IMDb > The Wild One (1953)
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.

Overview

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6.9/10   12,314 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 35% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
John Paxton (screenplay)
Frank Rooney (based on a story by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wild One on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1954 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Marlon Brando! Driven Too Far By His Own Hot Blood! See more »
Plot:
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:
Brando vs. The Beetles See more (104 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Marlon Brando ... Johnny Strabler

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:

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)

Johnny Duncan ... Gang Member (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)

Whitey Hughes ... Cycle Gang Member (uncredited)
Harry Landers ... GoGo (uncredited)

Carey Loftin ... Gang Member (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)
Del Tenney ... (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 (screenplay)

Frank Rooney (based on a story by)

Ben Maddow  uncredited

Produced by
Stanley Kramer .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Leith Stevens (musical score)
 
Cinematography by
Hal Mohr (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Al Clark 
 
Production Design by
Rudolph Sternad 
 
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
 
Stunts
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:
Runtime:
79 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Australia:A (original rating) | 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) | UK:Rejected (1954-1967) | USA:TV-14 | USA:Approved (PCA #16106) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Marlon Brando was not enthusiastic about making the film. He reportedly took the role only out of respect for Stanley Kramer, the producer of Brando's film debut, The Men (1950).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When being chased by townsfolk, Johnny hides behind a wall. A total shot shows him back-to-wall until the chasers have passed. In the following shot he has turned by 90 degrees to the left and stands clear off the wall.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 »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Knightriders (1981)See more »

FAQ

How old was Marlon Brando when he made this film?
How does the movie end?
Is 'The Wild One' based on a book?
See more »
43 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
Brando vs. The Beetles, 20 August 2005
Author: krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas

My son-in-law recently saw "Easy Rider" for the first time and became totally confused. "What's that all about?" he asked me. What could I say? I replied, "You just had to have lived through those times to understand and appreciate the movie." The same can be said of "The Wild One." Before "Blackboard Jungle," before "Rebel Without A Cause," before "Look Back in Anger," there was "The Wild One." "What are you rebelling against?" "Whatcha got?" That certainly sounds like James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" but, no, it's Johnny (Brando) in "The Wild One." I saw this movie for the first time when I was 13 and was mesmerized by it. Apparently it was distributed again after "Blackboard Jungle" and "Rebel Without a Cause" came out because I saw it the same year I saw the other two. As far as fascination of the three, this one effected me most. Almost as good as Brando is Lee Marvin. I've read conflicting accounts of how The Beatles came up with their name. One, they so admired Buddy Holly and the Crickets that they adopted Beatles as a replacement for Crickets. The other story is that John Lennon so admired "The Wild One" that he took the name of the rival bikers and gave it a new spelling. Whatever the case, Lee Marvin is a good foil for Brando.

My favorite part of the movie is the opening. The open highway is a symbol for the movie. The highway is a means of passage for new ideas, new challenges, new life styles. The highway can bring evil as well as good. It is symbolic of freedom and a carefree way of life. It's not surprising that trucks began replacing freight trains as the major means of transport for goods and services following World War II. The highway also began replacing the rails as the major means of escape for the socially and spiritually oppressed among us. The viewer sees the blacktop for what seems to be several minutes. Suddenly, something appears on the horizon. Before the viewer knows it, rebels in the form of bikers are headed directly toward the camera. Then it seems they actually run through the camera and come out of the screen into the audience. What a piece of cinematography. Hungarian-born Laszlo Benedek mainly concentrated on television after this film. Being such a gifted director, one wishes he had done more films.

There is actually not much of a story in this movie. Supposedly based on a true account of a biker gang taking possession of a small California town, it's mainly a comment on changing times and mores in post-war America. But from the first roar of bikes journeying down the pavement, the viewer is hooked and stays spellbound to the very end. One thing puzzles me about the film's history: How does a movie get banned in Finland?

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