5.1/10
668
15 user 11 critic

Evel Knievel (1971)

Biography of the famed motorcycle daredevil, much of which was filmed in his home town of Butte, Montana. The film depicts Knievel reflecting on major events in his life just before a big ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Marvin Chomsky)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Viva Knievel! (1977)
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.7/10 X  

Motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel is offered a fortune to perform in Mexico. What Evel doesn't know is that they're planning to kill him and use his body to ship cocaine into the U.S. His ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Evel Knievel, Gene Kelly, Lauren Hutton
Hooper (1978)
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Hollywood aging stuntman Sonny Hooper wants to prove that he's still got what it takes to be a great professional in this risky and under-recognized line of work.

Director: Hal Needham
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Jan-Michael Vincent, Sally Field
Evel Knievel (TV Movie 2004)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Since boyhood, orphan Bobby 'Evel' Knievel never could resist risks or keep out of trouble. He's determined to leave the mining town Butte, willing to try any job or scam. Linda Bork agrees... See full summary »

Director: John Badham
Stars: George Eads, Jaime Pressly, Lance Henriksen
The Devil's 8 (1969)
Thriller | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A federal agent rounds up eight convicts to help fight a vicious moonshine gang.

Director: Burt Topper
Stars: Christopher George, Fabian, Tom Nardini
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Tom Sharky is demoted to vice after a bust goes terribly wrong. He and his team stumble across a mob murder tied to prostitution and government.

Director: Burt Reynolds
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Rachel Ward, Vittorio Gassman
Evel Knievel (TV Movie 1974)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Pilot for an adventure/comedy series starring Sam Elliott as the title character and Gary Barton as his sidekick. In the pilot Evel Knievel must compete against a female motorcycle daredevil.

Director: Michael O'Herlihy
Stars: Sam Elliott, Noble Willingham, Gary Barton
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, George Kennedy
Sam Whiskey (1969)
Certificate: M Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Sam Whiskey is an all-round talent, but when the attractive widow Laura offers him a job, he hesitates: he shall salvage gold bars, which Laura's dead husband stole recently, from a sunken ... See full summary »

Director: Arnold Laven
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Angie Dickinson, Clint Walker
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, David Warner
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Linda
...
Doc Kincaid
...
Charlie Knesson
...
Turquoise Smith
...
Pete
Hal Baylor ...
The Sheriff
...
Sorority Girl
...
Sorority Girl
Ben Bentley ...
Man in Bar
...
Nurse #1 (as Alana Collins-Hamilton)
Joe Davis ...
Showgirl #2
Lee de Broux ...
Wrangler #1 (as Lee De Broux)
Roger Edington ...
Bartender
Frank Ellis ...
Rodeo Clown
Edit

Storyline

Biography of the famed motorcycle daredevil, much of which was filmed in his home town of Butte, Montana. The film depicts Knievel reflecting on major events in his life just before a big jump. Written by jmk

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Last of the Daredevils! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Evel Knievel - O Rei das Proezas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of a 1970s cycle of works which were about stunt-work and the stunt profession in movie-making. In his book "Cult Movies 3", Danny Peary says in his piece on The Stunt Man (1980) that "there had been a proliferation of theatrical and television films about stuntmen". The films include Hooper (1978), Animal (1977), Evel Knievel (1971) (1971), Stunt Rock (1980), Evel Knievel (1974) (1974), Dare Devils (1973), Deathcheaters (1976), Stunts (1977), Viva Knievel! (1977), Superstunt (1977), Death Riders (1976) and The Stunt Man (1980). See more »

Goofs

Boom mic operator's shadow when Bobby's wife joins him on the back of his motorcycle after they are married. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Evel Knievel: [speaking to the camera] Ladies and gentlemen, you have no idea how good it makes me feel to be here today. It is truly an honor to risk my life for you. An honor. Before I jump this motorcycle over these 19 cars - and I want you to know there's not a Volkswagen or a Datsun in the row - before I sail cleanly over that last truck, I want to tell you that last night a kid came up to me and he said, "Mr Knievel, are you crazy? That jump you're going to make is impossible, but I already...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

I Do What I Please
Music by Patrick Williams (as Pat Williams)
Lyrics by Bradford Craig
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This film is better than most of today's box office hits.
7 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Evel Knievel" doesn't pretend to be anything more than lightweight, escapist entertainment. If it takes liberties with Knievel's life, guess what--it's by no means the only such movie that's done so. Virtually every movie that's been made about an actual person(s) or historical event has taken liberties.

Most of the reviewers here seem to have taken a perverse satisfaction in beating up on a movie that Variety complimented for its "sheer comic relief." In fact, some of the reviews are so similar, it's difficult to believe that their authors have not taken "inspiration" from their predecessors, especially the first review, which offset every negative criticism with a positive one and made the word "mishmash" a must-use adjective for his successors.

This film is not a mishmash--it's a disappointment. Anyone who can't follow its storyline must still be reading the funny pages. The main problem is that half of this movie is good and the other half isn't. The good half is the flashbacks that deal with Knievel before he became the legend that he was when this film was released.

The film has its comedic moments, portraying Knievel as a man fearful of being hurt (he's afraid of needles, for instance) except when he's on a motorcycle. The filmmakers want us to like Knievel and realize that, in many ways, he's just like us. So, we end up with a semi-caricature, an ersatz imitation. But, this is most evident in the "present" time scenes, which are largely disposable, and serve no better purpose than filling gaps between flashbacks.

This was a low budget film, a quickie vehicle to make a quick buck, that has a movie-of-the-week quality at times. During the climactic jump, actual footage of the real Knievel is spliced with close-ups of extras turning their heads to watch the bike's trajectory, along with close-ups of what is supposed to be Knievel's bike suspended in air, are amateurishly staged. One particular highlight is a montage of Knievel stunt footage and, of course, the infamous Caesar's Palace jump.

Hamilton's performance is surprisingly good. In that sense, he is miscast but has a winning persona. The flashbacks are really not confusing. In fact, with few exceptions, they're the best parts of the movie. Perhaps it would have been better if the story had been told in a linear fashion. The biggest problem is when the flashbacks end and the movie returns to the present, where Knievel and his wife, Sue Lyons (who is basically window dressing and shares zero chemistry with Hamilton; and although the supporting cast contains a couple of familiar faces, they are lackluster) are spending the day behind-the-scenes at the Ontario Motor Speedway, where Knievel make a jump that evening.

Little of this material is good and is contrasts badly with the flashbacks. Hamilton's performance even suffers in the present-time scenes. He comes across as a stiff, pompous, bellyacher. Part of this is due to Knievel the iconic hero being portrayed as a high-maintenance griper, without the winning "bad boy" qualities Hamilton plays so well in the flashbacks, when he's a likable, non-dangerous hood.

His real private life became all-too-public and ugly at the height of his fame. A number of documentaries (with which Knievel cooperated) have shown about what the daredevil's private life was REALLY like, this is understandable (think of a boozing, out-of-control, sex-addicted rock star, besieged by groupies, enjoying a different woman every day and often more than one—his personal record for a single day was something like seven women). Unfortunately, the films suffers badly as a result.

This was another piece of merchandise cranked out when Knievel was a household name and an incredibly popular hero whose image was on posters, lunch boxes, his own cartoon series,and even an Evel Knievel, motorcycle-riding doll by Mattel. So we get a sanitized version of Knievel's life in keeping with the squeaky-clean public persona that never was. That's one reason why the flashbacks are probably more entertaining—they're closer to the truth.

Even so, Knievel is good, clean fun and I've always liked its theme song, although I don't know who sang it and it never charted.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?