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The Girl on a Motorcycle

R 1968 1h 31m Drama List
38% Tomatometer 8 Reviews 50% Audience Score 500+ Ratings
Unhappy with her marriage, a leather-clad woman (Marianne Faithfull) hops on a motorcycle to meet her lover (Alain Delon). Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

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Joseph Jon Lanthier Slant Magazine Like most ersatz-feminism from the same era, the escape-from-domestic-oppression storyline of Jack Cardiff’s Girl on a Motorcycle makes its protagonist seem more irresponsible than iconically recalcitrant. Dec 26, 2022 Full Review Renata Adler New York Times The problem is that the quality of her erotic obsession, which might work out rater well in French, seems mirthlessly, sarcastically funny in English. Apr 8, 2006 Full Review Sarah Boslaugh TheArtsStl ...essentially soft porn starring pop singer Marianne Faithfull, who as an actress was a pretty good singer. Dec 13, 2022 Full Review Penelope Houston The Spectator The price in vulgarity is on the high side for a few misplaced laughs. Aug 6, 2019 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row Fans of Cardiff's work may find The Girl on a Motorcycle to be an interesting, if hardly essential, facet of his career, but fans of exploitation cinema may find the film uneventful and ultimately rather bland. Rated: 2/4 Aug 6, 2019 Full Review Sean Axmaker Parallax View It's less Summer of Love than Season of Lust and any sense of liberation is limited to her sexual horizons ... May 4, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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william k Artsy and pretentious exploitation movie seems to have been mainly made to show Marianne Faithfull in leather and various stages of undress, plus some psychedelic sequences as a reference to the zeitgeist; nicely photographed, though. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member This trippy 1968 British Lion film concerns the free-spirited Rebecca (Marianne Faithfull) who leaves her more conventional husband, Raymond to go and meet a man called Daniel (Alain Delon) who she met for the first time as she was working at her father's bookshop who seems much more interesting and passionate. The journey is undertaken on her prized Harley Davidson Electra Glide and entails her travelling from France to Germany. It was Daniel who gave her the bike as a wedding present. The film captures the inner pontifications of Rebecca as she ponders convention and how suffocating it is and her desires for Daniel rather than the more stoid Raymond. After having a few too many shots in a German bar she climbs onto her motorcycle again to finish her journey to meet Daniel. It was at this point that I thought that there shoudl have been more films made of Rebecca's adventures on her motorcycle and even a spin-off TV series. But then I saw the shocker of an ending and realised why there weren't more films made.  This film was not only a star vehicle for Faithfull (who doesn't disappoint) but also feels like British Lion dipping it's toe into the kind of mind blowing and tripped out films made for those who were fully ensconced in that swinging scene, man. Several sequences look like acid-soaked flashbacks with their psychedelic colours and dream like qualities. I also loved the daydream style sequences within the film such as the circus sequence in which Rebecca is standing on top of a moving horse whilst being whipped by ringmaster Delon. There's also a very special sequence in which Rebecca is riding along on her bike and superimposes the faces of her beaux on the billboards she sees. The film had the more provocative title of Naked Under Leather in the States. This was after they made the fikmmakers cut out several scenes of smut.  This is a fantastic, over the top and quite crazy piece of filmmaking and is still regarded as a brilliant cult film and for good reason. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Audience Member To my understanding, this film was given the first 'X' rating in the US by the newly established MPAA rating system which, in 1968, consisted of 'G' (general), 'M' (mature), 'R' (restricted) and 'X' (sexually explicit). Other ratings, like PG-13, etc, came along later. The title, "Girl on a Motorcycle" was the British release title, in the US, it was "Naked Under Leather". It demonstrates how far we've come since 1968. The few sexually explicit scenes are screen-painted psychodelic, probably to be released in the US. Marianne is attractive enough, but the film gives her nothing to do except ride her Harley-Davidson across farmland, forests, train tracks, international borders, bridges and tunnels enroute to her lover, after leaving her recently wed husband because he's a dullard. Why did she marry him, then? We'll never know because, 4 km from her lovers destination in Heidelburg, Germany, our heroine is killed in a fatal crash, seconds before the final credits roll. With very little dialog and Marianne mostly doing voice-over narration of her musings, there's very little connection between her and the viewer. The movie has a some visually stunning scenes of the road trip, but that's it. So, what was the point of the story? Was it meant (in 1968) to be a cautionary tale to young women eager for sexual liberation? Again, we'll never know. The point is, I'm not sure I care. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member There's no getting around the fact that The Girl on a Motorcycle is an absolute mess, a bizarre collection of vague stabs at social commentary that don't coalesce into anything cohesive (touching on topics like female agency, anti-war sentiment, the nature of relationships, etc.) and exploitative shots of Faithful's breasts. The outdated special effects work in an entirely different way that they were intended to, gorgeous with their formless psychedelic colors but completely hilarious in their pointlessness, and the horrible dubbing only adds to the film's unintentional hilarity. Yes, this is a nonsensical amalgamation of half-baked ideas and technicolor scenery, but it also features Alain Delon looking beautiful on a motorcycle, rightfully playing a character meant to represent the physical manifestation of desire; as dumb, cheesy fun, it works. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member The movie promises nothing and it delivers. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Audience Member A disappointingly aimless execution of a really intriquing premise. The potential for an engaging character study is bogged down by simplistic freudian angst and a very droning narration from the ex miss jagger. Direction from the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff seriously lacks structure and even though its well shot, there are only sparse moments where the story goes to places which justify its otherwise tiring psychadellia. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Girl on a Motorcycle

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Cast & Crew

The Arrangement 15% 63% The Arrangement Les Biches 79% 67% Les Biches The Driver's Seat 60% 54% The Driver's Seat Drive, He Said 57% 21% Drive, He Said Belle de Jour 95% 85% Belle de Jour Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis Unhappy with her marriage, a leather-clad woman (Marianne Faithfull) hops on a motorcycle to meet her lover (Alain Delon).
Director
Jack Cardiff
Screenwriter
Ronald Duncan, Jack Cardiff
Rating
R
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Streaming)
May 17, 2017
Runtime
1h 31m
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