Two rival motorcycle gangs terrorize a small town after one of their leaders is thrown in jail.

Director:

Laslo Benedek

Writers:

John Paxton (screenplay), Frank Rooney (based on a story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlon Brando ... Johnny Strabler
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 John Brown ... Bill Hannegan
Will Wright ... Art Kleiner
Robert Osterloh ... Ben
William Vedder ... Jimmy
Yvonne Doughty Yvonne Doughty ... Britches
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Storyline

Cop-hating Johnny Strabler is recounting the fateful events that led up to the "whole mess" as he calls it, his role in the mess and whether he could have stopped it from happening. The Black Rebels, a motorcycle gang of which Johnny is the leader, cause a ruckus using intimidation wherever they go, with their actions bordering on the unlawful. On the day of the mess, they invade a motorcycle racing event, at which they cause a general disturbance culminating with one of the gang members stealing a second place trophy to give to Johnny. Despite not being the larger winning trophy, it symbolizes to Johnny his leadership within the group. Their next stop is a small town where their disturbance and intimidation tactics continue. Some in town don't mind their arrival as long as they spend money. Harry Bleeker, the local sheriff, doesn't much like them but is so ineffective and weak that he doesn't do anything to stop them, much to the annoyance of some of the other townsfolk, who see the ... Written by Huggo

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Taglines:

A Guy Has to Have a Little Fun...If Someone Gets Hurt--THAT'S TOUGH! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film in which the manufacturer's logo on motorcycles was not blanked out. Johnson Motors, which imported Triumphs into the US, protested at its product being linked with Marlon Brando and his Black Rebels, but the association served them well. See more »

Goofs

Wire holding handle-bar/throttle can be seen during side view of Johnny's run-away cycle before it hits and kills Jimmy. See more »

Quotes

Johnny: Nobody tells me what to do. You keep needlin' me, if I want to, I'm gonna take this joint apart and you're not gonna know what hit you.
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Crazy Credits

[Opening credit] This is a shocking story. It could never take place in most American towns -- But it did in this one.

It is a public challenge not to let it happen again. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Les Girls (1957) See more »

User Reviews

Iconic biker flick.
15 April 2002 | by sibisi73See all my reviews

Brando is his archetypal mean and moody self, as the original rebel on a motorcycle terrorising smalltown America. The enduring iconic images from the film have weathered better than the film itself, however, but it still stands up as a paean to disaffected youth.

When Johnny and the boys ride into town all hell breaks loose, with a culture clash between themselves and the 'squares', resulting in tragedy and some reconciliation. These boys look tame compared to today's standards (they even pay for their own beer!) but they don't fit in and so are immediately ostracised by a grown-up world that doesn't understand their jive-talking, anti-social behaviour. Johnny's reply when asked, "What are you rebelling against?" says it all..."Whatta you got?", with a sneer for good measure.

Time hasn't been kind to the film, and it's hard to see why it was banned in the UK for 18 years (mainly down to the lack of any retribution for the gang), but there is still a tight story and strong characterisation. It's a pity the film descends needlessly into melodrama, losing much of it's credibility in the process.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hot Blood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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