Cycling Films Big List
Last updated 7th April 2003
Researched, compiled and edited by Séamus King
With useful contributions from; John Jermy, gNick Green, Buzz Starkbier, Ralf Grosser, Steve Brandist, Dave Larrington, Roger Lovell, Simon Thomas, Stephen Donohue, Cheryl Kline, Rudi Jenner, Ingeborg Jenner, Crispin Bennett, Si Davies, Michael Mclean, Carlton Reid, Sydney Winer, Andy Scaife, Jason Patient, Guy Jackson, Lee Shaw, Peter Khoo, Jeff, Mark Parsons, David L. Johnson, Wolf Schmidt, Hentie Stassen,Chesley Sugg, Bruce Freeburger, Simon Withers and Tony Farrelly.
Finnish translation courtesy of Kape.
Features over 100 films/movies from 19 countries!
Inspired by a thread on a discussion list on the Cycling Plus website this was originally intended to be an article for issue 16 of Byke Kultuur Never .
I'd assumed there'd maybe be around 10 or so films but things soon got out of hand....
At first the list fairly neatly broke down into three sections sections but it's started to get a bit messy with the addition of extra sections. As always, specific definitions remain a cause of contention. This is how the List currently stands;
One of the problems with internet research is the possibilty of hoax. If someone claims a thing to be true it's hard to prove otherwise. Such being the case, if I've not seen a film listed I have at least checked it out on more than just one source.
- Films in which cycling features as a core element central to the theme of the film.
- Films in which cycling features for only a small portion of the film but which are notable for some reason, probably included on someone elses list of cycling movies.
The bit where the kids and the alien escape on BMX bikes in, "ET," springs to mind as an example; cycling, in a film but that's not what the film is about.
- Films which feature, for however short a time, recumbents. Something of a fixation of mine.
- Television films, plays and series.
Lastly, if it has, "Bike Right," next to it it's because it has been shown at the premier cycling festival of the year, Bike Right in Wooler, Northumberland.
Cycling Films. Main List....
- 6 Day Racer (1940's)
A bike messenger wins the big 6-day race. Lots of 6-day footage, starring era comedian, Joe E. Brown, though many sources incorrectly refer to him as Joey Brown.
- L’École des Facteurs (1947)
"School for Postmen." An 18 minute French film featuring Jaques Tati as a village postman trying to improve his delivery times. Later remade and extended as, "Jour de Fete."
- Laudri de Bicicletta (1948) Bike Right.
More commonly known as, "The Bicycle Thieves" or, “The Bicycle Thief."
The film, one of the first to be made in post-war Italy, tells the story of a mans quest to recover his stolen bicycle which he needs for his job. Ultimately depressing, the film captures perfectly the mood of it’s time.
- Jour de Fete (1949) Bike Right.
Jacques Tati plays a village postman who goes through his rounds on his bicycle -- the old-fashioned way but when a travelling carnival comes to town, its proprietors show a film extolling the virtues of modern American mail delivery. Soon the townspeople start to wonder if their postman has fallen behind the times but they soon find out he still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Although released in black & white this film was also filmed in colour using a revolutionary new process. Unfortunately the company responsible for this process went bust before filming was finished.
- Um eine Nasenlänge (1949)
Made in Germany, this is an unprentious, typically post-war "cheer-people-up" movie about two six-day racers who are after the same girl. One wins "um eine Nasenlänge" (by a nose length) and, you guess it, marries the beauty. Theo Lingen, the winner, really had a wonderfully lengthy nose. The other rider(Hans Moser) obviously had to lose for moral reasons, he was just up to some extramarital adventure.
- A Boy, a Girl and a Bike (1949) Bike Right.
Diana Dors and Anthony Newly co-star.
Set around the hills of Hebden Bridge and focuses around a love triangle between a working class woman, a man from a local cycle club and a middle class motor fanatic who finds love and joys of cycling. A slim Diana Dors amusing bit when she stuffs her face in a tea-shop. Out of the rain on a ride the cyclists take a break for a smoke, ripping stuff. Jimmy Saville appears somewhere in the film as a cycling extra.
- Immer diese Radfahrer (1958)
“Always these cyclists.” A German film with with Heinz Erhardt, Hans Joachim Kulenkampff and Waltraud Haas, loosely based on Jerome K. Jerome's book, "Three Men on a Bummel," about a cycling trip undertaken by three friends through the Black Forest.
- Fietsen Naar de Maan (1963)
“Cycling to the moon.” Dutch film directed by Jef van der Heyden about three brothers; one a talentless painter, another a policeman, the third a bicycle-thieving hobo. Stars; Jeroen Krabbe, Bernard Droog and Lex Goudsmith.
- Cyclists in Love(1965)
Hungarian film directed by Péter Bacsó about which I know absolutely nothing. Help please.
- Les Bicyclettes De Belsize (1969) Bike Right.
A ‘swinging Sixties’ film set in London (Belsize Park funnily enough). A Hampstead shop owner's way to true love is found through his Moulton bicycle, features a hit song sung by Englebert Humperdink. An instrumental version is downloadable at...
- Hugo's Magic Pump (1970's)
Hugo is the best 6 day racer in Italy, beating everyone, incuding the Mafia's 'fixed' riders. To stop losing gambling monies, the Mafia decides to wear Hugo down by throwing beautiful women at him, hoping to reduce his endurance and stamina.
- Ten Speed (1976)
Two advertising executives compete in a 400-mile bicycle race from San Francisco to Malibu.
- 20 Shades of Pink (1976)
A middle-aged house painter, going through mid-life crisis, takes up cycling for exercise and meets up with an attractive young bike racer. The painter thinks she is interested in him on a personal level when she really only wants to help him prepare for an age-group bike race. Directed by Paul Stanley, with Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, and Keenan Wynn.
- Rush It (1977)
Romance between a 17-year-old girl and a bike messenger in New York. Tom Berenger and Jill Eikenberry star.
- Boy & Bicycle (1978?)
Director Ridley Scott’s first short film features his brother, Tony, playing a truant exploring the coast of North Shields on his bicycle.
- Breaking Away (1979) Bike Right.
This was Dennis Quaid’s first film but the lead character, Dave Stoller, was played by Dennis Christopher.
The film is basically about a no-hoper with a passion for Italian cyclists.
My two favourite bits in the film are;
- When Dave's chasing down a lorry he changes from the large chainring to the small one so he can go faster!
- The bit where one of the Italians puts his pump into the Dave's front wheel and he comes off. Best bit. Maybe I'm just not nice.
- Un Affaire D'Hommes (1981)
Jean-Louis Trintignant is an architect and joins a bicycle racing group where a detective (Claude Brasseur) is member. He uses this friendship to cover the murder of his wife. The film includes several scenes of the group's weekly race (which also plays a part in the murderer's alibi), and the final confrontation is done using bikes, not guns.
- BMX Bandits (1983)
Australian film about a group of rad BMX-riding teens who get involved in a madcap crime caper. Stars Nicole Kidman.
- Bicycle Symphony (1983) Shown at Spokesfest 2002 (happy now Roger?)
A nine minute short film. A conductor chains his bicycle outside the hall where he's conducting a symphony. His bicycle gets stolen , dragged along by a lorry and used by a wide variety of people - all in time to the music.
- Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985) Bike Right.
Pee-Wee Herman at the Cement Menagerie, Branxton, Northumberland.
Paul Reubens plays the disturbingly child-like Pee-Wee Herman on his quest, through a mythical working-class America filled with truck stops, waitresses and runaway convicts, to recover his beloved stolen bicycle. Hang on! Isn't that the plot of, "The Bicycle Thieves,"? 'Funny' film much appreciated by cycling photographer Jason Patient.
Voted BEST CYCLING FILM OF ALL TIME by, "Byke Kultuur Never," readers.
- American Flyers (1985) Bike Right.
Brothers Marcus and David not trying too hard. Love the aerodynamic hat.
Sports physician Marcus (Kevin Costner) persuades his unstable brother David (David Grant) to come with him and train for a bicycle race across the Rocky Mountains. He doesn't tell him that he has a cerebral tumor. While David powerfully heads for the victory, Marcus has to realize that the contest is now beyond his capabilities.
Cameo appearance by lardy Eddy Merckx.
- Quicksilver (1986)
Kevin Bacon plays a yuppie who loses his job and becomes a cycle-courier to pay the bills.
- Rad (1986)
Teenage drama revolving around BMX racing and such dilemmas as: can the good guys beat the bad guys, who's got the fastest bike, must you cheat to win, and should our hero miss his SAT tests to compete in "the big race".
- Off the Mark (1987)
A young athlete suffering from a childhood affliction that causes spasms in his legs faces the ultimate challenge, he must overcome his handicap and defeat a talented woman athlete and a Russian student in a triathlon competition.
- Bicycleran (1987)
Also known as, "The Cyclist," and, "La Cycliste". The wife of Nasim, an Afghan immigrant in Iran, is gravely ill. He needs money to pay for her care, but his day labor digging wells does not pay enough. A friend connects Nasim to a two-bit promoter who sells tickets to watch Nasim ride a bicycle continuously for a week. The promoter brings in sick and aged spectators, haranguing them to find hope in Nasim's strength. Aided by his son, who feeds him as he rides, Nasim grinds out the days and shivering nights. Local officials believe this may be a plot and Nasim may be a spy; they try to sabotage him as do those who bet he won't finish the week. Will desperation alone get Nasim the money?
- The Icicle Thief (1989)
An Italian satire of the kind of neorealism of such films as The Bicycle Thief, which it spoofs but it also makes fun of the TV-centered society in Italy, as families gather around their TVs to watch Nichetti's takeoff on The Bicycle Thief, complete with hilarious commercial breaks.
- Le Tour de France (1989)
A French production directed by Jean-Marie Leblanc, tells a story of professional cycle racing with Greg LeMond as the gutsy American underdog determined to win after personal tragedy. Lauren Fignon plays the arrogant Frenchman who Greg must defeat.
- Beasts of Burden (1993)
It depicts the hard side of the bike messenger's life and society. It may be realism, with emphasis on the unhappy side, but it certainly makes you want to avoid that life. It shows drugs and alcohol, insufficient money, an alienated approach to living, a very hard job.
- The Messenger (1994)
Filmed in New York. A young black couple trying to make it from day-to-day; the husband just got out of jail, the wife's pregnant, and he needs a job, quick. He lands one as a bike messenger but on his first day his bike gets stolen and he and his wife hit the streets of the city trying desperately to find it
- Auch ohne Frau ungluecklich (1996)
A German film, "Unhappy Without A Woman Too," is the story of
Jonas,26, still lives at home, doesn't watch any horror films and is afraid of snakes. He is a careful driver, doesn't take any drugs and is pampered by his mother. Jonas is happy until his girlfriend leaves him because she thinks he is the biggest coward of all time - and she's right. As Jonas is afraid of making a fool of himself again with a woman, his friends' attempts to set him up with a new partner are all miserable failures. He is all alone until he meets Lena; she is a cycle courier, good-looking and an eco-terrorist. He falls in love with her on the spot, but Lena has a »softie trauma« and will only sleep with him when he can prove to her that he isn't a wimp. Jonas follows her into another world, helps her with her campaigns, fights a jealous rival and fights a horde of pissed off skinheads. At the end he has learnt two things. Firstly, what real fear is, and, secondly, how hard it is to tell his mother that he'd like to move out.
- 2 Seconds (1998)
When a two-second hesitation costs a Quebec cyclist her race and her pro career, she is obliged to re-invent herself as a bike courier.
- The Unknown Cyclist (1999?)
This was made for US cable movie channel STARZ. A person dies of AIDS and homophobic relatives do a bicycle ride to raise money for a cure.
- Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert (2000)
Belgian comedy set in the 70’s. Ghislain Lambert, played by Benoit Poelvoorde, born the same day as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian cyclist whose ambition is to become a champion but without much success. One hilarious scene, involving the use of amphetamines, features two cyclists in one small toilet trying to inject each other in the buttocks whilst a woman waits ouside listening and misconstrues what’s going on. One cyclist gets a double dose by mistake, and amazes everyone in a criterium by leading front the front all day ( he a lowly domestique) until he crashes.Antoine de Caunes narrates.
- Roozi Khe Zan Shodam (2000)
"The Day I became a Woman," is an Iranian film directed by Marziyeh Meshkini. Several tales about the hardships faced by Iranian women. The title story is about a girl who, on her ninth birthday is told that she is now a woman and can no longer associate with her male friends. In the cycling episode, Ahoo is competing in a cycle race with other women all clad in traditional black chadors with her husband chasing after her, as his property, on horseback to pull her out of the race.
- Shiqi Sui De Dan Che (2002)
Guei works as a cycle courier who has his loaned bicycle stolen shortly before he finishes paying for it. By chance Guei spots schoolboy Jian riding the bike and attempts to get it back. Plot of, "The Bicycle Thieves," ? Unfortunately Jian and his gang of bully boys have other idea ideas. Exciting, eh!
The film was directed by Wang Xiaoshuai and stars Cui Lin as Guei and Li Bin as Jian.
The film shows the rapid changes of urban life in communist China, illustrating the toughness of capitalism and the perseverence you need if you want to make it. It also incorporates a love story with a girl who is a maid but who also knows how to keep up appearances to convey a fake image. A film that makes clear that China is going to adapt our Western economic system.
- Cyclomania (2002) Shown at Spokesfest 2002. Happy now Roger?
A film from Finland which tells the story about three bicycle couriers -- K, Eetu and Oona -- which takes place during a couple of weeks in the summerly Helsinki. The main character K is a competetive bicyclist possessed by his own ambitions, who has to proritize ex tempore between friendship, love and his crazy dreams. Finnish dialogue with English sub-titles.
- Courier (?)
30 minutes. Luke is an artist and cycle courier who becomes involved in a world of murder. After unwittingly delivering a package implicating him in a murder his art and life merge in a crescendo of paint & blood.
- Geel Trui vir 'n Wenner (?)
Language is Afrikaans. About two brothers vieing for the same girl. ends with the rapport tour. The translation of the title in English is, "Yellow Jersey for a Winner."
Co-starring A. Bicycle....
This is probably the most difficult section to edit since it potentially covers the widest of areas; virtually any British or European film up to the late 50's-60's-ish could make the list 'cos there's always a bicycle in them somewhere. Or indeed British or European films set during that period.
How about the classic John Wayne oirish begorrah film, "The Quiet Man,"? Hardly a cycling film to be sure but at one point the vicar and his wife are seen riding a tandem. I'll bet there's not many films with tandems in.
Basically, if it's in this section it's because it appears on someone elses list or someone has recomended it but it is clearly not a cycling film by the strict definition at the top of the page.
I suppose the key phrase would be, "editorial discretion."
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Nasty Miss Gulch, played by Margaret Hamilton, dissapears into the whirlwind on her bicycle. In The Land of Oz she's the Wicked Witch of the West.
- The Quiet Man (1952)
Filmed in Ireland and directed by John Ford. As Séan Thornton (John Wayne) paints the woodwork of his house emerald-green, somehow not getting paint on his hands or his lovely white waistcoat, the Vicar and his wife ride up to greet him on a tandem. Several times Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara) is seen with a bicycle. The big scenes where Thornton drags herself from the train, followed by the big fight with Red Will Danaher, includes 5 bicycles in the crowd. At the end when the villagers all pretend to be protestants, the vicar’s wife rides the tandem solo to warn the bishop’s on his way. Two Oscars; best director and best color-cinematography.
- Muerte de un ciclista (1955)
“Death of a Cyclist.” A Spanish film written and directed by Juan Antonio Bardem. A university professor and his well-connected mistress knock down a worker on a bicycle while out driving. Fearful that their affair will be discovered, they leave the man to die.
- Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
At the start of the film Passpartout is seen riding a Pennyfarthing (Ordinary for any VCC readers) through London.
- Pozegnania (1958)
“Partings,” or maybe, “Lydia Ate The Apple." A Polish film directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has. "In the 1930's, Pawel, a young man from wealthy family, visits a nightclub, in order to express its contradiction in this way in relation to the civil morality. In the club he becomes acquainted with the dancer Lidka. He loads it to a trip in, but its father prevents the relationship. During the war the two lose sight of each other. Only after end of war they meet each other again. Pawel got over the detention in a KZ, while Lidka became the woman of its cousin. They state that their feelings for each other outlasted..." (Google translation)
Included solely because I haven’t got a Polish film listed. No idea where cycling comes into it. Anyone?
- Some Like it Hot (1959)
USA.Comedy.Directed by Billy Wilder. Two musicians on the run following the St. Valentines Day Massacre hide out in a women’s band. Sugar Kane(Marilyn Monroe) & Joe(Tony Curtis) ride bicycles in a romantic interlude with Jerry(Jack Lemmon) & Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown).
- Jules and Jim (1961)
French film directed by Francois Truffault. Threesome share love and bicycles. Stars Jeanne Moreau.
- Saturday Night Sunday Morning (1961)
Features Albert Finney as Arthur Seaton, the anti-hero worker seen at work at the Raleigh factory in Nottingham.
- The Great Escape(1963)
Classic World War 2 film, based on a true story, about allied airmen tunnelling out of a German prisoner of war camp.
Sedgewick the Manufacturer (James Coburn) makes good his escape riding through the very scenic countryside on a stolen bicycle.
- Finders Keepers (1960's)
Starring Cliff Richard. Features a chase scene with Cliff and his band on Moultons.
Author of several books on the Moulton,
Tony Hadland once interviewed Cliff, in his DJ Days! (Thanks Buzz for the, er, buzz)
- Kristove Roky (1967)
“Crucial Years.” A Czechoslovakian film about a Slovak surviving in Prague. The first film directed by Juraj Jakubisko. Cycling is in it somewhere but I don't know where.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke) takes his two children to the
Scrumptious Sweet Factory on his Tricycle towing them in
a wicker basket seat trailer. The whole lot gets
pulled over by the dog when it hears the
Tootsweets being blown. Potts also takes his human
powered haircutting machine to the fair on the trailer
(the hair cutter is powered via a dynamo setup on one
of the rear tyres on the stationary Tricycle).
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Landmark, science fiction classic which somehow contrives to be one of the most boring films ever made. On a voyage to Jupiter, the spaceship’s computer, HAL-9000, goes mad and starts to kill the crew. Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) starts pulling chips out of the computer to ‘kill’ it. HAL tries to talk him out of it and then sings, “Daisy Bell.”
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Classic buddy western. Butch (Paul Newman) rides a bicycle, does a few tricks with song Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head.
- A Bridge Too Far (1977?)
War film, directed by Richard Attenborough, about Operation Market Garden. A Dutch boy,played by Eric Van't Wout, representative of the resisistance, whilst riding his bicycle waves at a photo-reconisance Spitfire then espies some hidden Panzers.
- The Muppet Movie (1979)
Jim Henson’s popular puppet TV series made it to the big screen with Kermit the Frog riding a bicycle! Directed by James Frawley .
- "Little Miss Marker (1980)
Starred Walter Matteau and Julie Andrews. Several scenes filmed at a Velodrome in California.
- ET, the Extra Terrestrial (1982)
Friendly alien film directed by Steven Spielberg. Elliott (Henry Thomas), the extra-terrestrial and a gang of kids escape on BMX bikes that fly!
- Erindira (1983)
A Mexican film directed by Ruy Guerra. Erendira (Claudia Ohana), lives with her witch-like grandmother (Irene Pappas) in a ruined mansion. One night she accidentally sets the place on fire, and her grandmother says she must work to pay back the damage. She and her grandmother set out on the road, where Erendira becomes a travelling whore.
- La Bicicletas Son Para El Verano (1984)
“Bicycles are for Summer.” A Spanish film set during the Civil War. Directed by Jaime Chávarri, Less than useful, I got this off the ‘net, “capital sacrificada al libertinaje y al hambre, aspectos que se relacionan con la República, reforzados aún más por una escena en la cual una mujer que se incorpora a la milicia no es otra cosa que una vulgar prostituta de baja estofa, bailando descaradamente encima de una mesa de una cafetería. Como en el film de Camino, se hace una lectura de la guerra desde la perspectiva de una familia pequeñoburguesa y sus relaciones.”
- The Neverending Story (1984)
German made fantasy story about a land under threat from the Nothingingness. Only a frightened schoolboy, Bastian(Barrett Oliver) can save all, assisted by Atreyu(Noah Hathaway). The Stonebiter (a rock giant who eats rocks) rides a Rockcycle!
- Key Exchange (1985)
One of the two lead male actors is Daniel Stern from "Breaking Away". The two train and race road bicycles together in New York City. The movie is full of cycle rides and races. Nothing in the plot is about bicycles, but bicycles are an extremely major co-star,including the opening scene. The final scene also occurs in a post bicycle race parking lot.
- She's Gotta Have it (1986)
Nola Darling (Tracy Camila Johns) is an attractive young woman being simultaneously wooed by three hopeful, but hopeless, male suitors: Jamie (Tommy Redmond Hicks), a sensitive type who wants to settle down with her; Greer (John Canada Terrell), a narcissistic model who sees her as his trophy; and Mars Blackmon (Lee himself), an aggressive and funny bike messenger who makes her laugh. Directed by Spike Lee.
- De Anslag (1986)
“The Assault.” An Academy Award winning (best foreign film) Dutch film, set in 1945, telling the story of how a boy’s life is changed after a collaborator, while cycling past, is murdered outside his neighbours house. The body is moved outside his house so the nazis kill his family and burn down the house. Through oversights and luck the boy survives.
- Empire of the Sun (1987)
After the Japanese surrender, a slightly mad Jim (Christian Bale) celebrates life by riding a bicycle around the internment camp.
- In and Out (1987)
Comedy. Kevin Kline as school teacher about to be married, who is outed on national TV by student. He supposedly has no idea that he's gay. Bike content. He rides what looks like a 3 speed in a small midwest town, dresses nice, is kind and smart....of course he's gay.
- Cea Mai Bun Dintre Lumi Sau Simpla Zi Toamna (1990)
“The Best of the Worlds,” is a Moldovan film which uses a bleak and barren landscape and sparse dialogue to dramatic effect. The action takes place as four different characters travel in the same direction on a journey across unwelcoming terrain. One of them travels by bicycle, one by ox and cart and one by horse and trap, with his driver making up the fourth. As they cross the strange landscape, they repeatedly meet and overtake each other in series of terse encounters.
- Spokes (1990?)
Pawnographic movie about a cycle courier who has an 'encounter' with every package he delivers.
- In weiter Ferne, so nah! (1993)
Also known as, "Faraway, So Close." Directed by Wim Wenders, his follow up, not a sequel, to, "Wings of Desire," continues the story of an angel turned human. At some point a work-bike is ridden along a canal towpath.
- The Last Action Hero (1993)
Arnold Scwarzenegger in self-parody comedy-action film. Little Danny Madigan (Austin O'Brien) sucked into the action film he's watching. In a downhill chicken-run on a pink bicycle against motorist baddy Benedict (Charles Dance), too late he realises he is the comedy sidekick, swerves violently up into the air and is silhoutted against the moon, as in ET, before crashing into the ground.
- Time Chasers (1994)
1991, a lone healthy bike-riding science teacher named Nick develops time travel and sells it immediately to a transparently evil corporation. While traveling through time trying to impress his wildly wholesome love interest Lisa, Nick discovers that GenCorp plans to use time travel to destroy civilization.Oops!
- Il Postino (1995)
"The Postman." An Italian film about the friendship between a village postman, played by Massimo Troisi who died on the last day of filming, and a world famous Chilean poet in exile from his country. Unsurprisingly the postman gets around on a bicycle.
- Goldeneye (1995)
James Bond (Pierce Brosnan), recklessly driving his car on an alpine road, forces a bunch of roadies to occupy just one lane instead of the both sides they preferred to use. 'Hilariously' the roadies snag their pedals and they all fall over. Gosh how we laughed.
- Independence Day (1996)
Jeff Goldblum plays genius David Levinson, into recycling and generally doing his bit to save the planet (gosh, that’s what he really does in the end, blasting those beastly aliens with a Macintosh computer virus). In car-obsessed America he’s something of an oddity since he prefers to ride a bicycle which he’s seen doing at the start of the film.
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The attractive Chinese spy, Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), leaves James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) handcuffed to a pipe then makes her escape on a bicycle. Her hideout is in a bicycle shop where she's attacked by the baddies. One baddy tries to throttle her with a bicycle tyre!
A mate of mine, Ian Beever, reckons it'll not be long before Bond is seen on a bicycle because he's used pretty much every other form of transport. So what will it be? A recumbent, of course. Carbon fibre Speedy or a Razzfazz?
- The Truman Show (1998)
Directed by Peter Weir. Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) discovers his whole life has been a fake, trapped inside a giant TV studio to provide entertainment so now he must escape. In the wholesome, utopian, small town in which he lives people are comfortable cyling around on cruiser type bikes, Schwinns?
- City of Angels (1998)
Remake of Wim Wenders, " Wings of Desire," I found this lovely description out on the ‘net….
“ ‘I felt just like Meg Ryan in "City of Angels", you know, right after Nicholas Cage turns into a mortal, but before she gets hit by the truck!’
It’s that moment when Meg is riding no-hands on her bicycle in sheer ecstasy. Then- -- WHAM, she’s dead and Nicholas Cage, who has given up immortality to woo Meg, has to learn how to live without her.”
She’s also seen riding her bicycle to work at the start of the film
- Chicken Run (1999)
From the makers of, "Wallace & Grommit," (who incidentally have just taken to using a power assisted bicycle for ferrying small items between their two premises in Bristol. At one point Rocky Rooster, voiced by Mel Gibson, is seen riding a small childs (chicken sized?) tricycle.
- Wild Wild West (1999)
Comedy Western based on a 1960’s T.V. series. As Jim West (Will Smith) rides his horse into Washington he passes a man riding a Pennyfarthing. West’s partner, Artemis Gordon (Kevin Kline), rides a rocket-propelled Pennyfarthing. Later wings are added and it flies.
- Fight Club (2000)
Tyler Durden(Brad Pitt) seen riding a bicycle through the house he shares with Jack(Edward Norton). Aw come on, the bike is on screen for seconds. How can you call this a cycling film? Name another film with Brad Pitt riding a bicycle?
- Donnie Darko (2001)
At the start of the film, Donnie is out riding his bike, falls asleep and then misses an aeroplane engine crashing into his house. There is also a scene at the end of the film where kids rush to the rescue on their bicycles.
- Laissez Passer (2001)
Also known as, “SAFE CONDUCT .” French film. Set in Paris during the Occupation. French film makers working for a German company in 1942.
Currently (10/12/02) has an interesting website with a bicycle used to navigate the screen!
- Bugsy Malone (1976)
Features a whole load of pedal-power cars, a bit like a Brox with a big body built around it.
Childrens musical set in the days of prohibition Chicago. Songs dubbed.
- Americathon (1979) Set in the not-so-distant future a desperate president tries to save the USA by raising money with a telethon! Features several hpv's and a prone tandem. Directed by Neal Israel.
- The Shining (1980)
Based on the novel by Stephen King and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Jack Nicholson shines as aspiring novelist Jack turned psycho by the ghosts in an isolated hotel but it’s seven year-old son Danny (Danny Lloyd) that gets to noisily ride a recumbent tricycle, looking rather like a Razor Scream Machine, around the corridors of the hotel.
- War Games ( ? )
Professor Falken riding an Avatar with a Zzipper fairing. (in my haste to finish, I haven’t actually verified this - ed.)
- Brainstorm (1983)
Science-fiction film in which Christopher Walken's character, Michael Brace, is twice seen riding an Avatar 2000 recumbent bicycle.
- A Night in Heaven (1983)
Stars Christopher Atkins and features an Easyracer Tour Easy.
- 2010: Odyssey Two (1984)
(Often known as, ten past eight) Early on the hero is seen jogging down a road with son riding alongside on a recumbent trike approximately the size of Rutland. Sequel to classic science fiction film 2001: a Space Odyssey.
- Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (1991)
stars Kevin Costner, previously seen in American Flyers doesn't actually feature any recumbents but Neil Coles from Kilham, nr Wooler, Northumberland, was an extra in it and he rides a Ross Festina and his partner Sue rides a Kingcycle!
- The Fire Next Time (1992)
Global warming, eco-disaster movie set in the near future. Initially set in Louisiana with occasional glimpses of fully faired recumbents. Later stars Craig T. Nelson and Jurgen Pruchnow are seen riding a pair of LWB Linears with ASS.
- The Flintstones (1994)
Features a working, yet slightly stoneaged looking recumbent trike.
Live action version of the original cartoon.
- Mixed Nuts (1994)
Comedy with Steve Martin. Possibly a Rans Rocket makes an appearance.
- Get on the Bus (1996)
Black men on a cross country bus trip to the Million Man March. Directed by Spike Lee. Various SWB’s are seen.
- Ngo si sui (1998)
“Who am I?” Jackie Chan directed and starred in this comedy action film about a secret agent who loses his memory. At one point he rides one of two wholly different recumbents. It's either an HP Velotechnik Streetmachine or a Kingcycle. Opinions differ as to which.
- The Straight Story (1999)
There is a sequence when a group of cyclist pass Straight's ride-on mower. The group includes "more than one" recumbent. Directed by David Lynch
- Bicentenial Man (1999)
A faired BikeE makes a brief appearance.
Robin Williams stretches his skills playing an android called Andrew. Andrew the Android? Doh!
- The Lathe of Heaven (2003)
Based upon a book by Ursula K. Le Guin, this is a remake of a 1980’s TV Film. Set in the future, James Caan plays a psychiatrist whose dreams alter
reality, as do those of a patient. In the first few minutes of the movie they show a recumbent tandem and a
bunch of people riding other recumbents... apparently, in the world of the movie, recumbents are the normal bicycle transportation used by everyday folks.
- La Sortie des Usines Lumiere a Lyons (1895)
“Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory.” Although monumental in it’s day, this French film directed by Auguste & Louis Lumiere is considered unexciting by today's standards with workers cycling out of the factory gates at home time. Fortunately it’s a very short film.
- Columbia Bicycle Factory (1897)
An American film which shows the employees of this mammoth establishment coming out at the noon. Hey! Isn’t that the plot of, “La Sortie des Usines Lumiere a Lyons,” ?
- One Third Mile Bicycle Race (1897)
Seven of the best American cycle racers at a hot spurt.
- Bicycle Trick Riding, No.2(1899)
Trick cyclist, Neidert, performs for the camera.
- The Bicycle Race (1920)
USA. Five minute short directed by Bud Fisher.
- Cyclists Special (1955)
A joint venture between British Railways and The Cyclists Touring Club. Londoners take a train trip to go cycling in the Warwickshire countryside.
- CTC Film 2. (Can't remember what it's called) A group of cyclists on a tour of Germany.
- The Bicycle Clown (1958)
The dangers of showing off whilst cycling is illustrated by a boy whose young brother foolishly disregarded safety instructions.
- Return of the Scorcher (1992)
Made by bicycle activist Ted White to show the superiority of the bicycle to the automobile, with scenes from all over the world. One of its claims to fame is that it's where the name "Critical Mass" comes from.
- Around the World by Bicycle
Steven Williams, Tim Young, and Peter Wuerslin left Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA, on their bicycles for the adventure of a lifetime, a 6½ year, 45,000 mile cycling expedition.
- The Need for Speed
Some very strange people who work as cycle couriers in New York; the X-Men(also called the Klingons 'cos they cling-on to cars), an ex-Chippendale stripper, a respectable older guy called Silverfox and a girl with a mini-skirt over her lycra shorts.
- The Wind in my Soul
Ross Lowell’s video of travels on his recumbent trike.
Hands up all those who knew that Ross had got an Oscar for his film lighting designs?
- The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels (2000)
USA. In 1897 the coloured 25th Infantry was chosen to test a theory that the bicycle would replace the horse. The 1900 mile journey from Montana to St. Louis took 41 days. This film examines how the Bicycle Corps came into being and details of their amazing journey.
- Big Trouble in Little Bummytown (2000)
Cycle couriers at work. Directed by Paul Kazemi
- Pedal (2001)
Documentary about bicycle messengers
- Top Speed (2003)
A dynamic montage of awe-inspiring individual performances and new technologies that graphically illustrate the science of speed made to be shown on an IMAX screen. Principles such as gravity, resistance, acceleration, and velocity come alive through stories and images of people pursuing ever-greater degrees of speed. People like Olympic sprinter Marion Jones, downhill mountain bike racer Marla Streb and GT race car driver Lucas Luhr. Directed by Greg MacGillivray
To stop this getting any more complicated than it already is, this section will be mostly restricted to programs that have been shown on British television.
Update: thanks to Bruce Freeburger, some American TV shows are now listed.
- Leave it to Beaver (1957-63)
Episode, "Beaver's Prize." The Beaver has to stay home alone. He sneaks out of the house to a local shopping center where he wins a new bicycle. His problem then is how to explain where he got the bike from.
Episode, "Beaver's Bike." The Beaver has his new bicycle stolen by a much older boy who forces the Beaver to let him try it out. It is later found badly damaged.
- The Andy Griffith Show (1961-68)
Episode, "Opie's Ill Gotten Gain." A clerical error gets Opie a report card with several A's. Andy and Barney in a rush of enthusiasm buy Opie a new bicycle as a reward, not knowing what Opie knew, that he didn't get that good a report card.
Episode, "Andy's English Valet." an Englishman travelling across America by bicycle causes an accident in Mayberry. He can't pay the fine, so he works as Andy's personal valet to pay his debt.
- I Love Lucy (1964-74)
Episode, "Lucy's Bicycle Trip." Lucy convinces Ricky, Fred, and Ethel to rent bicycles instead of taking a train or bus to travel from Italy to France. Fred and
Ethel rent a tandem. Lucy packs her passport in a suitcase and can't cross the border.
- The Magic Roundabout (1960's)
Popular five minute children’s program shown daily on BBC1. With a storyline written and narrated by Eric Thompson we followed the travails of Florence, Dougal, Dylan, Ermintrude, Brian and Mr McHenry who was a particularly nippy tricyclist.
- The Prisoner (1967)
Strange series starring Patrick MacGoohan as a retiring secret agent known only as, “ number six,” incarcerated in The Village (actually Portmeirion in Wales). Featured a Pennyfarthing bicycle as it’s logo. Transport in the show was mini-moke car and Raleigh RSW 16’s or Moultons (conflicting reports as to which).
- Monty Python's Flying Circus
A sketch set in a world of Supermen/Women where they need a new kind of hero....Bicycle Repairman (1969).
There's also a sketch called, "The Cycle Route," (1972).
- A Day Out (1971)
A Play for Today by Alan Bennett featured a north of England cycling club on a day out before the Great War.
- Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads (1974)
In one episode, “The Great Race,” an argument as to which was the fittest ended with Bob (Rodney Bewes) challenging Terry (James Bolam) to a cycle race up to Berwick-on-Tweed. Terry won after getting lift in the back of the van, passing Bob on the Belford bypass.
- The Goodies (1970-81)
Tim Brooke-Taylor, Grahame Garden and Bill Oddie starred in this popular series doing very odd jobs. One episode featured a giant cat destroying London. Their transport was a triplet tandem. They also had several hit records including, “Funky Gibbon,” and, “Wild Thing.”
- Columbo (1970s)
Episode, "Strange Bedfellows." Detective series featuring Peter Falk as the scruffy but brilliant police detective. In this episode the killer left the scence of his crime on a Dahon bicycle which he unfolded from the boot of the car.
- Fat Man in France (1980’s)
Originally a series on Radio 4, Tom Vernon (not at all fat at 19 stone) cycled from Dieppe to La Grande Motte on the Mediterranean Coast, meeting local and interesting people on the way.
There was also a follow-up series a year or two later, same format but in South America.
- Bicycle (1990)
Produced by York Films for the BBC, the 6 episodes featured; History, Racing, the Industry, People (Ballantine, Burrows, Steve 'Behemoth' Roberts, Nick Crane etc) and saving the planet by bicycle. Hang on, that's only five.
- Seinfeld (1990-98)
Long running (though not any more) American comedy series. Jerry Seinfeld had a green Klein mountainbike, rumoured to belong to Kramer (Michael Richards), hanging on the wall of his apartment.
- Open University (1990-ish)
A program shown as part of an industrial design module featured veteran bicycles and recumbents ridden by John Pinkerton.
- The Simpsons(1990's-?)
Popular, American cartoon series about family life. Lisa Simpson rides a bicycle during the opening credits. In one episode Homer was banned from driving and took up cycling. Another episode featured Mr Burns(as a non-pedalling stoker) and Smithers on a tandem.
- Local Heroes (1990’s)
Science history program on BBC2, presented by Adam-Hart Davies. Invariably he’d be on his pink mountainbike, built by Mike Burrows. He also has a Windcheetah trike and a Brompton folder.
- Tracks of Glory (1991)
The life of one of the most successful cyclist at the turn of the century. Marshall W. “Major” Taylor, an African-American was a national hero in Europe but shunned in his own country and died in poverty in Chicago.
- Chain Reaction (1993?)
A series of six half-hour magazine-format programmes, produced by Tyne Tees TV and aired on Tyne Tees and
Yorkshire TV, which featured all sorts of bikes, presented by Carlton Reid (who now produces Bikebiz and Bicycle Business). An episode featuring the York Rally had Carlton riding to camera on his Peer Gynt.
- The Missing Postman (1996)
A gentle comedy-drama with James Bolam playing a soon to be redundant postman who decides on his last day to personally deliver by bicycle all the letters he has collected in his post-bag.
- The Bicycle Thief (I think)
After his sons bicycle is stolen during a Paper-Round, a father swears that he will get it back no matter what. Nice little twist at the end.
Odd how so many films seem to be based on the theme of bicyle theft. Perhaps it's because theft is something which we all fear but over which we have no control.
- Pacific Blue (1990's)
A series featuring police officers patrolling Venice Beach California, riding mountain-bikes. Episode 2 featured evil Surf-Nazis.
- Red Shoe Diaries (2000)
Episode 12 was, “Girl on a Bike.” A woman is followed as she cycles in Paris.
- Dark Angel (2002)
A science fiction series set in the near future which features a genetically enhanced soldier, Max, who works as a cycle courier when she's not fighting against the police state or being chased by the evil miltary outfit Manticore who created her.
- Countryfile (February 2003)
BBC1's farming and countryside program featured scenic cycle routes in four episodes covering England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The week after featured a dispute between steam train enthusiasts (loonies) and Sustrans.
- Frasier (February 2003)
A recent US broadcast,"Fraternal Schwinns," featured Roz ("she pedals her ass all over town") and her daughter Alice, Frasier, Daphne and Niles taking part in a sponsored cycle ride organised by the radio station.
Niles rode an ancient, Chopper-like contraption, possibly a Schwinn, Frasier rode a Cannondale Road Warrior.
- Wouldn't It Be Better if He Died in the End? (March 2003)
Broadcast by the BBC but not television. A RADIO play about cycling!
Written by Laurence Allen and directed by Alison Hindell.
When Rob attempts the most challenging cycle ride of his life he loses sight of his ideals, thanks to the pressures of a TV crew covering the race. Can television ever let the truth get in the way of a good story?
With William Thomas, Cler Stephens, Alex Alderton, John Labanowski, Aled Pugh, Kate Jarman, Richard Elfyn and Simon Ludders.
Films that sound like they should be cycling films but aren't.
I Was a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)
A World War I veteran (Paul Muni) faces inhuman conditions when he's sentenced to hard labour. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
Sources and Resources.
As well as those named at the top of the page I also posted details of this site, asking for and then following up on peoples recommendations, on the websites of;
Cycling Plus ,
Lonely Planet Thorn Tree and
I also found http://www.bikehighway.com/moviereviews.htm
very useful sources of cycling movie information.
http://www.geocities.com/z88nd/moviebents.html yielded up several recumbent movies I hadn't already got and includes posters for the movies it features.
American TV information supplied by Bruce Freeburger and his site
Dave Perry's impressive book, "Bike Cult," also proved useful, damn good book too, though several films mentioned were somewhat dubious even for the co-starring section.
There’s bound to more out there. Does anyone else know of any?
All useful contributors will be credited on this page.
This is how it goes. Someone sends me a movie recommendation with no other details whatsoever, no suggestion at all of any bicycle involvement, no comment on what the movie is about, nothing but the title of the film.
Next I spend several lunchtimes surfing the net searching for sites which may contain the relevant information. If I find it, the film goes on the Big List. If not, I am disgruntled at having wasted so much of my time and the film doesn't make the list.
Sometimes people tell me of a film, perhaps they don't even know the title (this happened with a Jackie Chan film) which someone else recommends too but still I have to check it out.
If I don't do this checking out then the site loses it's integrity. An innacurate source of information would be worthless and not worth maintaining.
So, simple moral; don't just say, "great film," don't just give me the title.
What I'd like is,
* Brief description of what it's about.
* Cycling involvement.
Back to Byke Kultuur Never, current issue.
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