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The Wild One (1953)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  February 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 10,756 users  
Reviews: 100 user | 33 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 »
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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


Marlon Brando! Driven Too Far By His Own Hot Blood! 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?


To prepare for his role, Marlon Brando renewed his love for motorcycles, practising his cycling technique and selecting his own wardrobe, which he wore to and from the studio. Brando also spent time with the real-life biker gangs to absorb their mannerisms and speech. See more »


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 »


Kathie Bleeker: Where are you going when you leave here?
Johnny: [he pauses and just shrugs]
Kathie Bleeker: Don't you know?
Johnny: Oh, man. we're just gonna go!
See more »


Referenced in James Dean Remembered (1974) See more »


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

Still gorgeous.
25 March 2002 | by (Southampton, England) – See all my reviews

The first time I saw The Wild One, about 15 years ago, I was disappointed: I think I found the story a bit lacking, and, like another user, indeterminate. Watching it a couple of days ago, however, I was bowled over by it. Yes, it has dated, as all highly styled films do, but if you get over that and open yourself up to the visuals, especially Brando's starry performance as a contrast to everyone around him, this film is fantastically enjoyable! It's also quite remarkable when you think about other films of the period and especially the clothes of the leading men - tight jeans were quite extraordinary. I loved the information from another user that Brando was self-conscious about the size of his bum. Marlon, if you happen to read this, don't worry, you were a babe! (Helped along by leather, frothing beer bottles and shiny bikes, of course!) This film was banned in Britain until 1968: less to do with the plot and more to do with the films sensational and fetishistic qualities, I would imagine. If you have only found yourself laughing up till now, have a different look at the scene between Brando and Mary Murphy out under the stars, his costume and the bike glittering, or the coffee shop, with all its shiny paraphenalia... just the sort of thing to upset the male censors, and where the real power of the film lies.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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