The Wanderers - The Movie: How Joey Ultimately Screws Over Richie Far More Than The Other War Around!

I just happened to come across the old movie from 1979 called "The Wanderers" tonight, the movie about street gangs in the Bronx around 1963. And as I watched the opening minutes, for the first time, it occurred to me that Joey screwed over Richie a helluva lot more than Richie screwed over Joey. But I'm betting you cannot tell me how?

If you recall the movie, Joey develops a thing for Nina, who's played by Karen Allen, even though everyone can tell that Nina has a thing for Richie. But Richie has a girlfriend. By near the end of the movie, however, Joey and Richie's girlfriend find Richie and Nina fooling around in the back seat of a parked car.

Note also that the Baldies were chasing Turkey and Joey in the beginning of the movie, to which all of the Wanders came running to their aid when Joey began to whistle (make a mental note of that fact, by the way). By the end of the movie, conversely, both Joey and Turkey left the Wanders, with Turkey betraying his old gang like a Judas figure, and Joey feeling betrayed by his best friend, Richie (also like a Judas figure), and thus by the Wanders over all ( since Richie was the leader of the Wanderers).

But remember the whistling I just mentioned, by Joey, in the beginning of the movie? Well, do you remember what Richie was doing when he heard Joey whistling?

Richie was having sex with his girlfriend. And when he heard Joey whistle, that meant "a Wanderer's in trouble," as Richie exclaimed to his girlfriend as he climbed off of her; as if drained of more than just his energy. Joey's whistling leads Rickie to forget to "coitus interruptus (i.e., Richie forgets to "pull out" of his girlfriend) because his mind is 'pulled out' of it's focus on the person he's having sex with, to focus on the gang to which he belongs.

And when Ritchie does that, when his mind leaps like a lap dog to its master, "The Wanderers", he 'leaves his body,' so to speak, on auto pilot; and he accidentally impregnates his girl friend. As a result, Richie's whole life is pulled into something he never wanted.

Again, if you recall in the beginning of the movie when the Baldies corner the Wanders in the alcove of an alley, trapped, it's Richie who came to help Joey. But in the end, Joey leaves Richie, who's now trapped (thank's to Joey!).

And all because Joey whistled.   

Comments

  1. Excellent movie. I would say someone should make a similar gang movie but someone did with Deuces Wild and sadly it wasn't given the credit it deserved. The Wanderers though, great stuff, not enough of that genre.

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