Laszlo Benedek
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

, /10
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L'atto di nascita formale della "gioventu' perduta" fu Wild One (1953), un film diretto da un esule ungherese, Laszlo Benedek, e prodotto da Kramer. Il film racconta le gesta di un branco di teppisti in motocicletta capeggiati da Brando. Senza ragione essi terrorizzano gli abitanti di una cittadina. Alla fine questi riescono a mettere le mani sul capo banda e l'intervento dello sceriffo scongiura il linciaggio. La delinquenza non ha motivazioni materiali; i giovani si danno alla violenza per rispettare i rituali di una loro sottocultura del tutto incomprensibile agli adulti. E' un ritorno alla bestialita' primitiva, al concetto di gruppo, alla competizione per capeggiarlo, alla vanita' della forza distruttiva. I membri del gruppo coniano segni di riconoscimento come i giubbotti di cuoio e le moto. Questa civilta' eleva la moto a feticcio della velocita', del rischio, del coraggio, dell'auto distruzione. A group of young motorcylists shows up at a small town where a motorcycle race is underway. They park their bikes, walk through the crowd, cross the race track and bother the staff. A police officer sends them away, but not before they manage to steal one of the prizes (a statuette) and countless ironic remarks. The pack migrates to another town. They enter it like locusts invading a field. They cause an accident, but make fun of the victim, and the only cop is not bold enough to punish them. The leader, Johnny (Marlon Brando), sees a cute girl in a restaurant, Cathy, and walks in trying to romance her. But she's a shy, simple girl and is more interested in doing her job than dancing with him. The only cop, a coward who does not want trouble, sits next to Johnny and tries to be friendly, but Johnny does not like cops. This one turns out to be Cathy's father, though, and that is enough for Johnny to walk out of the place. Outside, a new gang of motorcyclists has arrived: they are rivals, and old friends. Their leader, Gino, takes Johnny's statuette, and a brawl ensues in the street. The only cop watches powerless. Johnny wins, and Gino tries to take his revenge on a man who is driving by. The only cop is incapable of keeping order, but is forced by the citizens to arrest Gino. Cathy is disgusted by Johnny's posture: after all, he didn't even win the statuette; and Johnny resents her hostility.
Night comes, and the motorcyclists are still in town. The town feels like in a state of siege. The only cop is left alone to face them. They throw a citizen, Charlie the bully, into the same jail where Gino is kept. They send the town's receptionist home, so the town is de facto isolated. Then they all get drunk at Cathy's place. Johnny is in a terrible mood, despite an old girlfriend who tries to seduce him. But she's more pathetic than sexy.
In the meantime, the citizens are getting organized: they free the citizen and get weapons.
A group of motorcyclists chases Cathy, who is looking for her father, down narrow dark alleys, surround her and scare her to death. Johnny rescues her on his motorcycle and she has no choice but to accept his ride. He takes her to the woods, the place to rape her. But, in a highly psychological scene, the roles get reversed: the girl, who is not afraid, tells him that he is always fighting, that he is insecure; and then hugs his motorcycle, like it was a secret (sexual) fantasy. She is lonely and lives a sad loveless life. He is, in a sense, living the same kind of life, although superficially the two are very different. She can't help crying, desperate, perhaps torn between desire and destiny. She runs back to the road, away from him, and Johnny follows her with the motorcycle. An old man saw them and runs to look for help. The posse of armed citizens comes to the rescue and arrests Johnny. Cathy finally finds her father: he's drinking alone, fearful to show his face in town. Now Cathy wants him to save Johnny. Cathy's father finally agrees and confronts the men who, led by the arrogant Charlie, are beating the punk. Johnny takes advantage of the distraction to run out of the door. The men chase him in the dark streets. He reaches his motorcycle and tries to leave the town, but the mob has surrounded him. He falls and the motorcycle hits an old man who was watching the scene, killing him. The sheriff finally arrives from the nearby town. He and his men stop the fighting and arrest Johnny. He is released after Cathy and her father convince the sheriff that Johnny did not kill the old man. Upon leaving the jail, Johnny can't find the way to say "thank you" and walks out without a word. The pack takes off, led by Johnny. But Johnny comes back. He walks into the restaurant and orders a coffee, sitting next to Cathy and her father. He is still trying to say "thank you" but just can't say the words. So he doesn't say anything, but leaves the statuette on the counter for Cathy. Then leaves for good.
If English is your first language and you could translate this text, please contact me.
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