6.3/10
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14 user 26 critic

The Loveless (1981)

R | | Drama | 25 May 1984 (Sweden)
Trouble ensues when a motorcycle gang stops in a small southern town while heading to the races at Daytona.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Robert Gordon ...
Davis
Marin Kanter ...
Telena
J. Don Ferguson ...
Tarver
Tina L'Hotsky ...
Sportster Debbie
Lawrence Matarese ...
La Ville
Danny Rosen ...
Ricky
Phillip Kimbrough ...
Hurley
Ken Call ...
Buck
Elizabeth Gans ...
Augusta
Margaret Jo Lee ...
Evie
John King ...
John
Bob Hannah ...
Sid
Jane Berman ...
Lady in T-Bird
A.B. Calloway ...
Truck driver in diner
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Storyline

Trouble ensues when a motorcycle gang stops in a small southern town while heading to the races at Daytona.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Muscles Clad in Black Leather...Incest...And Murder! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 May 1984 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Breakdown  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut feature film directed by Kathryn Bigelow (but co-directed with Monty Montgomery). See more »

Quotes

Augusta: You don't look like the type to stay in one place for too long...
Vance: Yeah? I never had the urge.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Bad Sister (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Raunchy
Written by Bill Justis
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User Reviews

 
cool little biker movie that favors mood over story, but what mood!
18 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

They ride fast and live dirty and cool, that could be a tagline for The Loveless. The characters in this biker gang, who are actually relatively peaceful compared to the people in The Wild One (they aren't that rebellious, but just enough to make an impression), and just want to chill in a small not-quite town until they can go down to Daytona for a big race. But there isn't much to do in terms of hanging out. Sure, they can work on their rides in a local garage, and sure Willem Dafoe's Vance has a ladies-man charm that is uncanny (or just, you know, 'bad boy' style, as we see in an opening scene where he helps an older woman with a flat tire), and sure there's a night of revelry in a bar. But these guys aren't looking too much for trouble, relatively. It's more about how they just want to drink some good booze, listen to their rock and roll, and unfortunately get harassed by rednecks who think their Commies.

I can't really say for Monty Montgomery, as he directed this as his first feature and then went off into producing (save maybe for the connection to Wild at Heart), but as Kathryn Bigelow's first film as co- director it shows so much promise for the rest of her career. And intriguingly it's not quite like her other movies. It's inspired by some of the Wild One, some rock and roll, but in its look and melodramatic shades such as with the girl Vance hooks up with it's akin to Douglas Sirk. It's visual sheen is very 1950's, and it's got guys on bikes who are looking for a good time, and all the actors are cast spot on. Fun to watch as well is one of the bikers played by Robert Gordon, a Rockabilly legend. But it's Bigelow's vision that makes it unique, and perhaps Montgomery's affinity for 50's low-down road culture.

It's hard to pin-point what makes the movie interesting since, frankly, not a whole lot happens. There's the romantic fling Vance has with the girl- a scenario shot with loving close-ups to the girl and a fine look to the motel bed scenes- and there's some doing with the sub-plot of the redneck dudes looking to beat some biker ass. But the tone is what counts here, and what may actually turn off some viewers. There isn't a lot of 'plot' and in some ways, more than any other Bigelow film, resembles a European piece that concerns itself with how these guys move, react, listen to the music (and there's a lot, a close second to American Graffiti in terms of amount of 50's rock tunes, this less recognizable but still as meaningful), and get drunk in a bar with what looks like 100 bottles on a table.

What it comes down to in The Loveless is you can either take the figurative ride with these guys just hanging out, or not. I did, and it was enjoyable once it got me in its grasp. It's never boring though; you always are a little on edge that something *could* happen, and when it does (i.e. the confrontation between the girl's father and Vance) that it reaches a dramatic peak, or of course with the violent climax that could be an homage to Peckinpah. It's just a different kind of biker movie, less concerned with action and more about what it was like to be these guys, or be around them, in a sleepy nothing-town in the mid 50's. If Antonioni made a biker movie and had to have a soundtrack of wall-to-wall rockabilly, it might be this.


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