Johnny and his motorcycle gang roll into Carbonville for a biker competition and raise enough hell to get kicked out of town. They repair to nearby Wrightsville and continue their reign of terror, and the local sheriff is helpless.
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Pretty good film. Captures the teen angst of the era quite well, better than Rebel Without a Cause. Blackboard Jungle remains the definitive movie about rebel teens. Brando gives a fine early performance. Worth a look
Has some surprising moments of black humour, like the joke near the beginning about the race officials not wanting anyone to get hurt because the bloody would be slippery. It's just great to see Lee Marvin play a druggie burnout.
An iconic turn from Marlon Brando helps to lift up this slight tale of rebellious bikers unable to acknowledge that some of the other people they encounter aren't automatically "squares" out to ruin all their fun. Solid stuff, although many moments feel a bit clumsy and obvious.
Propelled by the magnetic aura of a young Brando, already in iconic shape, the film is a critique of 50s conservative America, asphyxiated in many ways for its stance during the Cold War, fostering anger and resentment, a time that cried for its own overture to rights and freedoms. The film's symbolic value far outweights the clumsy shenanigans, the silly mischief and the clownish bravado.
I just finished watching the film. Brando does an amazing job of making use of the dull moments. At first I thought it was a bit clumsy and I thought some of the acts the gang was engaging in were "cute fun". However out of know where there was a sucker punch of emotion and a deep symbolism to the film...And the ending...This was a film that made me sweat and sit on the edge of my seat. I'm still thinking about it.
Hopelessly dated film. Marlon Brandow plays a biker who rolls into a small town with his gang. He let's them run amuck, bonds a bit with a nice local girl, gets beat up by some upper class locals, a man accidentally is killed as he tries to escape, and he ends the movie feeling vaguely guilty about the whole thing.
The thrill seems to be the taboos of the counterculture, but they have been exceeded by modern media.
Brando's iconic image and the film's place in the history of both film and popular culture totally outstrip the merits of the piece itself. 60 years on, it's difficult to get past its naive and simplistic portrayal of rebellion.