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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic European "Easy Rider"
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...
Published on 13 July 2008 by Mr Happy

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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).

On watching it again I had a pleasant wallow in nostalgia, but the acting is wooden and the "erotic" scenes have dated very badly. The road movie aspect is a treat though; who wouldn't want to ride a bike across 1960s...
Published on 23 April 2007 by MarkE


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18 of 18 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.

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.

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 if your a real Faithful Fan.
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11 of 12 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. The film really is a snap shot of life (middle class life) at a time when society was in a state of flux with everything up for re-evaluation, and all the boundaries were changing. The central character; the beautiful young woman rejecting her expected roll as a submissive wife and using her motorcycle to commute between her husband and her lover really was a poke in the eye for"the establishment".
Well worth a look.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch as a flawed road movie, 23 April 2007
By 
MarkE (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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).

On watching it again I had a pleasant wallow in nostalgia, but the acting is wooden and the "erotic" scenes have dated very badly. The road movie aspect is a treat though; who wouldn't want to ride a bike across 1960s Europe?

One to enjoy at the bottom of the second bottle with a group of friends who were there at the same time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie from the close of the 60s., 31 July 2008
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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...

I think this movie is a sort of 'wake up call' for those who believed that the 1960s had changed everything.

I find I have to be in a certain mood to really appreciate the absolute gems that some of the scenes in this picture are, and to also appreciate the devastating impact the whole story has. Anyone who falls asleep watching this, will most certainly wake up at some point with a start!

Fabulous!

N. B. The release I purchased could do with a 're-mastering'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic soft biker porn, 10 Sept. 2009
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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 totally of its era and couldn't have been made at any other time. It puts you in mind of Antonioni's Blow Up.

The other, and probably far more powerful reason, is to see a sexy and youthful Marianne Faithfull zip herself into her leather one-piece. This isn't as fatuous as it sounds. It is obvious from the film's promotional material, and its poster, that this was meant to be its biggest draw. It is also hard to say that the film doesn't do the book justice. I imagine that few will have read André Pieyre de Mandiargues' prizewinning novel "La Motorcyclette" which is the basis for the film. It is hard to see how the book won any prizes, as it is as much an exercise in soft porn as the film, without anything much to say. But the film is remarkably faithful to the text.

Living near Geneva, I know many of the areas dramatised in the film and have ridden them on my own bike. There is a fabulous atmosphere evoked by the film and the freedom it conveys is as true now as then.

Marianne Failthfull is hugely seductive in her leather suit, and if you appreciate this, then you should enjoy the film, as she spends most of the movie clad in it. Should you be female, you can always spend your time admiring that hugely French sex-symbol, Alain Delon.

On the other hand, if you want more than a period art-house movie, completely dated and offering little more than an excuse to revel in the bike and its riders as sex-objects, you are going to be disappointed.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Venus in Leather, 11 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
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 rides off on her motorbike for trysts with the edible Alain Delon whenever the going gets tough. This sounds erotic but sadly isn't. The acting is wooden and much of the dialogue is laughably inane. Even the sex scenes between these two hot young things are banal. Altogether a wasted opportunity - the only thing that throbs with passion is the titular motorcycle!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Girl on a Motorcycle, 5 Oct. 2009
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. For me it was ok but that's all. It was a 60's film! I think it was really the leather motorcycle suit that stayed in his memory all these years and he wanted to recapture a bit of his youth. In it's time probably a very good film but now just a little dated.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MAN AND A WOMAN MEETS EASY RIDER, 16 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Girl On A Motorcycle [DVD] (DVD)
A GREAT PERIOD PIECE WITH PSYCHADELIC PHAZING AND GREAT SHOTS SIMILAR TO UN HOMME ET LE FEMME THE MUSIC IS ALSO V V PERIOD THE SOUNDTRACK ALBUM IS BEST LISTENED TO AFTER U KNOW THE FILM.GREAT FONDUING SCENE IN A ALPINE RETREAT STRAIGHT OUT OF A 60S TOOTHPASTE AD. IF U LIKE 60S MOVIES THIS IS FOR U.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Girl On A Motorcycle [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the all time Classics highley recommenred.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Girl on a Motorcycle DVD, 31 July 2012
By 
Mr. K. James (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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. Ok so it has dated somewhat but so have I probably !! Still a great film to watch starring the lovely Marianne Faithful and directed by Jack Cardif
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