Summer Road Movies – On Any Sunday (1971)

Indulgent we know, but when you are riding close to the edge every day it’s hard not to imagine yourself as the protagonist in a cool summer road or action movie. You can’t ride a machine all day long as a Manchester courier and not feel some sense of freedom and supremacy. So while the sun is shining we’re going to indulge of two-wheel fancies with our favourite Summer road movies. This week a real classic – On Any Sunday (1971)

On Any Sunday is an Oscar-nominated documentary by Bruce Brown that looks at why motorcycle racers and enthusiasts risk their lives.

Perhaps the best-known thing about it is that it stars Steve McQueen. This is an oldie but a goodie. A rather indulgent look at motorcycling that focuses on why motorcycle racers and enthusiasts risk their lives for their love of motorbikes.


Good question. Why do any of us do it?

Pausing that thought for a minute, this is a bike movie with a difference: because it’s all about good clean motorcycling fun.

There’s no doubt that any professional motorcycle racers must be a daring, violent and occasionally dangerous lot. But Brown portrays them as enjoying themselves. In spite of the danger, that’s exactly what they are doing. Whether it’s ice-racing, enduro, moto-cross and road racing to the spectacular, crash-ridden American speciality, dirt-track racing we get to glimpse it all.


Some of the best bits are when Brown follows the progress of Mert Lawwill, one of America’s top dirt-trackers, as well as offering footage of Steve McQueen playing at moto-cross and desert racing. Without McQueen’s finance it would have been hard to get a lot of the footage because a two-mile motorcycle race requires thousands of feet of footage from several cameras to be adequately covered.

This is an artistic film to be true. It’s shot with intelligently applied stop-frame, slow motion and colour treatment knick-knacks, which heighten the excitement and visual impact. It’s a beauty of a film for any motorcycle enthusiast. Just check out the pictures. Glorious!

We love it. It’s up there in our Top 10.

WARNING: After watching this film you might want to buy a motocross bike.
PS: If you liked TT: Closer to the Edge you’ll like this.

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