'Warriors, Come Out To Play:' Story Of The Line From A Cult Classic
By | April 9, 2019
"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.
The Famous Line Isn’t The Script, But It Wasn’t Exactly Improvised
Hollywood lore states that Kelly tossed out the very creepy line in a fit of pique while filming at Coney Island. And while that’s certainly a cool story, it’s not actually what happened. Actor David Patrick Kelly says that the director Walter Hill worked together in order to bring some tension into the scene. While Kelly came up with clinking the bottles together, he’s strident about the fact that Hill fed him the line.
Kelly told Entertainment Weekly:
Walter gives me credit for that. I found the bottles, but he says I did it all. It wasn’t in the script. I’ll take credit for the bottles and how I said it. But I remember him kicking in the lines.