Friday, August 6, 2010


Summer fun: "The Wild Angels" (1966) existed somewhere between "The Wild One" (1953) and "Easy Rider"(1969) and not only by the year of it's release. The first had a brooding Brando, a tough outlaw biker with a heart of gold, and the latter was a hippie horse opera with choppers instead of horses--a western, basically--with two drifters looking for America.

Well, Roger Corman's "Angels" wasn't as good as either of them. It was a cheesy "bikesploitation" flick mostly suitable for the summer drive-in, but it featured some cool bikes and a great "Blues Theme" by Davie Allen and the Arrows (which is featured in this opening sequence). Present day Harley owners--mostly middle-aged accountants wearing weekend headbands and expensive leather--take note. It's about freedom, man.

Johnny (Marlon Brando) and Chino (Lee Marvin), two rival motorcycle gangleaders, face off in "The Wild One." Chino has just stolen Johnny's trophy (which Johnny stole from someone else earlier in the film). A great scene from a classic. (Trivia fact: Chino's striped shirt was later worn in real life by Sonny Barger, leader of the Oakland Hell's Angels.)

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