In 1979, Gary Weis, known for his short films on Saturday Night Live, directed a documentary about South Bronx street gangs called 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s . Weis came up with idea of doing the film after reading an article in Esquire magazine by Jon Bradshaw. The article, like the film, focused on two gangs: the Savage Nomads and the Savage Skulls.
Despite its role as an important and unflinching portrait of a profoundly interesting time in New York and, as pointed out by The New York Times, hip hop’s cultural history, 80 Blocks was, for many years, impossible to find, only briefly available as an educational VHS release in 1985.
In the time since its initial release, the documentary has gained an overwhelming cult status. With little to no news coverage over the decades since its release dedicated fans continue to buzz about the film, especially now that the internet has provided fans common ground to fondly look back not only the documentary itself, but the era that it captured so vividly.
Here’s 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s in its entirety. If you dig the film and want to own a copy, you can purchase the DVD here. It comes with alot of extras, including interviews with the director, cinematographer, and a forty page book.