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The Wild One (1953) - László Benedek
Related: 1953 - biker - biker - American cinema - counterculture
One of the first examples of a rebel without a cause is Brando in The Wild One (1953). When asked "What are you rebelling against?" Brando answers "What have you got?".
The Wild One (1953) - László Benedek [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The Wild One (1953) was the very first outlaw biker film, also made memorable by the youthful Marlon Brando playing gang leader Johnny Stabler. Lee Marvin was his nemesis, the leader of the rival gang. It was a low-budget production but the central figure was Brando, in a motorcycle jacket riding a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird 6T, who played a rebel without a cause two years before James Dean.
The film version was based on a January, 1951 short story in Harper's Magazine "The Cyclists' Raid" by Frank Rooney that weas published in book form as part of "The Best American Short Stories 1952." The story took a cue from an actual biker street party on the Fourth of July weekend in 1947 in Hollister, California that was elaborately trumped up in Life Magazine (dubbed the Hollister riot) with staged photographs of wild motorcycle outlaw revellers. The Hollister event sparked the formation of Hells Angels MC the following year and is now recreated annually. In the film, the town is located somewhere in Middle America.
Deemed scandalous and dangerous, the film was banned by the British Board of Film Censors from showing in the United Kingdom for fourteen years. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_One [May 2005]
Subculture of the 1940s [...]
In 1947, the same year that Jack Kerouac made his epic journey across America which he would later describe in On the Road and the same year as the occurance at Roswell, New Mexico which was claimed as a UFO crash, there was an incident involving a motorcycle gang at Hollister, California. A story about the incident was published that year in Harper's Magazine and would be developed (6 years later in 1953) as the Marlon Brando film The Wild One. A year after the incident the Hells Angels (without the apostrophe), formed in 1948 in Fontana, California. The name Hells Angels had been used as a movie title by Howard Hughes ten years before. The Hells Angels began as a motorcycle club looking for excitement in the dull times after the end of the war. They became far more notorious as time went on. Motorcycle gangs in general began to hit the headlines. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_subcultures_in_the_20th_century#The_1940s [Dec 2004]
inspired by Cool Rules: Anatomy of an Attitude (2000) - Dick Pountain, David Robins [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
see also: cool - biker - youth - 1953
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