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The Bikeriders, a Motorcycle Club Film, Highlights a Positive Woman’s Role | Features

by Xtreme HD IPTV

The movie “Hell’s Angels on Wheels” (1967) starred Adam Roarke, Jack Nicholson, and Sabrina Scharf. Roger Ebert wrote: “This actually isn’t such a bad movie. Sure, it’s an exploitation picture, manufactured on a low budget to cash in on the current boom in motorcycle gangs. Sure, it has all the obligatory clichés, like an orgy and a couple of brawls and a lot of beer and pot and animalistic behavior. What did you expect?” What he did praise was the realism, as the cast included the bike clubs from Oakland, Sacramento, and San Francisco, and the president of the Hells Angels himself, Sonny Barker. However, he has no lines, though he also served as a consultant. I would agree with his review, as the movie is grittier, and by utilizing so many more riders, the group much more impressive, although Scharf’s female role was that of a ditz, as she would change her mind constantly. I’m not sure if it was because of the drug use or if that was her nature. The other women were portrayed the same way, wearing little clothing, giggling, and appearing to have a good time.

Viewing these ’60s biker films was actually nostalgic for me as it brought back memories of interviewing Peter Fonda in 2010 in a Chicago suburb after a screening of his motorcycle film “Easy Rider” (1969) during a fan event. What struck me was that some of the people who came to have him sign their helmets, bikes, and other cycle paraphernalia could have actually been or were in the Chicago Outlaws Club, which is now the second-largest bike club in the world. I have great memories of hosting the audience Q and A with him. What resonated with me were his stories about the filming with director and actor Dennis Hopper. Yes, he confirmed there was an actual budget for the marijuana consumed in the movie, which he laughed about, as did the packed crowd. He also spoke about the tall handlebars of the bikes in the ’60s, as they were so high, causing his arms to be in constant pain. He also mentioned the bikes weighed over a thousand pounds.

Roger Ebert gave “Easy Rider” four stars, writing, “And someday it was inevitable that a great film would come along, utilizing the motorcycle genre, the same way the great Westerns suddenly made everyone realize they were a legitimate American art form. “Easy Rider” is the picture.”

In mentioning the fan event with Fonda to Nichols, I told him what Fonda had said about his arm aching from the tall handlebars. Nichols then said the bikes they used were from the ’50s, ’60s, and even one from the ’40s. They presented many challenges as they all operated differently. He also told me there was a night when Austin Butler, at a very low speed, was turning around at the end of the street. He hit a patch of wet leaves, and his bike just flipped right out from under him, but the throttle was still engaged. So, all they saw was a headlight just spinning. Luckily, Austin jumped out of the way, but it was very, very challenging using vintage motorcycles.

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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