The Warriors (1979): Was Cyrus, The Gang Leader Orator, the Inspiration for a young Barack Obama ?
First off, I am neither unique nor original in this supposition. But, it did come to me independently of the others who may have thought of it earlier than I did.
Since Barack Obama became president, his continuing, frequent appearances in front of adoring crowds throughout the country, and his ongoing oratory kept tickling my memory. Why is this vaguely familiar to me? Where have I heard this guy before? These are questions that kept popping into my mind. Then it hit me. Recalling the film, The Warriors (1979), the character Cyrus was the answer.
In February, 1979, this film was in theatres across the country, including, I am assuming, in Hawaii. (I first saw it at that time.) As Obama was born in August, 1961, he would have been 17 at the time and still in high school. Is it possible that a young and impressionable Barack Obama saw this film at that time? Yes, it is possible. Upon seeing and hearing the character Cyrus with his oratory skills, and noting the significant reaction (from the large audience of listeners) that Cyrus could produce, was Barack thereby inspired to strive to become such a charismatic orator? Perhaps, we will never know. But, it is possible.
Check out these free video clips on YouTube and judge for yourselves.
Cyrus: “Can you dig it?” – about 14 seconds
More of Cyrus’ speech in 2 segments – each about 2:36 in length.
What do you think?