Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monthly Classics #2


Release Date : December 30th, 1953
Director : Laszlo Benedek
Starring : Marlon Brando, Mary Murphy, Lee Marvin

Plot
Johnny Strabler, leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club (BRMC) lead his gang of forty motorcyclists throughout the country, only to settle at a small, uneventful town. He decided to overstay his welcome when he met a girl there, however once a rival motorcycle gang came looking for him, trouble and chaos came with him.


Review
Probably one of the earliest movie to feature the bad-boy, rebel-without-a-cause persona, played by Marlon Brando which has since became like a template for tough guy-wannabes.

What I think is a particularly nice touch was how the story seemingly goes nowhere for the most part of the movie, no doubt meant to complement the whole idea that Johnny and his gang has no plan whatsoever. They just know there's something wrong with life, but unable to express it in any other way than to spit in the face of authority.

"Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?"... "What have you got?"
What magnifies the appeal to Johnny's character is of course, the charisma brought by the iconic Hollywood actor, Lee Marvin. Playing as the leader of The Beetles, rival to Johnny's BRMC, he was a contrast to Johnny's character, without any sort of inhibition when it comes to looking for trouble.

The romantic sub-plot was a lot to be desired, without it being too memorable, or maybe it was just overshadowed by everything else that was going on in the movie.


But all the same, it is also another good classic movie if you ever want to see one. You will find that plenty of things from the movie has been referenced again and again in popular culture, the latest one being Shia LaBeouf's character in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull [2008].

From the bike, the outfit right down to the character...

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