Video of the Week: “The Wild One”

In honor of the legendary Lee Marvin‘s 90th birthday anniversary, we present the famous fight scene from The Wild One (1953), directed by Laslo Benedek. Timothy, uncredited as an enthusiastic member of Chino’s gang, sits on his motorcycle observing Chino as he eggs on Johnny (Marlon Brando). Later on during the fight, he splashes the contents of a bottle of beer over Chino while urging him to get up and finish Johnny off. This has been referred to in some quarters as the “throwing beer on Brando” incident.

Actually, as you can see, Marvin is the only one who actually gets beer thrown on him. Tim gestures a little too wildly with bottle in hand, and Brando gets a few drops on him. As Timothy mentioned in the James Dean article, “I played the scene with enthusiasm, but Brando didn’t seem to appreciate it. He finally turned to director Laslo Benedek and said, ‘Get that guy off the set. He makes me nervous.’” When Brando directed Tim years later in One-Eyed Jacks (1961), he told him, “Just don’t throw beer on me again, OK?” Tim replied, “If I do, Marlon, it’ll be good beer; it’ll be German beer.”

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