25 best motorcycle movies ever
The Wild One (1953)
"What are you rebelling against?" asks a girl of Marlon Brando's surly biker Johnny Strabler. "What've you got?" he replies.
As a film, The Wild One is a bit of a feeble effort – two rival biker gangs clash in a town full of closed-minded locals, while Brando woos local girl Kathie. So far, so rote. But the image of Brando astride his Triumph Thunderbird became an icon of youthful rebellion, casting a long shadow over pop culture.
Another effort from the 1970s, Stone focuses on the members of the charmingly named Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club and why its gang members are mysteriously being bumped off.
The plot of this Australian cult classic is less important than the window it provides to a a time and place when consuming vast quantities of beer and motorbikes were the main things in life. Naturally, then, a film that was filled with Kawasaki Z900s – one of the most sought-after bikes at the time – was a biker's treat.
Dust to Glory (2005)
The Baja 1000 bike race depicted in the documentary Dust to Glory is a truly fearsome 650 mile slog through the Mexican desert. Filmed with a crew of 80 people, including four helicopters and fifty five cameras, this is the most in-depth look at this fascinating race and the legends who take part in it – as they tackle dangerous sand dunes and even booby traps setup by spectators.
The Girl on a Motorcycle (La Motocyclette) (1968)
Jack Cardiff's slice of 60s psychedelia finds Marianne Faithfull zipping across France on her Electra Glide, en route to a liaison with her lover (Alain Delon). Neon-tinged flashbacks to her sexual liberation are a po-faced bid for profundity, but the film's US title – Naked Under Leather – shows that it's as much about titillation as it is about the ideals of the Summer of Love.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indy and his father – played by Sean Connery, no less – pilfer a motorcycle and sidecar to make their escape from the Nazis. The villains send an entire squad of motorcycle outriders after the Joneses – who promptly fend them off with nothing more than a pole. Spielberg's third Indy film may not quite match up to the peerless Raiders of the Lost Ark, but the director has a gift for bringing classic adventure serial fare to the big screen.