Empire Harley-Davidson and the Tarrytown Music Hall, along with the New York State Council on the Arts are teaming up for a three week long celebration of Motorcycling and Cinema at the historic Tarrytown venue.
The series kicks off on May 1st with what many consider the greatest motorcycle documentary ever filmed, Bruce Brown’s 1971 masterpiece On Any Sunday.
Nominated for a 1972 Academy Award for Documentary Feature, Brown shows the unique talents needed for the different forms of motorcycle racing. For instance, the motocross riders were typically free-spirited types, while desert racers were often loners. In Grand National racing, Brown shows us the widely differing personalities, such as the business-like approach to racing displayed by Mert Lawwill versus the carefree approach that David Aldana became known for. The film stars Steve McQueen, Malcolm Smith, and many other motorcycle racers from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Prior to the May 1st show there will be a pre-show party kick off at 6pm featuring Empire Harley-Davidson giveaways, and free food provided by Saw Mill Tavern. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased via the banner below.
The second feature on May 8th is a fun romp from the late 70’s featuring Clint Eastwood doing battle with a bumbling biker gang called the Black Widows, Every Which Way But Loose.
Released by Warner Brothers in 1978, produced by Robert Daley and directed by James Fargo, it stars Clint Eastwood in an uncharacteristic and offbeat comedy role, as Philo Beddoe, a trucker and brawler roaming the American West in search of a lost love while accompanied by his friend/manager, Orville, and his pet orangutan, Clyde. In the process Philo manages to cross a motley assortment of characters, including a pair of police officers and an entire motorcycle gang (the “Black Widows”), who end up pursuing him for revenge. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased via the banner below.
The final feature on May 15th is a true American classic, The Wild One. A 1953 American film directed by László Benedek and produced by Stanley Kramer, it is most noted for the character of Johnny Strabler (Marlon Brando), whose persona became a cultural icon of the 1950s. The Wild One is considered to be the original outlaw biker film, and the first to examine American outlaw motorcycle gang violence.
The film’s screenplay was based on Frank Rooney’s short story “The Cyclists’ Raid”, published in the January 1951 Harper’s Magazine and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 1952. Rooney’s story was inspired by sensationalistic media coverage of an American Motorcyclist Association motorcycle rally that got out of hand on the Fourth of July weekend in 1947 in Hollister, California. The overcrowding, drinking and street stunting were given national attention in the July 21, 1947, issue of Life, with a staged photograph of a wild drunken man on a motorcycle.The events, conflated with the newspaper and magazine reports, Rooney’s short story, and the film The Wild One are part of the legend of the Hollister riot. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased via the banner below.
All screenings are at Tarrytown Music Hall located at 13 Main Street in Tarrytown, NY.