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Girl on a Motorcycle [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Alain Delon , Marius Goring    DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.


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Product details

  • Actors: Alain Delon, Marius Goring, Roger Mutton
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Redemption USA
  • DVD Release Date: 19 May 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001SGEUE2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,269 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Caught midway between 1970s soft-porn clunker The Story of O and Bunuel's sado-masochistic fantasy Belle de Jour, the 1968 erotic curio Girl on a Motorcycle is one of Marianne Faithfull's chief claims to notoriety. She stars as Rebecca, a leather-clad, former bookstore clerk in search of sexual fulfilment who flees her dependable schoolteacher husband for a dangerous liaison with Daniel (Alain Delon), a dashing Professor addicted to speed. The story is told entirely in flashbacks as Rebecca rockets along the road, having donned her leathers and walked out on her sleeping husband at the crack of dawn. It all must have seemed fairly daring and provocative in 1968, providing viewers with ample opportunities to view a naked Faithfull at the height of her allure. But today the existential musings of the lead character seem achingly pretentious, the erotic symbolism merely gawky and unintentionally amusing: the sight of Alain Delon with a phallic pipe dangling from his mouth is like something out of a Rene Magritte painting. The sex scenes between Delon and Faithfull are all swamped in a polarised visual effect that, while garish and psychedelic, is dated and distinctly unerotic. Director Jack Cardiff is better known as a cinematographer on classics such as The African Queen and Black Narcissus. Among Cardiff's other directorial credits is a worthy adaptation of DH Lawrence's Sons & Lovers, but Girl on a Motorcycle is a saucy road movie with no final destination.

On the DVD: This DVD version is misleadingly presented as being the fully restored and uncut version of the film. Yet it was the US version not the European one that was heavily cut (and titillatingly re-titled "Naked Under Leather"). The restoration certainly does not refer to the print quality: although the colours are vivid and bright, the print used to master the DVD (in 16:9 anamorphic format) is extremely grainy and, at times, speckled with dirt and scratches. Included as one of the special features, a theatrical trailer loaded with innuendo shows just how much the film was marketed to a prurient audience. Director Jack Cardiff provides an audio commentary but has few revelatory things to say about his film beyond technical considerations, and even makes several clunking errors (recalling his casting decisions concerning a scene that takes place in a provincial German café, he raves about how he strove to find authentic French locals!). He does reveal that the film's use of a voice-over was inspired by the internal monologue that forms the basis of James Joyce's Ulysses. Given Cardiff's age and experience one feels that he must have more interesting anecdotes and insights, making this commentary feel like a wasted opportunity. --Chris Campion

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic European "Easy Rider" 13 July 2008
I bought this un-cut in Germany, German packaging but English audio-track,a couple of extras but nothing much really to write about.
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie from the close of the 60s. 31 July 2008
This was Marianne Faithfull's greatest moment when she starred in what was to become one of the great films to close the 1960s era in 'Girl On A Motorcycle'.

This film is beautifully shot with some fabulous early morning scenes. Some scenes are quite melancholic - others are simply exhilarating! With lots of psychedelic suggestions, the story of this great movie runs far deeper than is given credit for.

A young woman attempts to 'save' herself from her own sexual addiction to a virtual stranger by rushing into marriage with a man she has become 'comfortably' engaged to, but he's somewhat boring and a little weak, which does not help her fight her temptations... The pathetic portrayal of her future husband is done without any sentiment at all with a great example being the humiliating scene involving the children in the classroom quite early on in the picture - this in particular ignites much sympathy from the viewer for the girl and her plight. The girl Rebecca, finds herself torn between love and excitement, but she becomes too embroiled in what will become her ultimate downfall... The flashbacks are cleverly interspersed in a way that keeps the viewer guessing as to whether she's arrived at her destination - or if it's just another daydream. This little quirk becomes more gripping as the film and story progresses.

There's also some great dialogue from Faithfull's character as we enter her thoughts as she rides along on her bike at tremendous speed, that for any of those who woke up towards the end of the 60s decade, to find that nothing had really happened at all - this will be particularly poignant; there were still people living boring lives, people still got married, and people still died... Nothing had really changed at all...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting. 2 July 2011
Girl on a motorcycle is one of those films that I remember from my childhood that every body talked about but I never got to see. At the time Marian Faithfull was every schoolboys dream, free and easy and at the heart of the permissive society.Her film was talked of in hushed tones behind the bike sheds and the older kids who had (or claimed to have)skived off school and gone to see it gained so many cool points that it was hard to look at them.
Since then I have grown older (if not up),society as a whole and it's attitudes have changed beyond recognition and Marian faithfull, now well into her sixties, is no longer the siren that she was. Indeed after reading her biography and all it's winging and claims of victimisation Its hard to have any regard for her at all.
When I decided to start collecting motorcycle related films from the forties, fifties, sixties and seventies Girl On A Motorcycle was one of the first on my list. I sent off for it, through amazon, and a couple of days later it arrived on the door mat. I had no idea what the film was about, I only new that, in the sixties , it was regarded as subversive and not a film for "nice" people.
I watched it two or three times trying to decide what I thought of it. On first viewing it was a dissapointment; long, boring, pretentious and predictable. I was surprised at how beautiful Marian Faithfull was at the time, something I had forgotten. But the plot reminded me of some of Anais Ninns novels; middle class soul searching, navel gazing, bed hopping with every body taking themselves far too seriously.
After watching it a second and third time, I'm starting to think that these aspects of the film that I had considered weaknesses are actually it's strong points.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
Remember seeing this at the cinema with all the publicity that went with it.At the time she was always in the news due to the Mick Jagger connection and watching it now I must... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Pauly
2.0 out of 5 stars A film of its time
This is really only for dedicated fans of the 60s, and of Marianne Faithful in particular. it is a film of its time.
Published 6 months ago by Commercial lawyer
Published 7 months ago by CENTRAL LONDON MAN
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Dated
I had been looking forward to watching this for years, and was very disappointed. the motorcycle camera work is generally awful and unrealisticm. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Michelle Scutt
5.0 out of 5 stars Girl on a Motorcycle DVD
I purchased this DVD purely out of nostalgic reasons as I was lucky enough to have worked on some of the final dubbing sessions for this film back in the sixties. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mr. K. James
3.0 out of 5 stars Girl on a Motorcycle
This was purchased for my husband who had always told me what a great film it was. He loved it just as much as he has always loved Marianne Faithful. Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2009 by L. Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic soft biker porn
There are only a couple of good reasons probably to want to see this film:

One is for a nostalgia trip back to the 60s and here the film doesn't disappoint: it is... Read more
Published on 10 Sep 2009 by Glidd of Glood
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch as a flawed road movie
I bought this in a fit of nostalgia, having enjoyed it as a boy interested in motorcycles and women (at a time when both were beyond me). Read more
Published on 23 April 2007 by MarkE
3.0 out of 5 stars Girl on a Motorcycle
Classic bike movie or thinly disguided soft pornography? You'll have to decide which. This is a 'classic' film. Read more
Published on 25 Oct 2003 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Venus in Leather
This Sixties leather clad romp fails to live up to its sexy subversive reputation. The pouting Marianne Faithfull plays the bored housewife who slinks into her leather catsuit and... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2001
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