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The Loveless

4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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(Nov 16, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Willem Dafoe made his unforgettable movie debut as the leader of a 50s biker gang lost in a world of black leather, bad girls and sudden violence in the independent hit that marked the emergence of one of modern cinemas most important woman directors. Rockabilly icon Robert Gordon co-stars in this evocative drama co-written and co-directed by Kathryn Bigelow (NEAR DARK and POINT BREAK) and Monty Montgomery (producer of WILD AT HEART and TWIN PEAKS) with a too-cool soundtrack featuring original music by Robert Gordon and John Lurie.

Review

"An Incredible Rockabilly Score!" -- Village Voice

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer
  • Poster and still galleries

Product Details

  • Actors: Willem Dafoe, J. Don Ferguson, Robert Gordon, Marin Kanter, Tina L'Hotsky
  • Directors: Kathryn Bigelow, Monty Montgomery
  • Writers: Kathryn Bigelow, Monty Montgomery
  • Producers: A. Kitman Ho, Grafton Nunes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00030AZFM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,175 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Loveless" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Loveless" marked the feature film debut for co-director/co-writer Kathryn Bigelow ("Near Dark," "Blue Steel"). The movie was actually Bigelow's graduate student film thesis--a stylized and downbeat little film with a neo-noirish undercurrent that showed enough promise to prompt a brief art house circuit theatrical release--after which it achieved a cult following overseas and, to a lesser degree, in the U.S.

Willem Dafoe exudes a surly raw sexuality in his first credited screen role as 'Vance,' a rough and tumble biker traveling the back roads of America with his gang during the 1950's. Vance establishes the duality of his character in the very first scene of the film: He is decent enough to come to the assistance of a lone woman driving along a deserted stretch of road by changing out her flat tire. However, when the woman offers Vance a grudging pittance for his time and trouble, he doesn't hesitate to reach through the car window, grab her purse and rifle through her wallet until he pulls out a more satisfactory sum. He then proceeds to plant a groping kiss on her as a bonus. How you react to this scene is probably a good indication of whether or not you will enjoy this movie. It is pretty over the top.

Vance and his motorcycle gang are on their way to Daytona Beach for the races when one of their motorcycles breaks down--forcing them to spend the day at a little out-of-the-way garage and cafe off U.S. Highway 17 until they complete the repairs. The locals are a mixture of the curious and the openly hostile.
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Kathryn Bigelow (who went on to do a New Order video, Blue Steel and Strange Days) made this movie when studying in NYC as a film student. This movie truly captures many aspects of a interstate motorcycle run. There will be inevitable prejudism from the locals, especially men who feel threatened, and then there will be girls who think it's cool. There's a lot of waiting around to hook up with your group (or gang), it's dirty, and most accurately, Harley Davidsons are known to break down. (That's why so many people carry them on their pickup trucks).

Forget about Captain America and Easy Rider. That's the romantic notion that everyone seems to think of when they talk about motorcycle movies. Think Danny Lyon instead. I rode from NYC to California and back with a friend, and we get together every year or so to watch this movie and laugh at Wilem DaFoe's lines. We both agree that this movie really captures the less glamorous side of going cross country on our sleds.

You also have to have watched the exploitation flicks and Roughies of the 60s to grasp the oeuvre that Bigelow is going for. Though the actors look way better than your average hog biker, they don't quite act, they just "go" through the movie. Of course, with a cast like Rockabilly star Robert Gordon (whom I have seen perform in NYC at his height), DaFoe, and a motley cast of dirty bikers, you are guaranteed an unpolished performance.

Also the turning of the tables in sexual objectification is a welcomed change, as men get ogled by the camera lens throughout the movie, as the view linger leisurely on their body parts, wearing fetishtically tight motorocycle leather gear, refusing to budge...making us become aware of what mainstream cinema has been doing for so many decades to women.
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What's so enticing about "The Loveless" isn't so much the story, well...there really isn't one. Just a bunch of biker's on their way to Daytona to "watch em howl". Or Robert Gordon's (who also co-stars) great rockabilly film score. It's Kathryn Bigelow's (Martin Scorsese-esque) direction that keeps you mesmerized throughout. Co-written and directed by Monty Montgomery (perhaps best known for producing David Lynch's "Wild At Heart"). "The Loveless" is an uncompromising look at late 50's social disorder starring Willem Dafoe and the sexy petite Marin Kanter. Although it could be argued that "The Loveless" parallels "The Wild One" to a certain degree, only...Willem Dafoe's character (Vance) seems a little more believable than Marlon Brando's campy over-the-top portrayal. Thus making "The Loveless" not only a cult classic, but an 80's drive-in sensation as well. A true biker masterpiece!

olofpalme63
3 Comments 8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This movie must have not had good distribution because I use to go
to a movie every weekend in the late 70's and 80's and I never saw
or heard of this! I never saw it on tv. I got it because I'm a big fan
of Robert Gordon and Rockabilly and 50's music and of course
motorcycles. William Defoe is always good so I gave it a shot. It's
a strange weird 80's film with a 50's feel and you can't stop watching.
Robert Gordon is great in his scenes and the soundtrack is too. The
bikes the cars girls the coolness is just awesome! It reminds me of
Pulp Fiction with it's cool writing directing and acting but it was well
before that! I'm sure Quentin got the idea from this movie! I think
any fan of rock n roll rockabilly the ramones rock n roll high school
rebel movies and motorcycles will love this movie!
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