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Hells Angels Forever (1983)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 125 users  
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What starts off as a squadron of American daredevil bombers in World War II, branded by society as renegades, turns into a revealing ride into the world of honor, violence, and undying ... See full summary »

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(original concept), , 1 more credit »
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Title: Hells Angels Forever (1983)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Sandy Alexander ...
Himself
Ray Archuleta ...
Himself - Defense Attorney
Sonny Barger ...
Himself - Hells Angels President
Scott Barnes ...
Himself - Former Policeman
...
Himself
Elephant's Memory ...
Themselves
...
Himself
Herman Graber ...
Himself - Defense Attorney
James 'Fu' Griffin ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Narrator (voice)
Stanley Siegel ...
Himself - Defense Attorney
Hurricane Vinny ...
Himself
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Storyline

What starts off as a squadron of American daredevil bombers in World War II, branded by society as renegades, turns into a revealing ride into the world of honor, violence, and undying passion for motorcycles on the road. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of an American Phenomenon See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 March 1984 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Hell's Angels Forever  »

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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Love & Haight (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Pirate's Ball
Performed by Elephant's Memory
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User Reviews

 
After years of lies and misconceptions about them, the Angels decided to tell their side of the story
24 September 2012 | by (Austin, Texas, USA) – See all my reviews

The Hells Angels rose to national prominence in the mid-1960s, due in large part to Hunter Thompson's reporting on the club in The Nation, which he later expanded into the book that made him famous. What followed was a deluge of negative press, police harassment, and God knows how many cheap biker exploitation movies (most with some variation on the club's name, i.e.: Satan's Angels and such) that cast bikers - all of us - in the worst possible light. By the 1980s the Angels were reportedly fed up with all that, so when NYC chapter president Sandy Alexander suggested telling the club's side of the story, his brothers got on board.

The result is not high art, but it is an interesting slice-of-life look at a subculture a lot of people only THINK they know about, and a valuable historical resource for those interested in understanding this authentically and unabashedly American subculture. Not that it's to be taken as gospel, but anyone with even a passing interest in the subject would do well to see this film.

And it must be noted that, in spite of the fact that this is a propaganda piece, the Angels, to their credit, did not shy away from some of the grittier aspects of their brotherhood and lifestyle. I'm thinking of the prominent face time given to club spokesmen like Vinny (RIP), who didn't exactly come across as goodwill ambassador to the world, or the interview with Jerry Garcia and his "violent spaces" remark. The Angels could have cut all of that and presented a squeaky-clean image of themselves. They chose not to, and I say "Good on 'em!"

And while the film suffers technical faults - poor-quality audio in places, and jittery hand-held cameras - it's actually fairly well made. It has a pretty good soundtrack and some great footage of the club on the road, partying, hanging out at the annual Laconia NH rally and such. It's a documentary, but it's also entertaining. I'm glad I have my copy - a passing fair transfer of the original VHS - but I'd love to see the film properly released on DVD, and I bet I'm not alone in that.


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