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Trivia / The Wild One

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Marlon Brando selected his own wardrobe of boots, jeans, leather jacket and cap which he wore to and from the studio.
  • Banned in China: The film was banned in the U.K. until 1968. It was also rejected for a UK cinema certificate in 1954 and 1955 by the BBFC and was finally granted an X rating in November 1967 after a 13 year ban.
  • Cast the Expert: Stanley Kramer hired real biker gangs to play themselves. When Kramer asked one of them what they were rebelling against, one cyclist cracked, "Well, what ya got?" That was incorporated into the script and became one of the film's most quoted lines.
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  • Creator Backlash: Harry Cohn hated the completed film but so did Marlon Brando for different reasons. The latter said,
    We started out to do something worthwhile, to explain the psychology of the hipster. But somewhere along the way we went off the track. The result was that instead of finding why young people tend to bunch into groups that seek expression, all that we did was show the violence.
  • Executive Meddling: The producers wanted to film on location, but Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn nixed this idea and ordered them to shoot it on Columbia's ranch in Burbank. He also wanted the film made in black-and-white.
  • Hostility on the Set: Lee Marvin's on-screen rivalry with Marlon Brando continued off-camera as well. Brando also allegedly did not see eye to eye with Hungarian director Laslo Benedek.
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  • Method Acting: To prepare for his role, Marlon Brando renewed his love for motorcycles, practicing his cycling technique and selecting his own wardrobe, which he wore to and from the studio. Brando also spent time with the real-life biker gangs to absorb their mannerisms and speech.
  • The Red Stapler: Marlon Brando's haircut helped to inspire a craze for sideburns, followed by James Dean and Elvis Presley, among others. Presley also used Johnny's image as a model for his role in Jailhouse Rock.
  • Working Title: The Cyclists' Raid and Hot Blood.
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