Fifty years ago a young Paul Macaree snuck into the back of the Romford Odeon, which was showing ‘Flesh Gordon’, and it changed his life.
It was not so much the soft-porn
To this day it’s still regarded by many as the greatest motorcycle movie ever made.
Directed by Bruce Brown, and starring actor and passionate racing fan Steve McQueen alongside top racers of the era, it was nominated for a 1972 Academy Award for best documentary feature.
It focuses on various disciplines in the adrenaline-fuelled world of motorcycle racing and the people in each community.
“It was a ‘B-movie’, a support film, that was on with Flesh Gordon.
“Four of us snuck in the back door of the Romford Odeon as kids. I was only 11 or 12 years old.
“I was just getting into girls but more into motorbikes.
“It was halfway through Flesh Gordon, so we didn’t know what was going on, and waited for the B-movie which was On Any Sunday.
“If you were 11 or 12 years old, this is the film that got you into motorbikes. I was already and this just made that worse!”
The film goes from local motocross dirt tracks to the legendary Daytona Beach, taking in dune riding, ice, drag and desert racing, hill-climbing and the challenging Baja 1000 and Elsinore Grand Prix.
The common thread is the riders’ dedication and passion, pushing their bikes to the limit.
It was also one of the first films to feature helmet camera footage, not easy with the bulky cameras at the time, which adds to the excitement.
“When it came out it was the first film of its kind because they strapped big cameras to their heads and bikes to show you what was going on in the thick of the action,” says Paul.
Paul has owned a total of six copies of the film but made the mistake of letting people borrow them!
Luckily, for him and us, you can watch On Any Sunday on YouTube.