They’re here! They’re here!

Here is a fun film comparison.

Two of my favorite Philip Kaufman films are Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1976) and The Wanderers (1979). On the surface these two films seem so radically different given their distinct genre and stylistic concerns. However, on closer examination they actually have a lot in common.

For example, the following clip from The Wanderers features the final fight scene wherein the various ethnic gangs from da Bronx battle it out with the dreaded Ducky Boys. Take a look at the Ducky Boys in this scene and tell me they don’t look like lifeless aliens from a heroine addicted planet. Moreover, notice the tell-tale words from Joey (the first character you will see and hear in this clip) when he announces the Ducky Boys’ arrival–immediately hearkening back to Kevin McCarthy’s final words in the original 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which he then again repeats during his cameo appearance in the 1978 re-make by Kaufman. The circle is complete!

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3 Responses to They’re here! They’re here!

  1. Gardner says:

    I blush to confess I’ve never seen The Wanderers–and I’m a huge Kaufman fan. Time to get the Netflix queue back on the straight and narrow.

    Ever heard Kaufman’s commentary track for IOTBS (I love that movie–and the Don Siegel original too)? Fascinating stuff. He’s such a heartfelt smart guy, our Mr. Kaufman. My kinda guy.

  2. Chris L says:

    I just have to note that I saw _The Wanderers_ at entirely too young an age. I remember riding my bike around singing “The Wanderer” for a long time, with no idea what any of it meant except that I liked it and I had a friend named Janie. I suspect far too many of my views are, at some deep level, influenced by _The Wanderers_… I should watch it again just to counteract some of that!

    Yet another flick into the NetFlix queue– which at this point is really just a happy fantasy that I’ll someday have time to watch a movie or two!

  3. jimgroom says:

    I actually wrote one of my first papers on this in Grad School, the other film I discuss in relationship to “They’re Here” is The Right Stuff, which I believe is an all time favorite for you, no? Kaufman has heart, Henry and June was a bit of a let down as was The Unbearable Lightness of Being -at least for me -he should have stuck with the kitschy genre films rather than getting all literary!


    For me the scene where the teacher tries to make an edifying point about racial and ethnic slurs that, in turn, spirals into utter chaos and mayhem is one of my all time favorites. I also found myself wandering around mentioning Teddy Wong and his clan all too often for I was but green in judgment. By the way, the Wongs were by far my favorite gang because they seemed so stoic and badass.

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