is a 1979 greaser
film based on the novel by Richard Price
(first published in 1974, when Price was 24 years old).
It tells the story of several Italian-American
youths growing up together amid the various gangs
of 1963 New York City
. The film stars Ken Wahl
, features Karen Allen
and was directed by Philip Kaufman
. In an interview for American Film
in November 1983, Kaufman (who ran with a gang whilst growing up in Chicago in the 1950s) said he "had been wanting to do a gang movie for years - the urban experience, the darker side of teenagers growing up." Kaufman and his wife Rose wrote the screenplay, making a more cohesive story out of Price's episodic novel. Years later, Kaufman said, "I think Richard Price would say that his novel was really a bunch of short stories, and we really tried to make one story out of them all."
The Kaufmans also swapped characteristics between the individual Wanderers in the transition from novel to film. For instance, in the book it is Wanderer Buddy Borsalino who marries Despie Galasso; in the movie, protagonist Richie who marries Despie, and Buddy is relegated to a supporting role in the story. Also, in the book, one of the major characters is a Wanderer named Eugene, who does not appear in the movie at all.