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The Loveless (1981)

 -  Drama  -  25 May 1984 (Sweden)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 708 users  
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Trouble ensues when a motorcycle gang stops in a small southern town while heading to the races at Daytona.

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Title: The Loveless (1981)

The Loveless (1981) on IMDb 6.3/10

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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
Edit

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:

Sworn to Fun...Loyal to None!!! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 May 1984 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Breakdown  »

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 »
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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

Vance: [Voiceover]
  • I'm a regular joe. I've got an itch between my legs, and an afternoon for a heart.



See more »

Connections

Featured in The Bad Sister (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Raunchy
Written by Bill Justis
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User Reviews

 
Never was meant to be the next "Wild One"...
28 November 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Now that this beautifully sculpted, wildly atmospheric, true-to-the-era in which it is set movie is on DVD, I've watched and re-watched it many times. This is more of a review of the DVD than of the whole film, and the spoilers are more DVD commentary-related than plot-related, so read on if you wish.

This is, by far, one of the finest films paying homage to the motorcycle enthusiasts (or outlaws, as it may be), settings, and characters of the 1950's that I've ever seen, and I own many, so any rockabilly guys or gals out there reading this review - this movie is for you! It's moody, sexy, violent, and slick - great eye-candy with an outstanding cast of characters.

The DVD has one of the better commentaries, featuring conversations with the film's co-writer/co-directors Kathryn Bigelow & Monty Montgomery, as well as the film's star, Willem Dafoe. Dafoe credits the movie's directors for starting his career with this movie, a fact which Monty Montgomery humbly shrugs off. They get into the movies they watched that directly influenced how "The Loveless" was shot, trivia notes, like how Robert Gordon, who was paid to score the flick blew all of the budget on on single calypso tune that is featured for a few minutes of the film. It would also seem that Gordon, who is most noted for being a rockabilly musician (and an excellent one at that!) was inadvertently cast while meeting with the film's directors. Gordon created some on-set tension that flickered mainly between himself and Dafoe, as Gordon felt that he was the only one on set who truly understood the whole biker/greaser world.

It is interesting to note that the movie was Bigelow's thesis for film school, as well as her directorial debut, and it must've earned her some high marks, as she's gone on to work with people like David Lynch! Montgomery, too, has worked extensively with Lynch, producing "Wild At Heart", working on "Twin Peaks", and acting in "Mulholland Dr."

For those who expect this to be a biker exploitation flick (like "The Wild One" and all of its followers thereafter), you're in for a surprise. The directors intended for the audience to feel as if that is what they were in for while the initial scenes unfold, but as the story moves forward, we realize that it isn't so much a biker film but more of a kind of a wild-west movie. Monty Montgomery credits Edgar G. Ulmer's short, noir film "Detour" as being the major influence as far as the style, the framing, and the shots of "The Loveless" go. He also credits Kenneth Anger's movie "Scorpio Rising" as the movie that inspired the whole homo-eroticism of the biker world as presented in this, Montgomery's earliest film.

For those interested in some trivia, here ya be - Originally titled "U.S. 17", which used to be a U.S. superhighway up until the 1960's when the I 95 highway replaced it as the major thruway from Georgia to Florida and up to New York, the entire film is shot on location along this now abandoned stretch of blacktop. Monty Montgomery, the movie's co-director, grew up in and around the Georgia area where the film was shot, and at the time of filming, the stretch of road was like a time capsule, with abandoned motels, diners, and gas stations along the way which had not changed since the 40's and the 50's. This made the reality of the movie much easier to capture, and cut down massively on the cost of what would have meant sound stage creations of all of these types of locations. I wonder if any of these places exist now, as the movie was done at the beginning of the 80's? I can only hope...

There is no disguising that this film focuses more on atmosphere than on plot, and there is no pretense to suggest that the directors intended anything else. Montgomery even refers to it as "eye-candy", and why not? Sometimes my eyes crave the cavities offered up by such sweet treats as "The Loveless"! There are many a long, lingering shot of beautiful vintage 'cycles being worked on, close ups on tattoos (one of the actors, Larry Matarese, who plays "La Ville", opted for an actual old-school pinup gal tattoo on his forearm before filming began), tension-creating pauses while characters look on sipping coffee in a diner or lean on a 50's Coke machine clad in leather and denim, and all of this works for the piece that this movie was meant to be.

It is somewhat of homage to "The Wild One", but only in that it deals with motorcycle enthusiast-rebels in the 50's - all other plot comparisons and similarities fall by the wayside.

Though they wished for a score that was more like Sergio Leone's large, sweeping, and melodramatic western film's scores, and they were held back by budgetary constraints, I felt what they did have to work with offered the film the nostalgic atmosphere perfectly. The score as it stands on the DVD (which, unfortunately is not on CD, record, or tape, darn it!) largely done by John Lurie (of "The Lounge Lizards" fame, and also a regular in many Jim Jarmusch films), along with a minimal amount of tracks supplied by Robert Gordon, can be credited for being the cherry on top of this 50's diner served, tasty milkshake of a flick!

~T.Paul www.t-paul.com


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