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Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

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45Brit

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Post Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:27 am

Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

I've just seen a website that makes the claim that Lee Marvin rode a BT flathead in "The Wild Ones". I haven't seen the film in a good while, but I'd always thought he rode a hand-shift, Glide-fork panhead?
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RUBONE

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Post Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:41 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

There was a press photo shot of Chino standing with his foot on the front wheel of a springer forked Flathead that was even made into a poster. It lead to the misinformation. In the movie scenes of riding he is on a Hydra-Glide.
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Speeding Big Twin

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Post Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

45Brit, in The Wild One (singular not plural), Marvin rides a Panhead and it appears to be either a 50 or a 49. I’d say it is more likely to be a 50 because originally all 49s had black lower fork legs whereas 1950 models could be had with black lower legs or non-black lower legs. There are some other differences between 49 and 50 models but I’ve never seen photos of the movie bike that were detailed enough in those certain areas to be able to tell the exact model year.

Can you post a link to that website please because I’d like to see if it mentions anything about the beetles. Contrary to popular belief the beetles was not the name of Marvin’s group and I don’t think his group in its entirety even had a name. Beetles is a slang word found in dictionaries and it was used to describe girls and/or young women and that is how Marvin applies the word beetles in the movie.
Eric

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45Brit

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Post Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:00 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/20 ... s-stripes/

I'd always assumed that since Chino has a line "since the club split" that both groups called themselves Black Rebels Motorcycle Club?

Whether any of Chino's group actually wear the emblem, I have no recollection. Certainly Johnnny's group have a uniform appearance, at least to that extent, while Chino's group seem to wear pretty much anything that takes their fancy, and both groups seem to intermingle freely once they meet.
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Speeding Big Twin

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Post Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:09 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

Thanks for the link. Odd that the text there about Marvin not using a Pan is contradicted by one of the accompanying photos on that website which clearly shows him riding a Panhead in the movie.

The possibility that both groups called themselves BRMC is an interesting one but I haven’t noticed anything about that in the movie. I own a VHS copy of it and I haven’t seen any club insignia worn by Marvin or anyone else in his group and I haven’t heard any reference to his group calling themselves BRMC. For Marvin’s group not to have a name is something that strikes me as unusual because dialogue in the movie seems to indicate that the split occurred about a year before the two groups ran into each other outside Bleeker's. So the script had allowed plenty of time for Marvin's group to come up with a name but the writers/producers/whoever apparently saw no need for one.

The only name I know of that has been associated with Marvin’s group in its entirety is the beetles but beetles is incorrect.
After Brando pushes Marvin off the Panhead, Marvin says to Brando: ‘Ever since the club split up I missed you. We all missed ya!’
But as Marvin puts a hand on one of the girls in his group, he says: ‘The beetles missed ya!’ And moving towards another girl in his group he says: ‘All the beetles missed ya!’
So Marvin is making a direct reference to the girls (the beetles).

After the fight with Brando, Marvin says to the town cop: ‘Ya know we had the same club once. And the beetles got on his (Brando’s) back all the time. He didn’t like that.’
So again Marvin is talking about the girls (the beetles) and about them getting on Brando’s back.

Therefore it would seem that the beetles is not the name of Marvin’s entire group; the word beetles is only used in reference to the girls.
Eric
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45Brit

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Post Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:59 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

I hadn't noticed, or at any rate picked up on the "beetles" reference so I'll take your word for it. I'd assumed from context and various quotes that Chino's group and the self-styled BRMC had separated from the same group, although whether they were called the BRMC at that time isn't specified.

It could be, from context, that Johnny's group have called themselves BRMC and adopted the logo since the split.

As to the name of Chino's group, I think this was just left out by the screenwriters as an unimportant detail.
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Speeding Big Twin

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Post Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:12 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

I agree Marvin’s group and the BRMC separated from the same group. And I also agree it’s unclear from the movie whether or not the BRMC existed at the time of the split.

Marvin’s group in its entirety has been incorrectly called the beetles for a long time and it may have come about because someone heard Marvin referring to the beetles in the movie but didn’t realise that he seems to be talking only about the girls and not about his entire group. And once something like that starts it is wrongly taken by many to be fact—for example, in The Original Wild Ones, author Bill Hayes says Marvin’s gang is called the Beetles and Hayes mentions a couple of other publications saying a similar thing. But I think if Mr Hayes and the other authors pay attention to the movie then they may change their opinions once they realise that Marvin is referring only to the girls and not his entire group.
Eric
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Neil74

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Post Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:15 pm

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

We would probably need to see the original story from the original author to see what they meant. We are only seeing the Directors interpretation of what he read, never exactly as it is written . Is it?
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Kurt

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Post Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:01 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

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45Brit

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Post Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:18 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

H'mmmm ...... Slack writing, Chino could be using the term "beetles" to mean the girls, but from context he could equally mean the whole group. Given that the girls are first described as being dressed so as to be indistinguishable from the men ( while riding ) and a short while later, as being dressed in the same fashion as the BRMC, although the second group are specifically described as being quite different in appearance, I'd say it's just lax editing of what was, after all, a fairly low budget picture, with the writers using genetic "hip" slang without worrying too much about what it actually meant
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Pa

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:47 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

Hey Kurt !!! Good to see you back on the forum again.
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Speeding Big Twin

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Post Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:54 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

Kurt, thank you for the link. I wish they’d left the race/scramble in with the line of flour marking the course; it would have been good to watch.
Eric
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Speeding Big Twin

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Post Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:09 am

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

45Brit wrote:H'mmmm ...... Slack writing, Chino could be using the term "beetles" to mean the girls, but from context he could equally mean the whole group. Given that the girls are first described as being dressed so as to be indistinguishable from the men ( while riding ) and a short while later, as being dressed in the same fashion as the BRMC, although the second group are specifically described as being quite different in appearance, I'd say it's just lax editing of what was, after all, a fairly low budget picture, with the writers using genetic "hip" slang without worrying too much about what it actually meant


Via that link there are a few references to the beetles and sometimes it isn’t exactly clear whether it means Chino’s group in its entirety or just the girls.

However, also via that link you’ll read the following which was going to be said by Johnny: ‘Hey, where's my gold? Where'd that beetle go Chino gave my gold to?’

In that sentence Johnny is talking about Kathie because Chino had given her his (Johnny’s) gold (the trophy) to hold onto.

Earlier on via that link, attached to Chino's front fender is Johnny's trophy. After some pushing/shoving/whatever, Chino waves the trophy aloft and shouts over the noise. Here’s part of what Chino says: ‘The lovely young lady here will hold the golden stakes! The timid maiden of the hills clutches the gold ...’

The guys race/scramble/whatever, following the line of white flour. After the race, Chino lifts the trophy from Kathie's arm and kisses her on the forehead. But Johnny and Chino fight over the trophy. Chino shakes himself and thrusts the trophy on Kathie again. The fight between the two men continues. Eventually Chino gets taken away by the town cop and just after that is when Johnny asks where his gold (the trophy) is and where’d that beetle go who Chino gave his gold to.

In this instance with Johnny referring to a beetle, he means Kathie because she’s a girl. And that is consistent with Chino referring to the girls in his group as beetles, and I don’t think Chino was referring to his group in its entirety.

In 2007 on the old Harley Tech Talk forum a few things about the movie were mentioned, including the beetles. Wanting to find proof of the word’s meaning, I went to the State Library here in Perth and I found the word beetle in four books and I can name them and their authors/editors if required. All four publications, two of which included the words American slang as part of their titles, listed a beetle as a girl and/or young woman.
Eric
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45Brit

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Post Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:50 pm

Re: Lee Marvin's bike in "The Wild Ones"

found this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvkLhmbSgkw and this ... http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma04/hess/slang/kids.html which suggests the term dates back to the 1930s

There's a more recent British expression "beetle bonnet" ( as in Volkswagen hood ) denoting what's otherwise known as a "camel toe"... :oops:
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