The Wild One
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"What are you rebelling against?" asks someone. "What've you got?" responds surly, leather-jacketed motorcycle punk Marlon Brando. It comes as a disappointment to discover that The Wild One, the quintessential Brando "rebel" film, is at base a traditional "misunderstood youth vs. the nasty system" effort, with a particularly banal finale. Based on a true incident, the film begins with Brando and his motorcyle gang invading a small town after having been kicked out of a cycle competition (but not before stealing the second-prize trophy). Brando's… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Legions of Brando impersonators have turned his performance in this seminal 1954 motorcycle movie into self-parody, but it's still a sleazy good time."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The film is outdated and its message overly stated, but in 1953, Brando's rebel unwittingly became a new screen hero and heralded the arrival of the Beat Generation."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Ultimately The Wild One exploits and patronizes the bikers it depicts, and isn't the youth picture it is made out to be."
‑ , Film4
"On the whole, The Wild One is now mostly silly."
‑ Christopher Null,
"The Wild One (1953), a landmark film of 50s rebellion by director Laslo Benedek, producer Stanley Kramer, and screenwriter John Paxton, was based on a Harper's Magazine"
‑ Tim Dirks, Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
"Brando's biker seems disarmingly tame by comparison with the wild angels he spawned. Yet the film isn't half bad."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"Risible and outdated."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"This Stanley Kramer-produced film is the original biker movie."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Brando's magnetism is eternal."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"The first and best biker movie."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Marlon Brando stars as the leader of a motorcycle gang who somewhat inadvertantly cause a great deal of trouble in a small town."
‑ Douglas Pratt, DVDLaser
"Once radical, still iconic, but so dated that it's funny."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Provides a lot unintentional laughs."
‑ Dragan Antulov,
More reviews for The Wild One on Rotten Tomatoes