Released in 1971, On any Sunday was greeted with a resounding cheer from real motorcyclists.
For once here was a motorcycle-based story that told it like it was, and indeed still is.
With a touch of humour, fantastic stop motion and slow motion photography, the film suggested a decent dollop of motorcycle nous, but still appealed to those not involved. It was remarkably clever on that front.
Largely financed by Steve McQueen, who shows just what a good rider he really was, there was no sex, no drugs.
Instead, all-rounder Bruce Brown (who made the surfing documentary The Endless Summer) came up with a feature-length commercial for good, clean motorcycling fun depicting just about every conceivable permutation of two-wheel sport from ice-racing, enduro, motocross and road racing to the spectacular, crash-ridden American speciality, dirt-track racing.
Spending some time following the progress of Mert Lawwill, one of America’s top dirt-trackers of the time, the film also has considerable footage of McQueen playing at motocross and desert racing, and documents the amazing abilities of Malcolm Smith as he wins just about everything he enters.
It’s a movie you can watch again and again, as we are certain you indeed have. In fact, I think I’ll watch it tonight, on a double bill with Stone…
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.