1. Mad Max, 2. Easy Rider, 3. The Motorcycle Diaries, 4. On Any Sunday, 5. The World's Fastest Indian, 6. The Wild One, 7. The Loveless, 8. Electra Glide in Blue, 9. The Darjeeling Limited, 10. The Wild Angels. If you're a fan of thrilling rides, rebellious spirits, and the freedom of the open road, then you're in for a treat. In this collection, we have handpicked some of the best motorcycles movies, showcasing the passion, adrenaline, and camaraderie that define this thrilling subculture.
- Mad Max
- Easy Rider
- The Motorcycle Diaries
- On Any Sunday
- The World’s Fastest Indian
- The Wild One
- The Loveless
- Electra Glide in Blue
- The Darjeeling Limited
- The Wild Angels
George Miller’s 1979 Australian dystopian action film, Mad Max, played a pivotal role in launching the career of a young Mel Gibson. Gibson takes on the role of the vengeful former police officer, “Mad” Max Rockatansky, who embarks on a mission to bring down a savage motorcycle gang in the midst of a society in collapse. Max finds himself pitted against the leader of the ruthless biker crew, Toecutter, and his gang of henchmen, as they unleash violence, vandalism, and intimidation upon the populace.
To finance the production of Mad Max, George Miller worked as a medical doctor in a Sydney emergency room, drawing inspiration from the injuries and deaths he witnessed. Interestingly, many of the extras portraying the biker gang were actual members of outlaw motorcycle clubs, adding an authentic touch to the film. These bikers even used their own motorcycles for the action sequences. Given the film’s modest budget and production challenges, some of these extras were compensated with beer for their contributions.
Mad Max left an indelible mark on popular culture, particularly for its depiction of desolate landscapes and dystopian worlds. The film’s impact was so profound that it spawned a series of Mad Max movies that further explored the post-apocalyptic universe. With its gritty atmosphere, intense action, and Gibson’s commanding performance, Mad Max solidified its status as a cult classic and cemented itself as one of the best motorcycles movies.
Stars: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%
Photo on HD Wallpaper: https://www.hdwallpapers.net/tv-and-movies/mad-max-fury-road-wallpaper-731.htm
Photo on HD Wallpaper: https://www.hdwallpapers.net/tv-and-movies/mad-max-fury-road-movie-wallpaper-742.htm
In 1969, Dennis Hopper took on multiple roles in the creation of Easy Rider, an independent road drama that became a significant milestone in counterculture cinema. Alongside Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson, Hopper played a key part in this groundbreaking film.
Easy Rider follows the story of Billy and Wyatt, portrayed by Fonda and Hopper respectively, two hippie bikers known as “Captain America.” After completing a highly profitable cocaine deal, they embark on an adventurous journey through the American South. Along their path, they encounter George Hanson, an eccentric and alcoholic lawyer who joins them on their escapade.
As one of the best motorcycles movies, Easy Rider received widespread acclaim for its exploration of the societal climate, attitudes, and issues prevalent in the 1960s. The film captured the essence of the burgeoning hippie movement, resonating with audiences and leaving an indelible mark on counterculture cinema. Furthermore, Easy Rider played a significant role in shaping the New Hollywood era during the ’60s and ’70s, defying industry conventions by proving that low-budget, independent films could achieve both critical acclaim and commercial success.
The enduring legacy of Easy Rider is a testament to the creative talents of Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, and Jack Nicholson. Through its compelling narrative, memorable performances, and thought-provoking themes, the film continues to captivate audiences, solidifying its status as a timeless classic.
Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
Photo on Wiki: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chopper_in_Easy_Rider_01.jpg
Photo on Wiki: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ZweiRadMuseumNSU_EasyRider2.JPG
The Motorcycle Diaries
Adapted from Che Guevara’s memoir, which documents his experiences as a revolutionary leader and Marxist guerrilla, the 2004 biographical film The Motorcycle Diaries follows the remarkable motorcycle journey undertaken by a 23-year-old Guevara in 1952.
To prepare for the demanding role, García Bernal delved into extensive research, immersing himself in Guevara’s life by studying various biographies and personally connecting with Guevara’s family and Alberto Granado. In his pursuit of authenticity, the actor also worked on adopting an Argentine accent.
Upon the release of the biopic, García Bernal expressed the weight of responsibility he felt, recognizing the significance of portraying such an influential figure. He emphasized the romanticism and political consciousness that characterized Che Guevara, acknowledging the impact Guevara had in reshaping the course of Latin America.
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna, Mía Maestro
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
Photo on Flickr: https://live.staticflickr.com/27/103489207_4e559f8222_w.jpg
On Any Sunday
Regarded as an extraordinary and highly influential motorcycle documentary, the 1971 film On Any Sunday, directed by Bruce Brown, immerses viewers in the world of off-road racing and showcases the remarkable adventures of lengendary, real-life riders/racers such as Steve McQueen and Malcolm Smith. With a keen eye for capturing the thrilling sport, Brown presents a captivating narrative that explores different forms of racing and the vibrant personalities associated with each style.
On Any Sunday played a significant role in popularizing BMX riding beyond its origins in California. The documentary’s wide reach helped change public perception of motorcycle racers, shifting from being perceived as “bad guys” reminiscent of The Wild One to being respected as heroic figures. Director Bruce Brown believed that the film had a transformative impact on the overall public opinion of motorcycle racing, contributing to a newfound admiration and respect for the athletes.
Through dramatic footage and intimate close-ups of the electrifying racers, On Any Sunday not only celebrates the immense skill and talent required in the sport but also sheds light on the diverse and captivating world of motorcycle racing. The film’s enduring legacy continues to inspire and entertain audiences, showcasing the exhilarating experiences and remarkable individuals who participate in this thrilling sport.
Stars: Steve McQueen, Dave Aldana, Mark Brelsford
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Photo on Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/biker-motorcycle-ride-vehicle-407123/
The World’s Fastest Indian
“The World’s Fastest Indian” is a film that showcases the extraordinary story of Burt Munro, a unique and humble individual who becomes a symbol of a bygone era of heroism. Set in Invercargill, New Zealand, the movie follows Munro, an aging man in his 60s, who spends years working on his beloved 1920 Indian motorcycle while his neighbors question his priorities.
Despite lacking the required registrations and safety standards, Munro’s unwavering love and trust in his motorcycle captivate the officials and spectators alike. His genuine passion and unyielding belief in the machine’s abilities convince them to give him a chance. Anthony Hopkins delivers a remarkable, understated performance as Munro, portraying the character’s obsession, introspection, and sense of wonderment with subtlety and authenticity.
“The World’s Fastest Indian” celebrates Munro’s audacious spirit, his determination to challenge the norm, and his unwavering belief in his motorcycle’s potential. Director Roger Donaldson, a fellow New Zealander, artfully tells the story of this real-life hero who represents the nation’s modesty and unassuming nature. Munro’s accomplishments, including setting a record at Bonneville by reaching 201.85 mph, are highlighted as a testament to his dedication and the enduring legacy of his Indian motorcycle.
This inspiring film reminds us of a time when sports were fueled by passion and the pursuit of personal achievement. Burt Munro’s story resonates as a tribute to those who dare to chase their dreams, even in the face of skepticism and adversity.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
Photo on Flickr: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yamaha_RD_350_III.JPG
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The Wild One
Marlon Brando, an iconic actor of the twentieth century, left a lasting impact with his portrayal of Johnny Strabler in the 1953 crime drama The Wild One. The film revolves around the intense rivalry between Johnny’s gang, The Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, and their violent adversaries. Amidst the tumultuous backdrop, a forbidden romance unfolds between Johnny, a misfit, and the daughter of the local sheriff, much to the officer’s dismay.
The Wild One is widely recognized as the original biker film, delving into the world of American outlaw motorcycle gang violence. Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Johnny not only captured audiences’ attention but also popularized iconic elements of the biker image, including sideburns, a Perfecto-style motorcycle jacket, and a titled cap. Critics hailed Brando’s performance, with The Hollywood Reporter praising his portrayal as “tremendously powerful,” depicting Johnny as an inarticulate, stoic, and rebellious outlaw leading his gang of motorcycle hoodlums.
Stars: Marlon Brando, Mary Murphy, Robert Keith
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%
Photo on Wiki: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Triumph_Thunderbird_from_the_movie_%22The_Wild_One%22_%281953%29.jpg
The 1981 outlaw biker drama, The Loveless, marked Willem Dafoe’s breakthrough leading role and propelled him into the spotlight. In this film, Dafoe takes on the role of Vance, the leader of an outlaw motorcycle club gang in the 1950s, as they make their way to Daytona. During a stopover in a small southern town, Vance captures the attention of a rebellious young woman who is the daughter of a wealthy and violent local.
The Loveless served as the directorial debut of Kathryn Bigelow, who would later make history as the first female Best Director Oscar winner. Collaborating with Monty Montgomery, the film pays homage to the iconic 1953 classic, The Wild One, led by Marlon Brando. Reflecting on the significance of The Loveless, Dafoe expressed his appreciation for the project, stating, “I had previously been a supporting actor in films like Heaven’s Gate and had worked on independent art films. The Loveless made me feel like a bona fide movie actor.”
The Loveless provided Dafoe with a platform to showcase his talent and establish himself as a prominent figure in the film industry. The gritty portrayal of Vance and the homage to the rebellious spirit of The Wild One resonated with audiences, allowing Dafoe to demonstrate his range and versatility as an actor. Furthermore, the film’s exploration of biker culture and its clash with societal norms captured the essence of a distinctive era and solidified Dafoe’s position as a noteworthy performer.
Stars: Willem Dafoe, J. Don Ferguson, Robert Gordon
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%
Photo on Pxhere: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/569303
Electra Glide in Blue
In the 1973 action film Electra Glide in Blue, Robert Blake takes on the role of an ambitious Arizona highway patrolman who aspires to join the homicide division. His dreams come true when he is given the opportunity to participate in a murder case. To prepare for this role, Blake underwent training from an LAPD Motor Officer to master the art of riding a police motorcycle. The pair spent over a month riding through the streets of Van Nuys, honing Blake’s skills and familiarizing him with the bike.
Although the film did not achieve immediate commercial success, it gained recognition over time. In 2012, Time Magazine referred to it as a “neglected cult-classic,” acknowledging its unique qualities as a character study and an exploration of emerging youth culture. The movie also received praise for its exceptional cinematography by Conrad Hall, who would later win an Oscar for his work.
To sum it up, Electra Glide in Blue may not have made a significant impact upon its initial release, but its enduring reputation as a distinct and memorable film has solidified its status as a cult favorite. The combination of Blake’s performance, the examination of youth culture, and the remarkable camerawork have contributed to its reputation as an unconventional and noteworthy piece of cinema.
Stars: Robert Blake, Billy Green Bush, Mitchell Ryan
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
Photo on Pxhere: https://pxhere.com/es/photo/333084
The Darjeeling Limited
Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited marks a departure from his usual whimsical films and showcases his potential as a director. The movie follows three American brothers on a train/ motorcycle trip across India, portrayed by Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman. The story begins with a reunion between one of the brothers, Jack, and his former girlfriend in a Parisian hotel. The trio embarks on a train named The Darjeeling Limited, with their voyage serving as a metaphor for their character development and connections.
The Darjeeling Limited is visually striking, with vibrant Indian colors and a meticulous attention to detail in production design, cinematography, and costumes. Anderson incorporates music from renowned Indian filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray and the Merchant-Ivory duo, further enriching the film’s atmosphere. The train itself becomes a powerful symbol, representing the brothers’ emotional and physical journey.
Ultimately, The Darjeeling Limited stands out as a unique and captivating film in Anderson’s repertoire, exploring familial bonds, personal growth, and the search for meaning in a visually stunning and emotionally resonant manner. It deserves a honorable spot on our curated list.
Stars: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman
Photo on Behance: https://www.behance.net/andreanorc7fb3
The Wild Angels
Considered a pivotal film in establishing Peter Fonda as a counterculture icon, The Wild Angels, released in 1966, tells the story of Heavenly Blues, portrayed by Fonda, the leader of a motorcycle gang known as the Angels. Set in Mecca, California, the film revolves around the Angels’ clash with law enforcement after seeking revenge on a group of thieves.
Director Roger Corman’s inspiration for the film came from a photograph of a biker funeral in a 1966 Life magazine issue. Motivated by this photo, Corman aimed to create an adventure film akin to Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on the River Kwai.
As such, The Wild Angels resonated with audiences and became a commercial success, grossing over $15 million. It also played a significant role in popularizing the biker movie genre and elevating Fonda’s status to a household name.
Stars: Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%
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