We’ve all heard of Easy Rider, (well most of us have, let’s not be presumptuous here), but there are plenty of other motorcycle movies out there to be watched that provide equal inspiration for freedom and the thrill of the open road. The sense of freedom and independence and the “don’t give a care in the world” attitude is what attracts many people to motorcycles in the first place. If you are looking for some free spirited inspiration before you buy your first bike and hit the open road, look no further.
Easy Rider (1969)
No list of motorcycle movies would be complete without Easy Rider on the list. The 1969 film is an American road movie with Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern. The movie explores the story behind two riders fully
engrossed in the American counter culture who ride their motorcycles from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of what America really is.
Not only is Easy Rider the epitome of a biker movie, it also tackled issues of the time head on. The movie explores the rise and fall of the hippie movement, drug use, racial tensions during the 1960’s and a communal lifestyle. This movie has remained a classic through the ages.
The Wild One (1953)
This movie became a cultural icon of the 1950’s and is considered to be original film to explore outlawed motorcycle gang violence in the United States. The screenplay of the film was based on the short story “The Cyclists’ Raid” by Frank Rooney. His story was based on the motorcycle rally in Hollister, California in 1947 that got out of hand and was sensationalized by national media. Both the film and the short story were based on “the legend of the Hollister Riot”
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)
This movie is a biker action film shot in 1991 starring Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson. For all effective purposes, the film actually failed in popular culture, earning only $7 million dollars in the box office. However after it’s release to video, the movie became a cult classic, which is described as “promoting the male biker stereotype”. This movie is based around bank robberies and the drug culture. It is a bit extreme, but fun nonetheless.
Beyond the Law (1992)
This is another movie that explores the outlawed biker culture. This film was made for television in 1992. It was written and produced by Larry Ferguson. The film explores the story of main character, Dan Saxon (played by Charlie Sheen), who is an undercover cop that infiltrates the outlawed biker culture to learn more about one of the biggest drug smuggling and arms-dealing operation of the time.
The movie explores the gray areas of being an undercover cop, as Saxon must commit increasingly dangerous and perverse crimes in order to gain the trust of the gang. Saxon’s work is ultimately rewarded as it leads to more than 200 arrests of the biker gang members.
Stone Cold (1991)
This movie is a serious hardcore action film about a biker gang that intends on assasinating the district attorney and freeing one of the biker gang members who is currently on trial for murder. This is another film where a cop goes undercover in an attempt to infiltrate the hard knock life of the outlaw gangs. The movie did not do well in the box office, making about $2.8 million dollars, but it did become another cult classic film among fans who enjoyed learning about the biker gang culture. If you enjoyed Beyond the Law, then this movie is another must see for you!