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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:
Willem Dafoe ... Vance
Robert Gordon ... Davis
Marin Kanter ... Telena
J. Don Ferguson J. Don Ferguson ... Tarver
Tina L'Hotsky ... Sportster Debbie (as Tina L'hotsky)
Lawrence Matarese ... La Ville
Danny Rosen Danny Rosen ... Ricky
Phillip Kimbrough ... Hurley
Ken Call Ken Call ... Buck
Elizabeth Gans Elizabeth Gans ... Augusta
Margaret Jo Lee Margaret Jo Lee ... Evie
John King John King ... John
Bob Hannah ... Sid
Jane Berman Jane Berman ... Lady in T-Bird
A.B. Calloway 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:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1984 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Breakdown See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pioneer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally titled "US 17" after the highway in Georgia where it takes place. Distributors renamed it "Breakdown" for its worldwide premiere at a film festival in Switzerland. See more »

Quotes

Vance: [Voiceover] You never can tell on a day like this... things could be goin' jake one minute, then, presto... before you know it, you're history.
See more »

Connections

Featured in U.S. 17: Shooting 'The Loveless' (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Teen Beat
(uncredited)
Written by Arthur Egnoian & Sandy Nelson
Performed by Sandy Nelson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't we look good in black leather!
10 December 2006 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

In the 1950s, a group of leather-clad bikers led by Vance are on their way to Daytona, Florida to compete in a race, but they get sidetracked into a quiet Georgia town to fix up a broken down bike. The uptight locals see them as nothing but trouble, and surely enough problems occur. The waitress of the dinner catches Vance's eyes and another being a brash, young teen, Elena.

Wearing black leather never looked so cool! "We're going nowhere… fast" Well, this tag-line accurately describes this sublime, independent feature. Sure, it's not for everyone's tastes, but I loved this ultra-slick, inventively moody trip through the eyes of a couple of laid-back bikers of the 50s. For some people it might be aimlessly dull, because of the mellow tempo and it consciously ticks a long at a leisurely pace with vast empty spaces. I found it to be an evocative tale (despite being quite broad) that has a real hypnotic trance surrounding its arrestingly stylish framework that milks out the sullen atmosphere. There's such an authentic feel about it and so many inspired and iconic imagery seeping off the screen that you can't bear to take your eyes off it.

The film was co-written and co-directed by Kathryn Bigelow and Monty Montgomery in their first major feature. The pairs' profoundly, textured direction, catches every little elegant detail (great use of the soothing neon-lighting and composition) with the guidance of Doyle Smith's crisply spacious cinematography. Being shot on location really added to the film's natural presence and unattainable free spirit. Story-wise, there's nothing really conventional about it, but just letting the poetically distinctive situations evolve into an impulsively, harrowing conclusion. The dialogues are rather dry and very sparse with splashes of sly remarks. While, it might not have a lot to say in its context. The stirring visual and music contributions do actually round it off nicely. A divinely, swish rockabilly soundtrack by Robert Gordon and mostly John Lurie becomes a major part of the scene, as it does shape the swanky feel.

A huge curiosity would be that of William Dafoe's first major feature role and he rings true in a brilliant performance. His confidently, hardened turn simply has you in awe of his on screen magnetism. There are memorable no-bar performances by Robert Gordon, Tina L'Hotsky, Lawrence Matarese, Danny Rosen and Phillip Kimbrough, who snugly fill the shoes of the tightly rapport biker gang. Marin Kanter has attitude in her part as, Elena. J. Don Ferguson plays Elena's father, Tarver and brings to the table a character just waiting to crack. Finally, Elizabeth Gans is delightful in her role as the waitress, Augusta.

This is more than just a basic biker; exploitation movie and I sure loved it. A beautifully, worthy obscure gem that's worth a look for those who enjoy a lot finesse mixed with a touch of enigma.


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