The Wild One

Director: Laslo Benedek
Year Released: 1954
Rating: 3.0

You have to really over look some hammy dialogue (the commonly-used slang, like "squares" and "hip" don't work today, ha ha) and some genuine silliness to enjoy this movie, which has Marlon Brando in all leather and tosses in some homosexual innuendo for good measure. Brando and gang ride into town to start trouble - problems escalate when Lee Marvin comes in (Brando dukes it out with him in a classic fight scene - anyone that knows how tough Marvin was in real life knew he could slap Brando silly); eventually the town tires of the destructive gang and forms a mob to silence the nonconformists. Curiously detached most of the time, but strangely likeable due to its camp value and performances, plus its abbreviated running time (79 minutes) works in its favor. Stanley Kramer produced it, and it has the typical social message you'd expect from him, but for some reason it never seems "forced," perhaps because of the film's lack of a definite resolution.