Picks and Pans Review: The Wanderers
The time is 1963, the place New York. The Wanderes, a bunch of Italian-American teenagers, have just challenged the local black gang to a rumble. Trouble is, this movie can't decide whether it wants to be the 1979 version of West Side Story or The Warriors, that savage punk-art fantasy of a few months ago. So it tries to be both, with limited success, despite some interesting performances. Linda Manz, the wisecracking gamin in Days of Heaven, plays a similar role this time as sidekick to the boss of a rival gang. Ken Wahl has a primitive attraction as a gang leader who steals another member's girl, and Karen Allen is sexy and sweet as the girl. Best of all is Toni Kalem as the jilted girlfriend whose Mafia-like father shows the boys who really runs the neighborhood. There are lots of songs from the '60s, plus dirty language and studied gee-whiz innocence. But the movie, based on the novel by Richard (Bloodbrothers) Price, has come so late in the gang film craze that there is little left to say. (R)
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