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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 -- Marlon Brando scorches the screen in this powerful '50s cult classic about a biker gang that terrorizes a small California town.
The Wild One -- Two rival motorcycle gangs terrorize a small town after one of their leaders is thrown in jail.


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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Paxton (screenplay)
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:
An influential classic See more (100 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)
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)
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 (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 (film editor)
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
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?

As has been pointed out, the BBFC refused this film a certificate in 1954. At the time the highest rating for a film was an "X" certificate, which in those days meant 16 or over. However it is not true to say that the film was banned. The authority over film exhibition lies with the local authority. Most accept the BBFC rulings but any local authority can view a film and issue it's own rating. In the case of "The Wild One", it was shown in the UK in 1954 at the Rex Cinema in Cambridge, managed at the time by Leslie Halliwell of Halliwell's Film Guide fame. He arranged for the local watch committee to view the film and they gave it a local "X" certificate. It played for two weeks to indifferent business as recounted in Halliwell's autobiography "Seats in all Parts" (apparently it also got a local "X" in Maesteg, South Wales).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 »
[watching Johnny and Chino fight]
Charlie Thomas:What are they fighting about?
Jimmy:Don't know. Don't know themselves, probably.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Pick-up Summer (1980)See more »
The Wild OneSee more »


Is 'The Wild One' based on a book?
Any recommendations for other movies like "The Wild One"?
How does the movie end?
See more »
23 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
An influential classic, 13 August 2002
Author: Hanava

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.

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