The Warriors takes place in a semi-deserted, almost post-apocalyptic New York, inhabited by gangs who roam the streets at night in matching outfits. Though this is not a New York that we may be familiar with, what we can all relate to is a reliance on the MTA. When the Warriors are stranded in the Bronx, one of the gang members says they must be 50 to 100 miles from their Coney Island home. In reality, it’s just under 25 miles, but to be stranded with every gang member in New York looking for you, they may as well be 200 miles away.
Since the Warriors are dealing with late night sabotage from rival gangs and police officers, they aren’t able to have a simple train ride home. When they are actually on the subway and it’s moving, the gang is temporarily safe, yet a series of events cause the train to stall and their lives are put in danger. The gang members are picked off one by one on the subway platform and in Central Park and they narrowly escape a bar brawl. Repeatedly, the moving subway is the only thing that takes them out of danger and one step closer to home.
Though it’s rare for most of us to be running for our lives, we sometimes act that way when we miss the subway. Miss your train and you will be late to work, not make dinner reservations, be late to a movie, or just have to sit on the platform and wait. The situation only gets worse late at night or when there are service changes. We may not recognize it, but the subway is the lifeline of the city. It’s rare for someone here to never take a subway, even if it is just to meet with friends or run an occasional errand. We rely on it to get us where we need to go, which is why, just like the Warriors, we will always run down the platform to make the train. There may be many more obstacles in their path than we have in any given day, but like the Warriors, all we want to do at the end of a long night is get home in one piece. The subway is how most of us get there.