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The Wild One (1953)

Not Rated | | Drama | February 1954 (USA)
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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 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Marlon Brando! Driven Too Far By His Own Hot Blood! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A popular still from the film shows an off-set Marlon Brando astride a Matchless twin-cylinder motorcycle, its "M" logo gas tank badge being secured upside-down to resemble a "W". This was stunt rider Wally Albright's motorcycle. 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

Kathie Bleeker: I'm sorry, I can't fight back. I'm too tired. It would be better, wouldn't it? Then you could hit me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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