The Loveless (Breakdown) (1983)
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The period biker flick The Loveless marks the feature debut of both actor Willem Dafoe and writer/director Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days). Bigelow co-wrote and co-directed the film with Monty Montgomery, who would go on to produce Wild at Heart and The Portrait of a Lady. Dafoe plays Vance, a stoic, leather-clad biker who rides into a small Southern town and to wait for some other bikers. Their plan is to travel on to Daytona for some racing, but they have to stick around the little truck stop town for a while to get one of their bikes repaired. Vance flirts a bit with Augusta (Liz Gans), a widowed waitress. She's the only local who's friendly to him and his gang. Contemplating living in such a depressed, isolated place, Vance tells her, "I think your husband had the right idea." While the bikes are worked on, Vance and the gang, including the abrasive Davis (rockabilly musician Robert Gordon, who also composed the film's soundtrack) and his girlfriend, Debbie (Tina Lhotsky), spend the day in town, to the chagrin of the conservative residents. Vance hooks up with Telena (Marin Kanter), the rebellious teenage daughter of a rich redneck. Their little tryst creates even more tension, and the day ends with violence. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Loveless (Breakdown)
At times the perversely slow beat of each scene can irritate, but that's a reasonable price for the film's super-saturated atmosphere.
Its evocation of tough-guy glamour is ridiculously stilted. And it regards the past with absolutely no perspective or wit.
A strange, but compelling amalgam of art film and homage to the American International Pictures biker flicks of the 1960s.
Bigelow's first feature, co-written and co-directed with Monty Montgomery, is a nihilistic meditation on 1950s biker flicks, featuring Willem Dafoe in his first screen role.
Mostly concerned about how it looks and not too concerned about its story or in making great observations.
A slightly hallucinatory homage to The Wild Ones.
Intelligent, provocative, camp, indulgent, erotic, occasionally frustrating, and often brilliant.
Audience Reviews for The Loveless (Breakdown)
Did this movie have a story? You can't even tell, since nothing happens at all. I did not care for this movie, and I don't recommend it.More
It was worth it to see Willem Dafoe as a fifties biker in the same light as The Wild One, but the script was just not strong enough. It had a lot of bizarre stereotypes for the time that just didn't fit and almost nothing happened until the very end. I liked a lot of the cinematography and it really could have been a great movie if it would've had a more interesting plot and supporting characters.More
Kathryn Bigelow's feature debut is an assured, vibrant and detailed biker flick set in evocative 50's small town America. There's not much in the way of plot and the script is basic (but natural) and much of the pleasure of the film is in the way it looks more than what is being said. Interesting that the bikers themselves are rather a peaceful bunch, more interested in shooting the breeze, drinking cola and listening to rock n roll on the jukebox than causing any real trouble - it's the locals, their prejudices, and the sins of a father that lead to the brief but memorable violence. A fascinating flim.More
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