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The Wild Angels (1966).

October 9, 2009

The Scoop:
For one brief, shining moment this was the quintessential Biker Movie — until the release of the far superior “Easy Rider” a few years later.

Peter Fonda plays Heavenly Blues, the leader of a biker gang from Southern California. When his buddy Loser (Bruce Dern) gets his bike stolen, they try to retrieve it, only for Loser to wind up badly hurt in the hospital. The gang tries to bust him out, only to have Loser die in the process. They hold a makeshift funeral and have a mourning party in an old church, which eventually leads to a confrontation with the local upstanding conservative citizens. And that’s it. Pretty basic, really. Nancy Sinatra and Diane Ladd co-star in the obligatory girlfriend roles, while the rest of the gang is made up of various B-movie misfits and hangers-on.

While the plot and characters of “The Wild Angels” don’t amount to much, the attitude and celebration of biker culture shine through. Despite its poor production values, it is a classic of its kind.

Best Line:
“We want to be free! Free to do what we want to do! We want to be free to ride! To ride our machines without being hassled by the man! We want to get loaded! And we want to have a good time! And that’s what we’re gonna do! We’re gonna have a good time! We’re gonna have a party!”

Side Note:
Rumor has it that Laura Dern was conceived on the set of this one.

Companion Viewing:
“Easy Rider” (1969) and “The Wild One” (1954).

Links:
IMDb.
Motherfucking Masterpieces.

Take a Look:
The opener:

Party!

Peter Fonda sticks it to The Man in one of the all-time great movie speeches:

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