Shocking Pic Reveals Marlon Brando’s Hidden Homoerotic Swagger in Leather!

Marlon Brando, astride his motorbike, carries an aura of strength yet vulnerability, fearlessness yet apprehension, masculinity yet femininity, all while being clad in a black leather ensemble and a tilted biker cap. This image from the 1953 film “The Wild One” has left an indelible mark on the American consciousness, influencing iconic figures like Elvis Presley, James Dean, John Lennon, and even the pop artist Andy Warhol.

Despite not being Brando’s best work, “The Wild One” has become emblematic of our perceptions and attitudes towards masculinity and rebellion. It has transcended the limits of its 89-minute runtime to become an enduring cultural icon.

Attempting to explore the impact of this iconic image is Burt Kearns’ new offering, “Marlon Brando: Hollywood Rebel”. The author is keen to clarify that this is not a traditional biography of Brando, an area already well-trodden by many others including Brando’s own “Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me”, co-authored with Robert Lindsey.

Instead, “Hollywood Rebel” is a deep dive into how Brando’s personal and professional choices not only influenced his immediate circle but also much of Western society and its popular culture. The book, at its most insightful, is a biography of this specific biker image from Brando’s late 20s that has become globally recognized, even by those who have never watched the film it originates from.

The film itself was inspired by Frank Rooney’s short story “Cyclists’ Raid”, which was a fictionalized account of the 1947 invasion of the Central Californian town of Hollister by thousands of unruly bikers over the Fourth of July weekend. As Kearns notes, these post-World War II motorcycle gangs were largely composed of veterans struggling to adapt to life after their military service. The story intrigued producer Stanley Kramer, who had a knack for producing socially relevant films, and had just collaborated with Brando on “The Men,” where Brando played a paralyzed war veteran.

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By the time Brando agreed to play the lead in “The Wild One,” he had already made a name for himself through the film adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire”. His portrayal of Stanley Kowalski as an explosive sexual force was a game-changer for Hollywood. Brando’s raw and visceral performance introduced a new type of screen sensuality and established him as a new breed of movie star.

But “The Wild One” pushed the boundaries even further. Kearns notes that the film’s homoerotic undertones soon become explicit. Brando’s character, Johnny Strabler, engages in a complicated relationship with rival biker Chino (played by Lee Marvin), which is more reminiscent of a scorned lover than a fellow biker. The fact that Brando was open about his own bisexuality further amplified the film’s homoerotic appeal.

However, the film’s influence extended beyond the gay subculture. Kearns also discusses its impact on the rock ‘n’ roll scene, particularly on the King of Rock, Elvis Presley, who was a known Brando admirer, and a group of young musicians from Liverpool. Kearns even suggests a possible connection between the film and the naming of the Beatles, leading the reader down one of the many intriguing tangents explored in the book.

Overall, it is clear that Brando, and especially this image of Brando, has had a monumental influence on American culture and our understanding of what it means to be a rebel. Brando’s character is famously asked what he is rebelling against, to which he retorts, “Whaddya got?” This response perfectly encapsulates his role as a universal symbol of rebellion against societal norms of all sorts, including those related to sexuality, fashion, and music.

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While “Hollywood Rebel” occasionally overstays its welcome due to Kearns’ tendency to over-quote a small group of sources and overstate his arguments, the book still serves as a valuable addition to the literature on Brando. Kearns succeeds in maintaining focus on his central idea throughout the book, exploring how a single image from a single film can send shockwaves across the world.

Chris Vognar is a freelance culture writer.

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