Girl on a Motorcycle is a true cult classic, sexy '60s movie, starring rock legend Marianne Faithfull and French heart-throb Alain Delon. Marianne Faithfull is stunning as the leather-clad Rebecca, a love-torn woman who es... more »capes her fiancé and mounts her Harley for a cross-country road trip to her passionate but cruel lover, Daniel (Alain Delon). With raunchy sex scenes shown with psychedelic intensity, this film truly captures the late 1960's zeitgeist of "free love" and liberation.
Beautifully shot, star-studded, sexy and off-beat, Girl on a Motorcycle is a wild ride of a movie!« less
"Imagine Diana Rigg joining "Easy Rider's" Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda for a ride across France and Germany and you will have a pretty good idea what "Girl on a Motorcycle" looks like. Made one year before "Easy Rider"; this is an amazing 1960's road movie that includes hip camera angles, groovy music, a leather suit and a Harley Super Glide.
While low-budget, it is not a thrown together "B" Movie but a thoughtful existential trip inside the mind of a flawed character who happens to be a sexy woman. On close examination, what appears to be yet another fruitless examination of the mysteries of female discontent is really a more expansive study of the human condition. Rebecca, the main character, illustrates life as a process of choosing between comfortable security and the need for freedom and excitement; a daily struggle with guilt and its consequent self-destructiveness, and the seductive lure of risk. Motivations familiar to almost all serious motorcycle riders.
In voice-over, Marianne Faithful gives us Rebecca's story in a series of flashbacks, with minimal scenes of conventional dialogue. Most of these work very well although there is a ski weekend flashback about midway through the film that looks more like a travel advertisement than a movie scene. And while much of Jack Cardiff's film is beautifully shot, the action sequences are somewhat clumsy looking and obviously low budget. And there is excessive reliance on the Elvis movie technique of projecting moving scenery(shot by the second unit) with the star pretending to be cruising along the road while actually stationary in the studio.
Cardiff was very creative with the editing and came up with some great match cuts, typically used to bring Faithful out of her frequent flashbacks/dreams. In one we see her lover slowing pulling open the zipper of her suit, then the film cuts to the tread of an Army tank moving past the place where she has been napping by her motorcycle.
Cardiff's technique was quite revolutionary at the time as his camera has a love affair with the leather suit , the motorcycle, and Faithful's eyes. His extensive use of very tight shots is extremely effective and the most pleasing thing about the film.
Faithful is on screen in almost all the scenes and gives a surprisingly good performance. Alain Delon as her lover gets a fair about of screen time (all in flashbacks). I've not been able to take Delon seriously as an actor since his performance as a character named "Baldy" in Dean Martin's "Texas Across the River" in 1966. Plus I get him confused with Jorge Rivero and his almost identical character "Capt. Pierre Cordona aka Frenchy" in "Rio Lobo". Maybe they are the same person and used two names as a tax dodge.
Both the VHS tape and the DVD include a nice stills gallery and a couple trailers.
All in all I recommend this film. It has thoughtful themes and many well-shot scenes. If you like motorcycles, a sexy body in and out of a leather suit, the most beautiful eyes ever, and cute freckles you should view this film.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child."
The World's Greatest Psychedelic Driver's Ed Film
andy7 | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rather than suffer her 19th Nervous Breakdown disgruntled housewife Marianne Faithfull (pre-Tom Waits soundalike period) hits the European road gleefully bouncing her robust Brit bottom on her motorbike soon to be coupled with intense Eurohunk Alain Delon. Our leather-clad goddess wistfully reflects and reminisces about her last year on earth with eye-zapping psychedelic effects. This film would actually play very well in a double-feature with the similarly wild film "Performance". Note to Marianne: while grinding down the Autobahn on a motorbike at 95 miles an hour it's okay to flap your thighs and bounce your butt but by all means KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!"
Russ Meyer does Belle De Jour
' Groovin' guy | 06/02/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Girl on a motorcycle is a 1960s time capsule piece about a forlorn wife who leaves her life behind to flee to her lover. The film is essentially a well-done exploitation film in that sets out to exploit Marriane Faithful and her motorcycle while punctuating the action and nudity with philosophical snippets of dialogue. Sort of like if Goddard directed "Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill". However, the visuals are what's important in this film and they don't disapoint, especially if you are a fan of 60s films, such as "The Trip" or "Psych-Out"."
Fun old-school trippy euro camp
John Doh! | South Bend, IN United States | 08/16/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is NOT a really good film. It IS amusing and entertaining. The motorcycle scenes are not blue screened, which helps a lot. Marianne Faithful, a former Mick Jagger lover, stars in this, and there are a few naked shots, but nothing to write home about by todays standards. Certainly not enough to earn an "X" rating as it did on release in the US. The sound is nice for mono, and the Harley actually sounds like a Harley, something that you do not always get in movies. There is a lot of pshycadelic footage that may have been really trippy in the 60s, but looks really dated today.
Ms. Faithful is acceptable as an actress, with a running voice-over through much of the film. She isn't great however, and some of the lines make me laugh. When she takes off to go see her lover and cheat on wimpy hubby (think Satan's lover Chris from South Park), she starts the Harley and yells, "I turn myself on!" When I'm riding my own bikes around, this sometimes pops into my head and I yell it out loud (ONLY if wearing a full face helmet) and crack myself up.
There are some nice touches. The film is shot very dark while The Girl is in France where she lives with her husband, but once she enters her lover's country, Germany, everything becomes much more vivid and beautiful. There is also one nice 360 shot of The Girl on the motorcycle. Not exactly Matrix, but still, at least they tried.
The pacing is a little slow, and it seems to last longer than its running time. Its one of those movies (not films) where you can read a magazine while you watch. If you take Girl on a Motorcycle for what it is - a fun but dated movie from the 60s - it is a nice enough diversion. Compared to better films, even Easy Rider, it is less compelling."
She's Just Magical and Sparkling in this Role
' Groovin' guy | 06/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Marianne Faithfull is a stunner in her role as discontented young newlywed.
The scenery is gorgeous and her beauty fits right along with it, as she rides from Switzerland to Germany, to see her lover played by Alain Delon, who gave her the bike as a "wedding gift".
He plays a manipulative, ungrateful, unappreciative professor interested in her "free love".
The hallucinatory scenes can be a bit bothersome, but on the whole there is meaning to this film and also the chance to see beautiful Ms Faithfull fresh, young,so alive and so gorgeously sexy.