Main Plot Points:
- An angry young Marlon Brando scorches the screen as THE WILD ONE in this powerful ’50s cult classic. Brando plays Johnny, the leader of a vicious biker gang which invades a small, sleepy California town. What’s Johnny rebelling against? What have you got? – he sneers. The leather-jacketed young biker seems hell-bent for destruction until he falls for Kathie (Mary Murphy), a good girl whose father (Robert Keith) happens to be a cop.
- Unfortunately for Johnny, his one shot at redemption is threatened by a psychotic rival, Chino (Lee Marvin), plus the hostility and prejudice of the townspeople. All their smoldering passions explode in an electrifying climax!
What We Thought:
- I had never seen The Wild One yet now that I’ve seen it, I feel like I have. It’s been referenced in other things and I specifically remember Lisa Simpson saying Marlon Brando’s line “Whadda you got?” when asked what she’s rebelling against.
- There’s two ways to watch the film, by today’s standard and by the standard of the time it came out.
- I’m sure back in the 1950s, when it came out, the film was shocking to people. Here’s these motorcycle riding, beer drinking hooligans who have no respect for the law. Suburbanites probably expected their neighborhoods to be taken over by leather jacket men!
- By today’s standard it’s pretty tame especially compared to something like Sons of Anarchy. The fighting is overly staged and choreographed and it’s pretty funny that people see someone on a motorcycle and are immediately scared.
- But if you take away how ridiculous it is today, you see why Marlon Brando became a huge star. Brando is captivating and owns every scene. He’s clearly one of the best of all time. And I have to add how great Lee Marvin was. I don’t know why Marvin doesn’t always get the credit he deserves, but he is so fun as the rival gang leader. The scenes between Marvin and Brando are fantastic.
- The Blu-ray looks great. The film is in Black & White, but remastering looks amazing. It sounds just as impressive as well with full, easy to hear dialogue and loud motorcycle noises.
- The Wild One is a solid movie with great performances from Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin. Is it pretty campy compared to the films of today? Of course, but that’s also part of its charm. It’s a must see for any Brando fan or a good introduction for those not familiar with his work.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Marlon Brando
- Lee Marvin
- Mary Murphy
Recommended if You Like:
- Rebel Without A Cause
- The Fugitive Kind
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