The Wild One (1954)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Johnny and his vicious biker gang invade a small, sleepy 1950s California town. The leather-jacketed young biker seems hell-bent for destruction until he falls for Kathie, a good girl whose father happens to be a cop. Unfortunately for Johnny, his one shot at redemption is threatened by a psychotic rival, Chino, plus the hostility and prejudice of the townspeople. All their smoldering passions explode in an electrifying climax!

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics, Cult Movies
Directed By:
Written By: John Paxton, Frank Rooney
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 10, 1998
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


as Johnny Strabler / Na...

as Kathie Bleeker

as Sheriff Harry Bleeke...

as Chino

as Sheriff Singer

as Mildred

as Charlie Thomas

as Frank Bleeker

as Bill Hannegan

as Art Kleiner

as Dextro

as Pigeon

as Stinger

as Simmonds

as Chino Boy

as Dorothy

as Mrs. Thomas
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Wild One

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Critic Reviews for The Wild One

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (3)

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.

Full Review… | November 7, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Brando's biker seems disarmingly tame by comparison with the wild angels he spawned. Yet the film isn't half bad.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

The first and best biker movie.

Full Review… | November 7, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The film is outdated and its message overly stated, but in 1953, Brando's rebel unwittingly became a new screen hero and heralded the arrival of the Beat Generation.

Full Review… | July 21, 2006

Risible and outdated.

Full Review… | August 19, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Wild One

A young and angry Marlon Brando lights up the screen as an aimless biker gang leader rebelling against whatever he can find in this cult classic from the 50s. Johnny is the leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, and he spends most of his time just cruising around and raising hell. Things start to change when he and his crew invade a small, sleepy California town and he meets a cute young lady who might just be what he needs to change his ways. That all changes when he finds out that her dad is the local cop. Not only that, but he's also got to deal with the intolerance of the townspeople, and a rival gang leader named Chino, played by the always cool Lee Marvin.

I liked this one. I liked it maybe even more than Rebel Without A Cause. This is certainly not as overrated or heavy handed as that one. It's a nice existential drama, and for a B movie, it's shot and executed far better than it has a right to be. Yeah, it's not the deepest film, but it's not totally devoid of substance, either.

The acting is pretty solid. Brando is course is uber cool as Johnny, oozing a quiet strength. Marvin is larger than life, and somewhat cartoony, but hey, it works. The other performers aren't as well known, but they do decently in their respective roles.

All in all, this is a pretty good one.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Dated and a bit ridiculous now partially owing to the familiarity of some of the actors playing gang members who went on to careers as reliable supporting actors. How threatening can Jerry Helper from The Dick Van Dyke show really be now after years of watching him with Rob, Laura and devoted wife Millie? Aside from that all the actors are too old to be believable as a roving gang of purported teens.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

This is one of my absolute favourite biker movies. Brando is perfect in the lead role. The story is good, and the movie is exciting.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Wild One Quotes

– Submitted by Jesse K (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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