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The Wild One
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The Wild One (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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


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John Paxton (screen play by)
Frank Rooney (based on a story by)
View company contact information for The Wild One on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1954 (USA) See more »
Marlon Brando! Driven Too Far By His Own Hot Blood! See more »
Two rival motorcycle gangs terrorize a small town after one of their leaders is thrown in jail. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
We Owe Laslo Benedek See more (94 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Marlon Brando ... Johnny Strabler / Narrator
Mary Murphy ... Kathie Bleeker
Robert Keith ... Sheriff Harry Bleeker

Lee Marvin ... Chino

Jay C. Flippen ... Sheriff Stew Singer
Peggy Maley ... Mildred
Hugh Sanders ... Charlie Thomas

Ray Teal ... Frank Bleeker
John Brown ... Bill Hannegan

Will Wright ... Art Kleiner
Robert Osterloh ... Ben
William Vedder ... Jimmy
Yvonne Doughty ... Britches
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Del Tenney
Wally Albright ... Cyclist (uncredited)
Chris Alcaide ... Deputy (uncredited)
Don Anderson ... Stinger (uncredited)
Robert Anderson ... Policeman (uncredited)
Robert Bice ... Wilson (uncredited)
Nicky Blair ... One of Chino's Boys (uncredited)
Norman Budd ... One of Chino's Boys (uncredited)

Timothy Carey ... Chino's Boy #1 (uncredited)
Charles Cirillo ... Bee Bop (uncredited)
Keith Clarke ... Gringo (uncredited)
Jim Connell ... Boxer (uncredited)
Ted Cooper ... Racer (uncredited)
Dude Criswell ... Cyclist (uncredited)
George Dockstader ... Cyclist (uncredited)

John Doucette ... Sage Valley Race Official (uncredited)
Darren Dublin ... Dinky (uncredited)

Richard Farnsworth ... (uncredited)
Don Fera ... Cyclist (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Sam Gilman ... Deputy (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Official (uncredited)
Joe Haworth ... One of Chino's Boys (uncredited)
Pepe Hern ... One of Chino's Boys (uncredited)
Harry Landers ... GoGo (uncredited)
Eve March ... Dorothy - Telephone Operator (uncredited)
Patrick Miller ... Deputy (uncredited)
Mort Mills ... Deputy (uncredited)
Alvy Moore ... Pigeon (uncredited)
Mary Newton ... Mrs. Thomas (uncredited)
Kathleen O'Malley ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley ... Sawyer (uncredited)

Jerry Paris ... Dextro (uncredited)
Eugene Peterson ... Crazy (uncredited)
K.L. Smith ... One of Chino's Boys (uncredited)

Angela Stevens ... Betty (uncredited)

Gil Stratton ... Mouse (uncredited)
Jerry Sullivan ... Spectator Cyclist (uncredited)
John Tarangelo ... Red (uncredited)
Bruno VeSota ... Simmonds (uncredited)
Danny Welton ... Bee Bop (uncredited)
Blackie Whiteford ... Bystander at Art's Accident (uncredited)

Directed by
Laslo Benedek 
Writing credits
John Paxton (screen play by)

Frank Rooney (based on a story by)

Ben Maddow  uncredited

Produced by
Stanley Kramer .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Leith Stevens (musical score by)
Cinematography by
Hal Mohr (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Al Clark (film editor)
Production Design by
Rudolph Sternad (production design by)
Art Direction by
Walter Holscher 
Set Decoration by
Louis Diage 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Donnelly .... assistant director
Sound Department
George Cooper .... sound engineer
X Brands .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Carson .... stunt double: Marlon Brando (uncredited)
Larry Duran .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
Whitey Hughes .... stunts (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunts (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... fight double: Marlon Brando (uncredited)
Tom Steele .... fight double: Lee Marvin (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Phil Stern .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director
Harry Betts .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Bob Enevoldsen .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Maynard Ferguson .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Russ Freeman .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Herb Geller .... musician: alto sax (uncredited)
Ray Linn .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Shelly Manne .... musician: drums (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Bill Perkins .... musician: tenor sax (uncredited)
Shorty Rogers .... music arranger (uncredited)
Bud Shank .... musician: alto sax (uncredited)
Other crew
Jim Cameron .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Willie Forkner .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
79 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 (uncut) (2013) | Finland:K-16 (uncut) (1966) | Finland:(Banned) (cut) (1956) | Finland:(Banned) (uncut) (1954) | Norway:16 (1956) | Norway:(Banned) (1954 - 1956) | Sweden:15 | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) | UK:X (re-rating) (1967) (cut) | UK:R (original rating) (1955) | USA:TV-14 | USA:Approved (PCA #16106) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Marlon Brando and most of the Black Rebels ride Triumphs and other British motorcycles, while Lee Marvin and his boys ride Harley-Davidsons.See more »
Continuity: Gil Stratton Jr's motorcycle changes from a Triumph from when he leaves the races to a Matchless when he arrives in Wrightsville.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 »
Movie Connections:
ChinoSee more »


How old was Marlon Brando when he made this film?
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Is 'The Wild One' based on a book?
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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
We Owe Laslo Benedek, 3 July 2002

Every so often that movie comes along that defies everything, everyone and all expectations. It reaches beyond the realms of mere big screen entertainment and constructs iconography and archetypes that are so enduring that to this day they are relevant and have an effect. Make no mistake about it, The Wild One is THE first movie to represent a youth culture of any description. People cite Rebel Without A Cause as the first youth culture movie BUT this movie came before and in my opinion, is by far the better movie

The story centres on Johnny Strabler (Marlon Brando) and his motorcycle gang who terrorise a small California town alongside another motorcycle gang led by Chino (a young Lee Marvin). After Chino's arrest for out of hand antics, the gangs run wild during the night, doing with the town as they please, from attacking the telephone operator, freeing Chino from prison to attacking a citizens house whom they believe responsible for Chino's arrest and accosting just about every female in the town. While Johnny is not totally blameless for this he is most definitely NOT the instigator that everyone makes him out to be. This does not stop the townspeople adopting a mob mentality and going at Johnny with all guns blazing. However while they are planning this there is a love story unfolding between Johnny and the daughter of a cop, a love story that is never truly consummated. The cops daughter had intrigued Johnny since the beginning since she had appeared untouchable. He saves her from the wrath of the rest of the B.R.M.C. (the name given to Johnny's motorcycle gang) and takes her to a forest where, after some heated Academy Award flavoured dialogue and a kiss and a slap, the cops daughter runs from Johnny, although not FROM Johnny. The running stands for a metaphor related to suburban societal entrapment. Johnny is later caught and battered by the mob until the towns cop unknowingly stalls the mob for Johnny to escape. Johnny grabs his motorcycle and attempts to ride out when something (a tyre iron) is thrown at the wheel of his moving bike and causing is to fly out of control and into an elderly citizen. And when it seems that Johnny is going to go to jail for an extremely LONG time, a couple of towns people including the cops daughter decide to tell a few truths that help Johnny get out of it. Johnny and his boys leave town never to return.

The mere storyline of this movie is simply not enough to translate exactly what it is that this movie stands for and is responsible for. A scene that is, and forever shall be ingrained into the Hollywood psyche is when Johnny is standing by a jukebox and one of his gang members is dancing with a girl and she asks, `B.R.M.C., what does that stand for?'. Johnny's gang member replies `The Black Rebels Motorcycle Club' and she replies `Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?' and he replies, in what could very possibly be the most career defining sentence that has ever been uttered on-screen, `Whaddya got?'. Now in this day and age that comes across as incredibly trite and corny but in those days, in that social environment that existed in Western Culture, that movie was called incendiary and ran into censorship troubles (cue The Hayes Code) and in England was banned outright until sometime in the mid 70s. While watching this movie one must remain totally and utterly aware of the context of this movie.

Another the scene that was the cause of many a raised eyebrow and was exactly what makes every kid on earth that's ever been condescended to by teacher and parents and the like, totally empathise is the scene where the cops daughter and the cop have saved Johnny's life and Johnny is being read the riot act by the Sheriff and he just sits there, looking at the floor (c'mon guys, u know you've been in that position before) totally listening but appearing as if he isn't. As Johnny is strutting out of the room the cop stop him by asking if he has anything to say to these people who have basically saved his life (at least from jail). The cop even prompts him so far as to say `You could at least say 'Thank You'. Johnny doesn't move, doesn't turn to look at them, doesn't speak. This silence is broken by the cops daughter who says `It's OK, he doesn't know how'. This on it's own cements John Strabler and the most archetypal rebel. The key here is in relating to the character. Everybody, from your typical f***ed-up suburban teenager, to your urban delinquents to a three year old can understand the complexities and the moral stand that is taken by someone when they decide that they will not do things like apologise or thank people.

Youth rebellion was a complete and utter non entity in the 50s, no one could fathom kids doing things like this. Kids up until the 50s merely did what there parents did. This movie was the first to challenge all this, to challenge class oppression and gender roles even, as there are women (shock, horror) as members of Chino's motorcycle gang. This could be the most exceptional piece of filmmaking that EVER happened. I guarantee you that in no matter what town you live in that if you walk down the street you will see some degree of influence from this movie on the people you encounter. Without this movie the following things would not be the same in society:

1) There would be no Rockabilly music of the same fashionable kind 2) There would have to be ANOTHER image of the rebel, possibly the James Dean created image of the rebel because this one would not be 3) There would be no movies the way they are today in terms of youth rebellion (this movie challenged censorship sensibilities) 4) The punk rock movement would be utterly different (Jesus Christ, Sid Vicious has Marlon Brando's jacket, not to mention The Ramones) 5) A lot of modern music, The B.R.M.C. for instance would not be the band they are

The point being made here is that the effect of this movie is beyond mere moviedom. It defined a times, it defined an actor (Marlon Brando), is was fresh and vibrant, it was a kick in the ass for those censors, those self appointed guardians of morality who dare to tell us what to watch and how to watch it and when to watch it. Since this movie a million movies in its vein have emerged, all defining their era. For the 60s there was Easy Rider and Head, for the 70s there was Stayin Alive, and Saturday Night Fever, For the 80s there was Falling Down and for the 90s there was a torrent of them, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, Human Traffic BUT, The Wild One was the first, the unadulterated masterpiece that is now an indelible mark on Hollywood, no American, no Western Culture that will for ever stand testament to the fact that, WE ARE SO F***ING COOL!!! (kids that is JJ)

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Mom Jeans MaicoCPA
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So was Johnny Strabler Gay? Ghost4545
incredibly stupid movie ssper
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