The Endless Summer

This is a great documentary by Bruce Brown on surfing. I live in Tennessee and there are no beaches in sight but this 1966 documentary held my attention all the way through. Brown narrates this and keeps it tight and the pacing is good.

If you like surfing or not it doesn’t matter. This documentary will hold your interest as Brown goes around the world with surfers looking for the perfect wave. Brown filmed in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, and California. The characters that surrounded the sport in that era are worth watching.

Bruce put up $50, 000 of his own money to make the film and it ended up making 30 million.

He would follow up with Endless Summer part II in 1994. I’ve watched both but I like1964 film better because of the people who followed the sport at the time. The 94 version has better camera action but I like the characters more in this one.

A few years later Bruce would work with Steve McQueen and make the documentary “On Any Sunday”  about the impact of motorcycles in our culture.

On Any Sunday

Great documentary about motorcycle racing of all kinds.

I’ve love documentaries but I wasn’t sure this one would interest me…but it did. I’m not a motorcycle guy and I only rode some when I was a teenager but this 1971 documentary kept me watching. I would recommend this to anyone young or old. The longer I watched the more I got hooked.

Steve McQueen is in this film and he helped finance it because he believed in it so much. It was made by Bruce Brown, the same filmmaker that made “Endless Summer” an excellent documentary about Surfing. Again I’m not a surfer by any means but it was also very interesting.

This film follows about every kind of motorbike competition you can think of…  it centers on off-road competition rather than road riding.

While Steve McQueen was the draw and provided a lot of the backing to the film the two main motorcyclists they follow are today leaders in their field. The two were Mert Lawwill and Malcolm Smith.

Mert was one of the early pioneers in the off-road bicycling world, having introduced the first production mountain bike. He also developed prosthetic limbs for amputees.

Malcolm owns a dealership and runs Malcolm Smith Racing, a producer of off-road rider equipment. Smith was inducted into the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1996 and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.

I gained a lot of respect for these men who gave their lives to this sport they loved. They traveled around the country with broken vehicles, raced with broken arms and backs to do something they loved without much pay.

This documentary helped change the image of motorcyclists. There was a “sequel” to this documentary called On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter in 2014.

After watching it I wanted a motorcycle really bad…but I let the thought pass by.