The Buzz

7 films where the bike is king

Categories: Movies

Premium Rush Joseph Gordon-Levitt out manoeuvres the bad guys on a bike. (Columbia Pictures/Sony/Associated Press)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's new bike-messenger chase thriller Premium Rush shows every move you don't want to do while riding a bicycle on Manhattan's streets. Still, it's such a joy to see the bicycle celebrated on the big screen as the versatile and very fast alternative it is for city transportation. As the movie hits theatres, CBC Arts Online offers a list of seven other movies where the bicycle is king.


Breaking Away

A 1979 coming-of-age story about a small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team, Breaking Away features great shots of cycling along wooded roadways that probably no longer exist and a climactic scene involving a bicycle pump through the spokes.


Les triplettes de Belleville

Sylvain Chomet's delightful animated bicycle caper tale was an Oscar nominee. In it, Granny rides to the rescue when her Tour de France racer grandson Champion is snatched from the course. All madcap humour and very little dialogue, it was co-produced by Canada's Paul Chastain.


The Flying Scotsman

This 2006 film tells the story of Graeme Obree, the Scots cyclist who built his bicycle from old bits of washing machines. It elevates cycling and bike design to an obsession.


The Bicycle Thief

Vittorio De Sica's 1948 film has long been considered a masterpiece of cinema, depicting a time when having a bicycle meant the difference between working and not working. A man and his little boy search all over a corrupt Rome for a stolen bike.


E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg's 1982 film, about a boy who discovers a lovable alien, proves that bicycles are the perfect escape vehicle when chased by adults who just don't understand. And who can resist those flying bikes?


Now and Then

Sentimental and funny, this 1995 movie is a definite favourite for those in their PG years. For the film's quartet of 12-year-old protagonists, bicycles are a means for seeing a much larger swath of the world.


American Flyers

A bike race across the Rockies lures brothers portrayed by a young Kevin Costner and David Marshall Grant. It's '80s feel-good schlock, but still a good excuse to show off a really open road and bikes racing against horses.

Tags: Breaking Away, E.T., Now and Then, Premium Rush, The Bicycle Thief, The Flying Scotsman

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