HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Caniba
Bedroom, The
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
Peter of Placid Forest
Golden Bird, The
War for the Planet of the Apes
One Sings, the Other Doesn't
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  Wild One, The Bad MannersBuy this film here.
Year: 1953
Director: Laszlo Benedek
Stars: Marlon Brando, Mary Murphy, Robert Keith, Lee Marvin, Jay C. Flippen, Peggy Maley, Hugh Sanders, Ray Teal, John Brown, Will Wright, Robert Osterloh, Robert Bice, Yvonne Doughty, William Vedder, Timothy Carey, Bruno VeSota
Genre: Drama
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Led by Johnny (Marlon Brando), the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are riding around California aimlessly, looking for something to do until trouble finds them. They turn up at a motorcycle race, riding through the track and generally getting in the way, but it's high spirits they're fuelled by, the mayhem being almost incidental. After dismounting and wandering across the track towards the table holding the trophies, they are stopped by a mechanic who tells them to clear off in no uncertain terms, but they just make a joke out of him, that is until the police arrive and if there's one thing that Johnny doesn't like, it's the cops. They reluctantly return to their motorbikes and drive away, but not before one of the club presents Johnny with a pilfered trophy - second prize as the first prize was to big to conceal. The club's next port of call is a small town not too far away, yet they'll come to regret going there...

Famously banned in Britain until 1968 for the possible corruption of the nation's youth it may or may not have caused, The Wild One was the first of the rebellious youth films of the nineteen-fifties to make an impact with the moviegoers of the time. It was also the first real biker movie, based on a true incident of a gang of four thousand bikers who turned up in a California town in 1947, and by association it presented its star Brando as an outlaw figure, a man who didn't compromise and trod his own path, an image that he never really shook off, even if he'd wanted to. Scripted by John Paxton from a story by Frank Rooney based on the original incident it also held up bikers as symbols of rebellion, something that did their confidence no end of good.

Although Johnny would deny it, being the leader he has a measure of depth that the others in his gang are not afforded. This doesn't prevent a disapproving attitude towards them from the filmmakers - you can almost hear them tut-tutting at each further act of bad behaviour - and when they arrive in the small town their raucousness is rewarded with grumbling protests from the locals. What makes them stick around is when one of their number crashes his cycle into a car driven by an elderly gent who demands the gang are arrested, but the Sheriff (Robert Keith) is an ineffectual sort who would rather leave them be. So while the injured biker is fixed up at the doctor's his fellows retire to the bar to drink as much beer as possible, dance to the jukebox (here's a film that needed rock and roll on its soundtrack) and generally party.

This atmosphere gives rise to the most famous lines; one girl asks Johnny what he's rebelling against, and Brando replies, "Whattaya got?", making him the rebel without a cause before James Dean made his mark. In this bar, the waitress is Kathie (Mary Murphy), the daughter of the Sheriff, and when Johnny finds this out he goes right off her. But not for long. There's a mutual attraction between them which Johnny is too inarticulate to admit and Kathie is too proper to accept, but whatever passes between them will have to wait when a rival gang, The Beetles led by Chino (Lee Marvin almost stealing the film), roar into town looking for a fight. Where the B.R.M.C. have their names carefully stencilled on their leather jackets, the Beetles are like their embarrassing relatives, uncouth and unpleasant.

One thing leads to another and Chino is imprisoned for an assault on a furious motorist who demands he be locked up, and the townsfolk show themselves up to be just as antisocial as the bikers when they want their revenge. The bikers are no help to the situation when they kidnap the motorist from his home and put him in the jail cell with Chino, who's sleeping off the effects of alcohol. There's a disparity between the attitude towards the locals and the invaders, as if they're both to blame for the tragedy that follows, but the finger wagging is at least even-handed - lack of discipline seems to be the cause of the trouble. Brando is a memorable antihero, slightly camp in his slouching, don't care posture, impudence and little cap and leathers (with his name on the jacket), and if the heavy going message takes over (Stanley Kramer was the producer), then at least the antics of the bikers have provided entertainment value, and are certainly revelled in here. Music by Leith Stevens.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3896 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: