Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man

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Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
Harley davidson and the marlboro man movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Simon Wincer
Produced by Jere Henshaw
Written by Don Michael Paul
Music by Basil Poledouris
Cinematography David Eggby
Edited by Corky Ehlers
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • August 23, 1991 (1991-08-23)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $23,000,000[1]
Box office $7,434,726 (United States)[1]

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man is a 1991 action biker film starring Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson. The film was written by Don Michael Paul and directed by Simon Wincer.

The film was a critical and financial failure, earning only $7 million at the domestic box office (the budget was estimated at $23 million). It became a cult classic following its release to video. It promoted a "male biker" stereotype.[2]


The film is set in the then-future of 1996 in Los Angeles. Harley Davidson (Mickey Rourke) is in a motel in Texas when he hears about a dangerous new street drug named "Crystal Dream" on the radio. The significance of this street drug does not arise again until later in the film. Harley then meets a lifelong friend, a cowboy who is nicknamed The Marlboro Man (Don Johnson) and they later plan a bank robbery to help save their friend's bar from being foreclosed and replaced with a skyscraper. However, after they rob a bank's armored car, they discover the cargo they stole is the designer drug "Crystal Dream", not money. Chance Wilder (Tom Sizemore), who is a bank president involved in drug dealing, demands the return of the drugs. A series of increasingly deadly encounters ensue as heavily armed assassins (who work for the bank) hunt for Harley and Marlboro. Much of it was actually filmed in and around Tucson, Arizona and the "Boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.



Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released 1991
Genre Rock, Hard rock
Length 42:46
Label Mercury Records
No. Title Writer(s) Performer Length
1. "Long Way from Home"   Loyd Neil Carswell Copperhead 7:15
2. "The Bigger They Come"   Frampton, Marriott, John Regan Peter Frampton, Steve Marriott 4:26
3. "Tower of Love" (from the album Roadhouse, 1991) Paul Jackson, Richard Day, Frank Noon Roadhouse 3:56
4. "I Mess Around" (from the album Shooting Gallery, 1991) Billy G. Bang, Andy McCoy Shooting Gallery 4:19
5. "Wild Obsession" (from the album Hollywood Vampires, 1991) Mick Cripps, Tracii Guns, Phil Lewis, Kelly Nickels, Steve Riley L.A. Guns 4:14
6. "C'mon" (from the album All for One, 1991) Dave Gleeson, Richard Lara The Screaming Jets 2:48
7. "Let's Work Together"   Wilbert Harrison The Kentucky Headhunters 2:14
8. "Hardline"   Tom Kimmel, Dennis Morgan Waylon Jennings 4:09
9. "Ride with Me"   Dean Davidson Blackeyed Susan 5:10
10. "What Will I Tell My Heart?" (from the album The Comfort Zone, 1991) Peter Tinturin, Irving Gordon, Jack Lawrence Vanessa Williams 4:15
Total length: 42:46

Other songs in the film, but not included on the soundtrack are "Stop the World" by The Screaming Jets, "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi, and "Work to Do" and "The Better Part of Me" by Vanessa Williams. An early scene around a pool table seems to have originally featured AC/DC's "Hells Bells," but has been replaced by a sound-alike.


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 24% of 17 surveyed critics gave it a positive review; the average rating was 3.6/10.[3] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "a mindless cobbling from countless buddy movies".[4] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly rated it C+ and called it "a kinetic formula shoot-'em-up" that is "engagingly junky entertainment with a healthy sense of its own ludicrousness."[5] Variety called it "a dopey, almost poignantly bad actioner about two legends-in-their-own-minds".[6] Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Rourke and Mr. Johnson handle their roles with more ease and humor than can be accommodated by a movie so stuffed with mindless fistfights, gunfights, helicopter chases, explosions and leaps from tall buildings."[7] Time Out London called it "utter rubbish, and badly dressed at that."[8] Kim Newman of Empire wrote, "For a while, its crassness is amusing, but as the plot sets in, it gradually turns into a stultifying bore."[9]


Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man was released to DVD by MGM Home Entertainment on April 1st, 2003 as a Region 1 widescreen DVD and to Blu-Ray disc by Shout Factory (under license from MGM) on May 19th, 2015.

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