The Cross And The Switchblade David Wilkerson is a relatively young parish priest in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. With nominal funds, insufficient even to get a hotel room which forces him to sleep in his car, his church sends him to New York City to bring the word of God to the young men and youth of the Egyptian Kings, who are on trial for their violent gang activities. David hopes God will be their salvation. Although David is not allowed to get near the Egyptian Kings, his trip to the courthouse does garner much publicity. Because of that publicity, David meets a tough street youth named Little Bo, who offers to introduce David to the main gangs still out on the streets, namely the mixed white Mau Maus, and the predominantly black Bishops, who are fighting each other for territory. Who the gangs hate more than each other, however, are the authorities. David turns his attentions to the two gangs, and wants them to know that God loves them no matter who they are or what they do, and in doing so will guide them to …
More than a Spiritual Movie
The Cross And The Switchblade I saw this movie when I was 13 years old, while first released at the theaters. It has stayed with me ever since. I am not a religious person, and the heart of this movie is not in my memory for spiritual reasons. It is the true story of the heartbreaking struggles of a few, then dozens, then hundreds of streetkids. It is the true story of the bitter-sweet survival, recovery, success of one after another. And the utter sadness in the loss and waste of those lost to drugs, crime, and/or prison. What moved me wasn’t as much the tenacity and courage of the preacher who gave up his comforts to live and work among those of the street, which was enormous, but the fact that these kids were found, or found someone, to pull them out, to fight for them until they finally became capable of fighting for themselves. There is both humor and drama in this story of kids who learned through the efforts of one single man, constantly, unrelentlessly, with creativity and iron testicles, that they can overcome.