In 1953 Marlon Brando appeared on screen wearing black leathers and riding a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird 6T. The movie was The Wild One and told the story of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and their reckless exploits in a small town named Wrightsville.
The film is dominated by Brando’s performance as Johnny Stabler the leader of the BRMC and portrays the biker lifestyle as a lawless community of uncaring, violent (although they were very tame compared to today) and carefree youths. The film was the first of it’s kind and caused a major stir causing the film to be banned in the UK for 14 years.
The film not only influenced the production of numerous other movies such as James Deans, Rebel Without a Cause and Easy Rider but it also had a major influence on motorcycle culture. Motorcycle and leather jacket sales skyrocketed as the biker lifestyle became a symbol of youth rebellion.
Today you can find a motorbike and matching lifestyle for all tastes. From Mods on Scooters (Lambrettas and Vespas) to Rockers on Cafe Racers to Bikers on Choppers. The film industry has tried to generate the same hype that this film originally created but to this day hasn’t succeeded. It’s still a great film to watch and if you get the chance it’s a good one to add to the DVD shelf.
I did a search online and there was one promising lead for an American Rocker film …check out Hooligan. Unfortunately the site has been dormant for some time which may mean production has stopped.