'Warriors, Come Out To Play:' Story Of The Line From A Cult Classic

By Jacob Shelton
Source: (imdb.com)

"Warriors, come out to play."

The line from The Warriors is like a secret code for lovers of the cult classic film -- while a lot of people haven't even seen the low-budget gang saga, those who have tend to be lifelong fans. The Warriors, directed by Walter Hill, tells the story of a Coney Island gang who is framed for a murder and must spend an eventful night getting from The Bronx to their southern Brooklyn home turf. The other street gangs, whose colorful gimmicks make them all the more menacing, are hunting the Warriors on the streets and in the subways of New York. The city is depicted as a lawless urban wasteland (which didn't take a lot of effort in the late '70s), and the violence is life-or-death stuff. As The Warriors hide from their rivals in the final scenes, The Rogues, the leader of their adversaries, Luther, clinks three bottles together and says, in a creepy, sing-songy voice, “Warriors, come out to play-ee-ay.”

The scene is one of the most memorable moments in film history, and there’s debate over whether or not David Patrick Kelly, the actor who played Luther, improvised the line. We’ll take a look at the claim, see what Kelly has to say, and delve into the films and music that this scene has inspired.