
Hey, forget it. What’s the difference?
We’re home free.
We just heard from the Turnbulls.
They blew it.
Shit. This train’s had it.
This is fucking impossible.
What the shit are we gonna do?
This sucks.
Why couldn’t it rain now?
Maybe we ought to worry about
who set that goddamn fire.
Come on.
How are you?
I was just checking in.
Yeah, it was a real mess up there.
This guy, Cyrus,
had an accident.
They did?
Well, that’s okay.
These guys, the Warriors…
Yeah, they deserve it.
Yeah, we will.
Take care of yourself.
– We set?
– We’re set, all right.
Somebody should pick their ass up.
The Riffs sent out the word.
They want them alive.
We don’t.
The sooner someone grabs them,
the better.
You afraid the Warriors will shoot their
mouths off before they get racked?
Yeah. Right. I’m worried.
– I just don’t want the Riffs on my ass.
– No sweat.
They’re looking for the Warriors,
We can do some looking too.
Ought to make you feel better.
– What about the money you owe?
– For what?!
We’ve had it.
Yeah, I made them.
Two there, one there.
I think they just made us.
You recognize them?
So far down,
they ain’t even on the map.
Real low-class.
– Numbers?
– Full strength, maybe 30.
Thirty’s a lot more than eight.
Not if they’re wimps.
And I’m sick of this running crap.
Come on. This way.
– You know where that cat’s headed.
– Yeah. Reinforcements.
We’re gonna get japed here.
We’re gonna get japed.
No matter what he says,
nobody lip-off.
Nobody get hot.
I’m gonna see what I can do.
– When did you turn into a diplomat?
– Yeah.
You ain’t exactly
the State Department type.
Fox, you come with me.
– You ought to show me your invitation.
– How do you figure?
Well, you come armying down here,
invading our territory.
No permits, no parley.
We’re not invading.
And I’m parleying right now.
We were just at that big meeting
up in the Bronx.
We’re going home to Coney.
The train gets messed up by the fire
and dumps us here.
I don’t know what
you’re talking about, man.
How could this be a big meeting
if the Orphans wasn’t there?
You didn’t miss anything. There was a
lot of hassle. A lot of heads got busted.
You think the Orphans ain’t with it?
You think we ain’t well-known?
– We didn’t say that.
– Well, we got a heavy rep.
You mess with us,
and you’ll find that out.
You see that?
They write about our raids
in the paper.
That’s really heavy.
The Orphans, right?
Yeah, our youth worker,
she talks about you guys all the time.
We ain’t got one.
That must be because you guys
are so bad, they’re afraid of you.
You can make it through our territory,
as long as you’re coming in peace.
Cut it, Mercy.
You know what that is, don’t you?
Those vests are real nice.
Lighten up, Mercy.
Stop looking for trouble now.
– I should’ve slapped your mouth
– So who stopped you?
Come on. Give me one.
Just one.
I just want one vest.
You can get another one, man.
No chance.
Are you just gonna let an army walk
through here any time they feel like it?
– How’s it gonna look?
– Get lost.
You know, pretty soon, every gang
is just gonna boogie right in,
soldier right through.
I’ll tell you, some man you are.
Take your colors off,
you can walk through.
– We don’t do that.
– It’s just our mark. It don’t mean war.
You go as civilians, okay? Go as
soldiers, I gotta come down on you.
Now take off your colors.
You hear me?
Fuck you.
We’re not gonna hide who we are just
because some whore shakes her ass.
Don’t call me no whore.
I ain’t no whore!
Let’s go.
We’re marching to the next station
through these lame fucks’s territory.
Now let’s move.
Yeah. That’s right, Warriors.
Just keep walking.
Real tough mothers, ain’t you?
You guys don’t show me much.
Why don’t you dickheads
just walk all the way back home!
– Boy, that chick’s got some mouth.
– You two were terrific back there.
– You guys let them down, but good.
– His ass gonna be ringing for a month.
– I say we should have wasted them.
– Come on. The station’s this way.
Let me go! Let me be.
Okay, what do you got in mind?
Well, maybe I’m looking
for some real action.
Hey, what about me?
I got the big one.
I’ll give it to you, baby.
Let her go.
You gonna jump me?
Maybe we ought to pull a train on you.
You look like you might even like it.
– Fuck you!
– Real tough chick.
You see what you get, Warriors?!
You see what you get
when you mess with the Orphans?!
We’re gonna rain on you, Warriors!
– Holy shit!
– Now!
– Move, move!
– Where is everybody?
Come on!
Hey, wait a minute.
I gotta ask a question.
How come we’re running?
I told you, they’re a bunch of wimps.
Union Station, here we come.
Hey, what about me?
So, what about you?
We got a report from the Bronx.
Some smalltime clique
ran into them.
The Orphans.
– They’re not in our network.
– They rumble anyway.
They got wasted.
Okay, let’s get down to it, boppers.
We’re gonna have to do
better out there.
Our friends just made it past
one of the minor league teams.
Remember, boppers,
be looking good.
All that’s going on?
Right. Great.
Some two-bit outfit almost got them,
but bopped their way past.
– We can meet them at 96th Street.
– The platform’s crawling with cops.
Cops are trying to rack up
every gang in this town.
– Me and you included.
– How come you’re so happy?
I’m having a good time.
Let’s go!
How much longer we gotta wait?
We might be here forever.
I’m sick of waiting for trains.
Vermin, sit down and shut up.
Okay, okay.
– Let’s go!
– Where are we going?
Hey, hold it!
– Right there.
– Come on.
– Hold it.
– Hey.
Take the uptown.
– Make it! Make it!
– Move!
– Hey! Move! Move!
– Wait up!
– Come back here!
– Hold it!
Let’s double back!
– This way!
– No. Come on. Over here.
That way! Go!
– Down the stairs!
– Hurry up.
– The street!
– Far enough, already.
This way.
Oh, shit!
Just get out of here!
– Goddamn you!
– Let go of me!
Where are they?
– Union Square! Union Square!
– What about the others?
We gotta go!
Keep after them! Keep on!
Maybe we’d better take off.
Yeah. Right.
– Did we lose these fucking clowns?
– Look.
Holy shit!
Snow, with me!
I can’t make it.
– Are you sure?
– Yes, I’m sure.
Good. I’m sick of running
from these wimps.
I’m gonna shove that bat up your ass
and turn you into a Popsicle.
Come on.
– Fucking-A.
– Hey!
Come on, cowboy.
Shit, I figured they were wimps.
The latest sports news
off the street, boppers.
The Baseball Furies dropped the ball,
made an error.
Our friends are on second base
and trying to make it all the way home.
But the inside word is that
the odds are against them.
Stay tuned, boppers.
Stay tuned.
– Where is everybody?
– Looks like we’re the first ones here.
We’re just gonna
have to sit and wait.
They’ll show up.
Looks like something else
showed up.
Well, hey, hey, hey.
Now look at what you find here
in the big city.
– Man, you guys. We ain’t got time.
– You kidding?
Time’s what we got plenty of.
I guess she don’t know
that parks ain’t safe after dark.
– We ain’t got time for this right now.
– We’ve got to get to Union Square.
You go ahead if you want.
I’m gonna get a little exercise.
You never were very smart.
I’ll tell you something, warlord.
I’m smart enough.
And it’s there for free.
You two coming?
– Come on, man.
– There’s plenty of women back home.
Maybe all of you just going faggot.
You feeling all right, lady?
You need a little help or something?
Why don’t you sit down.
Keep me company.
Whatever you say, lady.
Look at those muscles.
I bet the chicks like
all those muscles.
We better go back
and look out for him.
He saved my ass back there.
I owe him.
Okay, I’ll go look for the others.
You wanna show me how you play
with the chicks?
– I’ll show you how I play.
– Hey!
Not so rough. Come on.
– We’ll get it on.
– You don’t get it. I like it rough.
Your nights in the park
are over for a while, honey.
– You’re under arrest.
– Hey, lady…
Come on, lady.
Kiss my ass.
Come on, lady.
Come on. Quit playing around.
You don’t wanna play around with me!
Let me out of this thing!
You hear me?!
Goddamn it! Let me go!
Let me go!
You can’t do this to me!
Come on, you lousy bitch!
Fucking wimp.
Hey, wait!
Still cops all over the place.
Where’s the Fox?
A cop grabbed him.
So how come you hung around?
I don’t know.
– Where did you get the coat?
– You ask a lot of questions.
Don’t give me that.
I stole it.
Cops are looking for somebody
in a pink top.
Real tough chick.
Right. You said that before.
If you still wanna get to Union Square,
I can show you where to grab the train.
Come on.
– What is that?
– Hold it!
– Freeze!
– Go on.
Move it!
– Jesus!
– Come on!
Is this the place?
Hey, I hate asking the questions,
but where’s the dudes?
Chicks like you always got
dudes around.
They took the night off.
Went up to the Bronx.
Don’t worry about them.
They’re lame, real cripples.
Come on.
When I got off that subway
and I saw you, I thought:
“Oh, baby, throw it my way. ”
I mean, it’s really great
of you chicks taking us in.
We know about the Warriors.
They’re a heavy outfit. We know you.
– How’d you hear about us?
– You know how. Word gets around.
– I guess we are pretty well-known.
– Come on.
You’re the first friendly faces
we’ve seen all night.
That’s the way we are.
Let’s party a little.
Get something going.
– Yeah, sure. Hey, I can dig that.
– Hey, you came to the right guys.
Oh, hurt me, hurt me.
Don’t thank us, man. Just relax.
Fall out.
Take your pick.
Thanks. This is a great outfit.
– What clique is this?
– We’re the Lizzies.
Lizzies. Hey, great.
Just great. I like that. I like it.
Glad to hear it.
Man, we got to come
to this part of town more often.
Yeah, right.
That’s right. Got to.
Thanks a lot.
– Looks like you’re the winner.
– Yeah, right.
How much longer are we
gonna hang around here?
– What’s your hurry? We just got here.
– We ought to get to Union Square.
– They’re gonna be worried about us.
– Yeah, sure. In a minute.
Quit breaking the action.
Can we stop for a minute? I’m sick
of this crap. My legs are getting tired.
– Come on. Just keep walking.
– Well, what’s your hurry?
Trying to set some kind of
a world record or something?
– Just walk.
– I’m walking.
Jesus, why don’t you give me
a break.
Be a little friendly.
I don’t even know your name.
My name’s Swan.
What do you care about
names so much for?
I like telling my friends
I been with somebody particular.
You know what I mean?
Why don’t you just
tie a mattress to your back.
You don’t care where it is, do you?
Look, what do you got against me?
You been picking on me all night.
You want me to tell you the truth?
Yeah, sure. Go ahead.
I don’t like the way you live.
– The way I live?
– Yeah.
I keep hoping I’m gonna run into
something a little better.
What kind of crap is this?
Who are you?
You ain’t any better than me.
I guess you like the way
everything’s going for you.
Well, maybe I do.
Friday nights are pretty good.
Saturday nights are better.
I don’t think you can remember
who you get on Friday and Saturday.
I don’t think you can remember
what they look like.
Sometimes I can, and sometimes
I can’t. Who gives a damn?
I see what’s happening next door
and down the block,
belly hanging down, five kids,
cockroaches in the cupboard.
I’ll tell you what I want.
I want something now.
This is the life I got left.
You know what I mean?
You get it, Warrior?
Get it?
How do you like it?
Come on. What’s wrong?
Let’s just get
to the next station, okay?
Come on.
Come on.
You’re just part of everything that’s
happening tonight, and it’s all bad.
Just go back to wherever it was
you came from.
Hey, little man, you wanna dance?
I’ll be right with you, babe.
So you’re the famous Warriors,
the guys that shot Cyrus.
Shit! The chicks are packed.
The chicks are packed!
She cut me. She cut me.
Look. Look, man.
Now we gotta hold ourselves together.
We got to.
See, man, now if we go to pieces,
somebody out there’s gonna get us.
They think we shot Cyrus.
– What are you talking about?
– They think we shot Cyrus.
Every gang in this city
must be looking for us.
Holy shit!
We’re not gonna be able
to make it back.
We’re gonna make it back.
We came this far.
We’ll go the rest of the way.
Let’s go to Union Square, okay?
We gotta tell the rest of the guys.
Where’s the rest of them?
Yeah, right.
Where’s everybody else?
Cops got Ajax.
We don’t know about Swan.
– Oh, Jesus!
– Are you sure about Ajax?
Real sure.
I bet he went out swinging.
We better go look for Swan.
God, I can’t believe it.
Yeah. What is this shit?
I need to talk to you.
See that dude over there
with the skates?
Over there.
He’s after you.
And he’s got some guys with him.
I know they’re on my ass.
But now they know I know it.
Well, what are you gonna do?
Come on.
You sure change your mind fast.
– I was kind of rough on you there.
– Listen, I can take care of myself.
Sure. Come on.
Wait a minute. I can’t go in there.
It’s a men’s room.
Are you kidding?
Get him!
What about our patrols?
So far, nothing.
But we’ve got somebody here
you ought to talk to.
He says he saw who shot Cyrus.
Big Cyrus,
he was gonna run the whole city.
What crap that was.
Cyrus was right about one thing.
It’s all out there.
All we gotta do is just figure out
a way to go steal it.
Sounds great.
All you gotta do is figure out
what’s worth stealing.
Okay, come on. Let’s go.
Come on, let me get some breakfast
or something.
– Let’s get off here.
– Yeah.
What’s this for?
I just hate seeing anything
go to waste.
This is what we fought all night
to get back to?
Maybe I’ll just take off.
Well, you know I like traveling too.
Where have you ever been?
I never been anywhere.
I just know I’d like it.
Come on. Let’s go.
Stay right on their ass.
Wait a couple seconds after we move,
then cut out the other way.
– Why can’t I stay with you?
– Just do what I tell you.
– Okay?
– Come on.
I can take care of myself.
I proved that.
Come on.
Come out to play!
Come out to play!
Come out to play.
Come out to play.
Come out to play!
Everybody packed?
All of you stay behind me.
I’m gonna take them out to the sand.
What about you? You ready?
Let’s do it.
When we see the ocean,
we figure we’re home, we’re safe.
This time, you got it wrong.
Why did you do it?
Why did you waste Cyrus?
No reason.
I just like doing things like that.
Let’s do it, me and you.
One on one?
You’re crazy.
You’re dead,
all of you, and you know it.
– You’re dead.
– Swan!
– Riffs!
– Yeah, right!
You still looking for us?
We found what we’re looking for.
It wasn’t us.
It was them, the Warriors.
You Warriors are good.
Real good.
The best.
The rest is ours.
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.

Whether you have just seen The Warriors for the first time on Netflix or have childhood memories of the scene where Luther from the Rogues said the words “Warriors, Come Out To Play” It’s clear that this movie transcends through generations in this timeless classic.

I originally watched this movie in a time where the New York subway was another world away. Back then, I would have gladly applied face paint to be adopted by Baseball Fury if invited. But the reality in this digital age is that the Warriors was dominated by great performances to make this a timeless classic.

The fact that this movie has the same effect on both digital and analog audiences is a great reflection on how a movie can appeal to all ages. I guess that I just need to make the long journey from the Bronx to Coney Island myself as the ultimate movie tribute.

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