ONCE A JOLLY SWAGMAN aka MANIACS ON WHEELS (1949)
Run Time: 1:38:00
Producer: Ian Dalrymple
Director: Jack Lee
Writer: Montagu Slater (novel), William Rose (script)
Key Cast: Dirk Bogarde, Bonar Colleano, Bill Owen
The 1949 British film, Once A Jolly Swagman (released in the US later as Maniacs On Wheels) takes it’s title from the first line of the Australian song “Waltzing Matilda”, and is based on the 1946 novel by Montagu Slater. The film is one of the first to feature motorcycles as a central topic and to portray their riders as dark and complicated characters. Though it would definitely not be the last.
“I must’a been daft letting you have that motorbike in the first place.”
Set in 1937 London, A factory worker is fired from a reliable job and becomes a successful motorbike racer, until his wife threatens to leave him unless he comes to his senses.
Watch the full film at Cine Meccanica