The Wild One (1953)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  February 1954 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 10,888 users  
Reviews: 100 user | 34 critic

Two rival motorcycle gangs terrorize a small town after one of their leaders is thrown in jail.



(screenplay), (based on a story by), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Men (1950)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Paralized war vet tries to adjust to the world without the use of his limbs.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Marlon Brando, Teresa Wright, Everett Sloane
Viva Zapata! (1952)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Peters, Anthony Quinn
Julius Caesar (1953)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar but they have both sorely underestimated Mark Antony.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Louis Calhern, Marlon Brando, James Mason
Sayonara (1957)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A US air force major in Kobe confronts his own opposition to marriages between American servicemen and Japanese women when he falls for a beautiful performer.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Ricardo Montalban, Patricia Owens
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter
Désirée (1954)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Merle Oberon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Val Xavier, a drifter of obscure origins arrives at a small town and gets a job in a store run by Lady Torrence, a sex-starved woman whose husband Jabe M. Torrance is dying of cancer ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Marlon Brando, Joanne Woodward, Anna Magnani
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Running from the law after a bank robbery in Mexico, Dad Longworth finds an opportunity to take the stolen gold and leave his partner Rio to be captured. Years later, Rio escapes from the ... See full summary »

Director: Marlon Brando
Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Pina Pellicer
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country... See full summary »

Director: George Englund
Stars: Marlon Brando, Eiji Okada, Sandra Church
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra
The Chase (1966)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The escape of Bubber Reeves from prison affects the inhabitants of a small Southern town.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford


Complete credited cast:
Johnny Strabler / Narrator
Mary Murphy ...
Kathie Bleeker
Robert Keith ...
Sheriff Harry Bleeker
Sheriff Stew Singer
Peggy Maley ...
Hugh Sanders ...
Charlie Thomas
Frank Bleeker
John Brown ...
Bill Hannegan
Art Kleiner
Robert Osterloh ...
William Vedder ...
Yvonne Doughty ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Del Tenney


Cop-hating Johnny Strabler is recounting the fateful events that led up to the "whole mess" as he calls it, his role in the mess and whether he could have stopped it from happening. The Black Rebels, a motorcycle gang of which Johnny is the leader, cause a ruckus using intimidation wherever they go, with their actions bordering on the unlawful. On the day of the mess, they invade a motorcycle racing event, at which they cause a general disturbance culminating with one of the gang members stealing a second place trophy to give to Johnny. Despite not being the larger winning trophy, it symbolizes to Johnny his leadership within the group. Their next stop is a small town where their disturbance and intimidation tactics continue. Some in town don't mind their arrival as long as they spend money. Harry Bleeker, the local sheriff, doesn't much like them but is so ineffective and weak that he doesn't do anything to stop them, much to the annoyance of some of the other townsfolk, who see the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hot feelings hit terrifying heights in a story that really boils over! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

February 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Blood  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Widely released as a double bill with The Big Heat (1953) in the US. See more »


At completion of opening credits when the view switches to the wide shot of the pack preparing to make a left turn, the lead bike (Johnny)already has the trophy tied to the headlight. Johnny isn't presented with the stolen trophy until a later scene at the races. See more »


Johnny: [opening narration] It begins here for me on this road. How the whole mess happened I don't know, but I know it couldn't happen again in a million years. Maybe I could of stopped it early, but once the trouble was on its way, I was just goin' with it. Mostly I remember the girl. I can't explain it - a sad chick like that, but somethin' changed in me. She got to me, but that's later anyway. This is where it begins for me right on this road.
See more »


Spoofed in Get Smart: The Mild Ones (1967) See more »


Music by Leith Stevens
Shorty Rogers and his Orchestra:
Shorty Rogers, Conrad Gozzo, Ray Linn, Maynard Ferguson, Thomas Reeves - trumptes; Harry Betts, Bob Enevoldsen, Jimmy Kneeper - trombone; Bud Shank, Herb Geller - alto sax; Willis Holman, William Perkins - tenor sax; Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Cooper - alto sax; John Christian Graas - French horn; Paul Sarmento - tuba; Russ Freeman - piano; Joe Mondragon - bass; Shelly Manne - drums.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An influential classic
13 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

Although it might look quite tame compared to todays standards at the time of it's release The Wild One was considered ground breaking stuff which upset it's fair share of people (it was banned in Britain for 14 years). However it helped inspire the era of rebellion which lead to such classics as the James Dean epic Rebel Without a Cause. It is also memorable for Brando giving one of his greatest performances as Johnny Strabler, leader of the rebellious biker gang the "Black Rebels". True he didn't receive an academy award nomination for his role but there's still no doubting the standard of his performance.

At the start of the film we are introduced to Johnny and his gang as they interrupt a race taking place. This leads to a confrontation with the local sheriff which results in them leaving elsewhere to cause trouble. However just as they leave one of the members of the gang steals a trophy that would be presented to the runner up of the race (the first prize trophy was too big to steal)and gives it to Johnny. This represents the respect the gang has for Johnny. Soon after the gang arrives in the small town of Wrightsville, it is here that the film divides into two stories. The first one focuses on the relationship that develops between Johnny and a local girl called Kathie. At first it appears that the two couldn't be anymore different, he's a rebellious free spirit and she's lead quite a sheltered life going by rules and discipline. But it is through Kathie that we get to know the real Johnny as it is revealed that behind all the macho bravado he is quite a lost insecure soul unable to emotionally communicate with anyone, which explains why he behaves as he does. It is a credit to Brando's performance as to how he is able to draw sympathy from the viewer for his character. As Kathie has lead a sheltered life she has always been looking in from the outside, she has a father who is the sheriff of the town but isn't respected by the other residents and is considered something of a joke.It seems he is just there to make up the numbers and shows no signs of law enforcement skills when called to deal with a problem. Kathie sees him as a fraud, just as she sees Johnny. The second story focuses on the conflict that develops between the residents of the town and Johnny and his gang,during which it is the residents of the town who come off as the bad guys and not the black rebels.

As i previously mentioned while this film might look quite tame compared to todays standards it is still worth a look if you get a chance. If not to see what all the fuss was about at the time, then just for Brando's performance which really is in a league of it's own.

23 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
So was Johnny Strabler Gay? Ghost4545
The BRAINWASHING Opening Title Footage StuOz
incredibly stupid movie ssper
Maybe one of Brando's best Loukey
Opening Road Scene tHeJiGsAwkiLLah
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Drof
Discuss The Wild One (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: