The wild

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German title The wild
Original title The Wild One
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1953
length 79 minutes
Director László Benedek
script John Paxton
Ben Maddow (anonymous)
production Stanley Kramer
music Leith Stevens
camera Hal Mohr
cut Al Clark

Der Wilde (Original title: The Wild One) is an American feature film from 1953 directed by László Benedek . The main role played Marlon Brando , who in the role of the leader of a rocker gang became an idol of the " youngsters ". The financially successful film had a major impact on youth culture in the 1950s.

The plot is based on the short story Cyclist Raid by Frank Rooney, which appeared in Harper's Magazine in 1951 . This in turn was based on a report from the magazine Life , which described riots during a motorcycle event in July 1947 in Hollister , California . The film was made under the aegis of producer Stanley Kramer and Columbia Pictures based on a script by John Paxton and Ben Maddow . The film premiered in New York on December 30, 1953, and was shown in German cinemas on January 14, 1955. It was banned from public showing in Great Britain until 1968. In Germany this film was for that time held " yobs partly responsible -Krawalle".


The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club under their leader Johnny Strabler attends a motorcycle race. There the rockers clash with the event staff and steal the trophy for second place. Sent away by the police, they drive on to the small town of Wrightsville, where Johnny is known, but where their arrival causes a stir. A motorcycle race on the street causes a car accident, whereupon the local police officer Harry Bleeker tries to mediate between the angry motorist and the rockers. Among the onlookers is Kathie Bleeker, daughter of the policeman and waitress in a café. Johnny goes to her in the coffeehouse and tries to hook up with her. In the meantime, the BRMC is taking over the main road and the bar, holding driving courses, laughing at young women and drinking alcohol, which the bar owner welcomes at first. The policeman tries to establish a friendly relationship with Johnny, but is turned down by him.

The gang of the Beetles arrives in town. Their leader Chino steals the trophy from Johnny and there is a battle of words on the main street and finally a fight between the two, in which Johnny remains victorious. The policeman may not intervene even at the urging of city dwellers. When a car honked at the crowd and brushed against a Beetle, the rockers drag the driver, Charlie Thomas, out of the car and try to tip the vehicle. Then the policeman intervenes and tries again to mediate between the rockers and the driver. Finally, under pressure from the citizens, he arrests Chino. Johnny intervenes and demands the release of chinos. But he does not agree to the policeman's condition that all rockers leave town. Johnny goes back to the café, where Kathie also tells him to leave town.

It is now night. Both gangs are lurking on the street. Bleeker wants to call the sheriff for help, but the rockers storm the switchboard and cut the connection for the whole city. They break into the prison and want to free Chino, but Chino cannot be woken up, so they leave him and lock Charlie Thomas in his cell. There is now a lot going on in the bar, and the situation is overwhelming for the bar owner. Johnny is looking for Kathie, who has been sent to her father by the bar owner for help. Meanwhile, some citizens of the city free Charlie Thomas from jail, leave the cell open and leave, whereupon Chino wakes up and also leaves. The rockers ransack a beauty salon and harass Kathie. She runs away, is tracked and caught on motorcycles. When Johnny arrives at the scene, she gets on the motorcycle with him. You drive out of town and stop at a cozy place. After a short conversation, Kathie runs away crying and Johnny drives after her and asks what's going on. Kathie slaps him.

Meanwhile, the situation in the city has escalated further. Johnny tells Chino they'd better get out of town. A vigilante group trying to keep things in order pulls Johnny off his motorcycle and kidnaps him. Kathie watches the process, runs to her father and asks him for help. But he says there is nothing he can do about it. Johnny is beaten up by several kidnappers. Unexpectedly, the policeman arrives with Kathie and orders the men to stop. Johnny escapes the scene and is able to get to his motorcycle. An angry crowd armed with clubs pursues and pelts Johnny. A metal bar hits him and throws him off the motorcycle, which crashes into an abandoned older man, whereupon he dies. The pack pounced on Johnny, but then Sheriff Singer arrives with his men and arrests him. He is held responsible for the man's death, but the bar owner's testimony exonerates him. The sheriff takes Johnny into his conscience and lets him go. He orders the rockers to get out of his county. Johnny makes a stop in the café, drinks a coffee, puts the trophy in front of Kathie, smiles shyly at her and then drives away.


Marlon Brando's portrayal of Johnny Strabler with a black motorcycle leather jacket , jeans and a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle became a role model among young people in the 1950s. Criminal activity, riot and riot have also been attributed to the operation of this film, and performances have been banned in the UK. The BBFC demanded with a reference to the increasing juvenile delinquency that only films with appropriate moral counterweights in the plot should be shown in front of a young and immature audience.

The catholic film service admitted that the strip was warned against hooliganism, but found it worrying that it could be imitated by young people. Gerhard Bronner's parodistic chanson Der Halbwilde , which became famous in the interpretation of Helmut Qualtinger with the often quoted sentence "I hob zwoar ka onung where i go, but that's why i gschwinder duat", refers explicitly to Marlon Brando's role in Der Wilde .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Sebastian Kurme: Youngsters: Youth protest in the 1950s in Germany and the USA. Campus Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-593-38175-3 .
  2. a b c d Katja Scherl: “It's like cinema.” Marlon Brando's “Der Wilde” as a model and image of youthful subculture. In: Tanja Thomas (Ed.): Media culture and social action. VS Verlag, 2008 ISBN 3-531-15128-2 , pp. 119 ff.
  3. ^ Daniel R. Wolf: The Rebels: A Brotherhood of Outlaw Bikers. University of Toronto Press, 1991, ISBN 0802073638 , p. 5.
  4. a b Kurme, p. 123.
  5. Jürgen Kniep: “No youth release!” Film censorship in West Germany 1949 - 1990 , Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2010, p. 193, after Tom D. Mathews: Censored. The Story of Film Censorship in Britain , London 1994, p. 128
  6. Kurt Bauer (ed.): Fascination of driving . Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-205-77097-8 .