Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) Reviews
Today, filmmakers pay big money for narration by Marianne Faithfull--as well they should. This movie, however, would have been better with a great deal less of it. In fact, this film probably would have been a great deal more enjoyable as a five-minute short.
Instead, we are given a young Faithfull spouting obvious, vacuous and annoying pop-psych for 90 minutes over visuals that, over time, come to feel just as monotonous. Does the film really think it's as smart as it seems to? Does it really think its obvious symbols and scenarios need to be explained, let alone ad nauseum? Unlikely, but it is still unable to muster enough camp appeal to be much more than a complete bore.
That said, there is a whole lot of genuine pretty to be found on screen. The settings are all gorgeous, as are Faithfull and Alain Delon. (Neither turns in one of their best performances, but those are two exceptionally high bars.) Had they simply walked through the woods naked and silently throughout the duration of the film, we would have had a more enjoyable movie.
I can't really fault the filmmakers too much. It was a flimsy premise from the get-go, and they made the most of the one good thing they had- their lead. They captured Marianne Faithfull at the peak of her beauty. The footage of her riding along England's countryside in her skintight leather catsuit is at times breathtaking, and definitely worth the price of this film.
Marianne would soon undergo an total transformation, drugs curing her voice into the aural equivalent of cracked leather. But here's she still a dewey "angel with big tits", albeit a fallen one. Her performance is perfectly respectable, although not approaching the skill of her title role in "Irina Palm". But she looks stunning, and that's really all that matters. I mean, this was released in the U.S. with the title, "Naked Under Leather". Let's be realistic. Most of "Girl On a Motorcycle"'s success was due to the riveting performance of Ms. Faithfull's leather-clad curves.
Alain Delon (who is onscreen for about 30 min., despite getting top billing) is a beautiful creep, as always.
For the average viewer, I wouldn't recommend this. But for people into 60's counterculture curios, and fans of Marianne Faithfull (her music or her tits), I'd say this is definitely worth a rent.