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September 9, 2009 1:30 PM   Subscribe

On Any Sunday is a 1971 film about motorcycling. Narrated by Bruce Brown (director of The Endless Summer, it features Mert Lawwill (who later developed a prosthetic for amputee riders), Malcolm Smith, and Steve McQueen, among others. It can be viewed in its entirety on Hulu. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature in 1971, and reviewed by Roger Ebert in the same year.
posted by entropic (11 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
On Any Sunday was a welcome respite from the rash of motorcycle movies of that period which invariably painted riders as drunken louts, rapists, gang members, and just a general danger to society. I have met some of the nicest, coolest people I know since I started riding in my mid-20s (20 years ago, now). There are some douchebags, of course, just as in any activity, but by-and-large motorcyclists are decent folk and this film hangs out with those guys.
posted by maxwelton at 2:15 PM on September 9, 2009

Werd. This should be mandatory viewing for anyone interested in motorcycling...
posted by black8 at 2:17 PM on September 9, 2009

Oh my god I love this movie. I was given a copy with the documentary about Evil Kenivel on the same VHS. Evil had been a childhood hero, but I ended up lvoing these guys a lot more.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:31 PM on September 9, 2009

My dad brought this home for me along with the top-loading VCR he rented from the video store. It was awesome (both the film and the technology).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:35 PM on September 9, 2009

> More than a couple of times every year I have to watch "On Any Sunday." I can't tell you
> why exactly except that it makes me feel good. It's kind of like smelling something that
> you haven't in a long time and all those feelings that you had the first time you
> experienced "it" come flooding back.

say, you don't see marcel proust commenting on imdb just every day.
posted by jfuller at 4:01 PM on September 9, 2009

I love On Any Sunday for all number of reasons, but in no small part because it helped warm my mother to the notion of motorcycling as a normal activity for normal people.
posted by MarchHare at 7:28 PM on September 9, 2009

I saw it in a theater at the old Salt Palace.

In 1972.

That's right, I am that fucking old.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:38 PM on September 9, 2009

That movie has been etched in my mind since I was about 8 when it came on TV in Los Angeles back in the 70s. As influential as it was on me, I never really became much of a motorcycle person, mostly because of lack of money. I did get into the early BMX scene, and that opening sequence is pretty much identical to what my neighborhood buddies did in the local empty lots.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:06 PM on September 9, 2009

on any sunday timelessly defines the genre. in its purity, in its approach to the subject, in its thoroughly infectious zeal and passion, it is, without doubt one of the greatest movies of our time. period. i am inspired each and every time i view it.
posted by RockyChrysler at 9:17 PM on September 9, 2009

I had never seen this before! What an awesome love letter to motorcycle riding this is.
posted by tmt at 3:39 PM on September 10, 2009

pts is the only reason I ever saw this (because otherwise, why would I have?) but it's really good. You should give it a try even if you think you have no reason to, kind of the way John McPhee can make you read about basketball or interstate trucking or California's geology with absorbed fascination interspersed with occasional moments of "I can't believe I'm enjoying this." And the music shouldn't be omitted from mention.

(Funny, the Ebert review mentions Calvin Trillin, whom I've just started reading, and who stands in contrast to other 70something food writers; the guy's heard of and uses Chowhound and there's a wry piece in Feeding a Yen about just that.)
posted by wintersweet at 1:59 PM on September 11, 2009

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