|John Houseman as Professor Kingsfield.|
|Timothy Bottoms (and hair) as Hart.|
While Houseman won a Best Supporting Actor as Kingsfield, the character remains intentionally enigmatic. We only glimpse Kingsfield outside the classroom environment. Susan reveals a few details about her father, but even their relationship seems more professional than personal. In one of the film's best scenes, it's difficult to know if Kingsfield is being honest or intentionally distancing Hart:
HART: Professor Kingsfield, I just want to tell you that I truly enjoyed your class.
KINGSFIELD: That's fine.
HART: What I meant is, you really mean something to me. And your class has really meant something to me.
KINGSFIELD (after long pause): What is your name?
|Lindsay Wagner, pre-Bionic Woman.|
The Paper Chase was adapted into a critically-acclaimed CBS TV series in 1978 with Houseman back as Kingsfield and James Stephens as Hart. Nevertheless, it wasn't a ratings hit and was cancelled after one season. Showtime revived it in 1983, where it ran for three years and ended with Hart's graduation from law school.
|Michael Beck as Swan.|
When Cyrus is unexpectedly assassinated, the real culprits frame the Warriors and kill its leader. Swan (Michael Beck) takes command and the rest of the film chronicles the Warriors' night-long trek to get back to the safety of its home turf in Coney Island. Along the way, they must negotiate, fight, and flee from the many gangs trying to avenge Cyrus's death.
The outlandish gangs contribute to the film's surreal look: The Punks wear overalls and striped shirts; the Boppers sport purple vests and black pimp hats; the Lizzies is an all-girl gang; and, most famously, the Baseball Furies wear baseball shirts, sport Kabuki make-up, and use baseball bats for weapons.
|Deborah Van Valkenburgh as Mercy.|
In many ways, The Warriors sets the stage for Hill's more polished (and better) 1984 picture Streets of Fire. Both films take place principally at night in an urban setting, employ rock and pop music to great effect, and feature a romantic "odd couple."
|The climax on a Coney Island beach provides an effective |
contrast to the night-long chase in the city.