The Wild One (1954) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wild One1954

The Wild One (1954)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Wild One Photos

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!

Watch it now


Marlon Brando
as Johnny Strabler / Narrator
Mary Murphy
as Kathie Bleeker
Robert Keith
as Sheriff Harry Bleeker
Jay C. Flippen
as Sheriff Singer
Peggy Maley
as Mildred
Hugh Sanders
as Charlie Thomas
Ray Teal
as Frank Bleeker
John Brown
as Bill Hannegan
Will Wright
as Art Kleiner
Alvy Moore
as Pigeon
Don Anderson
as Stinger
Bruno Ve Sota
as Simmonds
Timothy Carey
as Chino Boy
Eve March
as Dorothy
Mary Newton
as Mrs. Thomas
View All

Critic Reviews for The Wild One

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6)

In [director] Laslo Benedek the American cinema has an unusual talent, with a solidity and a spirit of humane inquiry which gives this film, in its faults as well as its virtues, a genuine and independent quality.

March 17, 2020 | Full Review…

Marlon Brando turns in a tremendously powerful performance as the inarticulate, frozen-faced, truculent outlaw who heads the gang of motorcycle hoodlums.

January 25, 2018 | Full Review…

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.

November 7, 2007 | Full Review…

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

January 26, 2006
Top Critic

This Stanley Kramer-produced film is the original biker movie.

March 10, 2003 | Full Review…

Brando's magnetism is eternal.

April 4, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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
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
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
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Wild One Quotes

News & Features