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The Wild One (1953)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  February 1954 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 9,731 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 28 critic

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

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(screen play by), (based on a story by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Blood  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lee Marvin based his character, Chino, on real biker Willie Forkner ("Wino Willy"). Forkner rode with the Booze Fighters Motorcycle Club, and is considered a legend among bikers. See more »

Goofs

The mark on Johnny's face (below left eye and received in earlier fight with Chino) is missing in the motorcycle ride to park with Kathie, but shows up later in following scenes. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Thomas: I've seen hoodlums like this before. If you don't get tough with them the minute they get out of line you're sunk. You're the cop, aren't you? If you can't boot these jerks out there's plenty of us can, even if we have to bust a few heads.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Heavy Petting (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Blues for Brando
Music by Leith Stevens
Shorty Rogers and his Orchestra:
Shorty Rogers, Conrad Gozo, Ray Linn, Maynard Ferguson, Thomas Reeves - trumptes; Harry Betts, Bob Enevoldsen, Jimmy Kneeper - trombone; Bud Shank, Herb Geller - alto sax; Willis Holman, Bill Perkins - tenor sax; Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Cooper - alto sax; John Grasse - 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

Iconic biker flick.
15 April 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Brando is his archetypal mean and moody self, as the original rebel on a motorcycle terrorising smalltown America. The enduring iconic images from the film have weathered better than the film itself, however, but it still stands up as a paean to disaffected youth.

When Johnny and the boys ride into town all hell breaks loose, with a culture clash between themselves and the 'squares', resulting in tragedy and some reconciliation. These boys look tame compared to today's standards (they even pay for their own beer!) but they don't fit in and so are immediately ostracised by a grown-up world that doesn't understand their jive-talking, anti-social behaviour. Johnny's reply when asked, "What are you rebelling against?" says it all..."Whatta you got?", with a sneer for good measure.

Time hasn't been kind to the film, and it's hard to see why it was banned in the UK for 18 years (mainly down to the lack of any retribution for the gang), but there is still a tight story and strong characterisation. It's a pity the film descends needlessly into melodrama, losing much of it's credibility in the process.


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