93 user 37 critic

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)

Forced by the imminent foreclosure of their friend's bar, two lifelong buddies will decide to rob a bank's armoured car, not knowing that its cargo is not money but a new street drug.


Simon Wincer
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Harley Davidson
Don Johnson ... Marlboro
Chelsea Field ... Virginia Slim
Daniel Baldwin ... Alexander
Giancarlo Esposito ... Jimmy Jiles
Vanessa Williams ... Lulu Daniels
Robert Ginty ... Thom
Tia Carrere ... Kimiko
Julius Harris ... Old Man
Eloy Casados ... Jose
Big John Studd Big John Studd ... Jack Daniels
Tom Sizemore ... Chance Wilder
Mitzi Martin ... The Woman
Kelly Hu ... Suzie
James Nardini ... Punk with Gun
Learn more

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Two lone riders and childhood friends, the rough and silent Harley Davidson and the ragged sun-baked cowboy Marlboro, assemble once more when they learn that their favourite hangout and the place where they grew up, the notorious Rock 'n' Roll Bar and Grill is facing imminent foreclosure. For this reason, against the preposterous demands for a new contract, the two lifelong buddies in unflinching determination to win back the bar, they will decide to hold up the corrupt bank's armoured car, unbeknownst to them that its cargo is not money but a new lethal and highly experimental street drug: the Crystal Dream. Now the bank wants it back and they are unstoppable. Is everything lost for Harley and Marlboro, the two well-meaning but amateurish thieves? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lots of Action, Lots of Bullets! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Several characters are named after well-known products: Harley-Davidson (motorcycles), Marlboro (cigarettes), Virginia Slim (cigarettes), Jack Daniels (whiskey) and Ol' Grandad (whiskey). Jimi is named after Jimi Hendrix, whom he resembles. Jose (tequila) is the silent friend. See more »


No man who gets hit in the groin area has the strength to keep fighting, as the Big Indian did with the Marlboro Man. See more »


Guard: [Harley and Marlboro are robbing an armoured car] Who are you guys?
Marlboro: Well, he's Harley Davidson, and I'm the Marlboro Man.
Guard: You look like a bunch of two-bit hoods to me.
Harley Davidson: [the car's trunk explodes] Now does that look like the work of two-bit hoods?
Guard: Yeah. Pros would've used my keys.
[Harley and Marlboro look at each other]
Harley Davidson: Well, he likes to blow things up.
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 2 secs by the BBFC to remove shots of a butterfly knife. The cuts were waived for the 2003 MGM DVD release. See more »


References Hondo (1953) See more »


Work to Do
Performed by Vanessa Williams
Written by Ronald Isley, O'Kelly Isley & Rudolph Isley
Vanessa Williams appears courtesy of Wing/PolyGram Records
See more »

User Reviews

Rourke & Johnson at their coolest on-screen personas, an enjoyable ride about manly men & old fashioned camaraderie !!
4 September 2019 | by DeuceWild_77See all my reviews

A critical and financial failure when it was released in August, '91, but later a hit on video, "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man" was directed by the Aussie Simon Wincer, 1 year after his venture into westerns with "Quigley Down Under", written by Don Michael Paul (from the B-movies, "Dangerously Close" and "Cyborg") and starred by two of the macho icons from the 80's Era, Mickey Rourke & Don Johnson.

Set in the future of '96, with a large Bank corporation ruling Burbank, California at a same time that a new deadly drug hits the streets, it tells the story of a loner biker which calls himself Harley Davidson (Rourke), who travels to reconnect with his childhood friends, The Marlboro Man (Johnson); Jack Daniels (Big John Studd) & his now wife, Lulu (Vanessa Williams); José Cuervo (Eloy Casados); Jimmy Jiles (Giancarlo Esposito) & "The Old Man" Jiles (Julius Harris), owner of a Diner established 40 yrs ago, where all the boys met, and now in danger of being foreclosure by The Great Trust Bank. Harley convinces the rest of the gang to rob the same Bank to save the Diner, in which Marlboro, reluctantly, agrees, but things will not go as they thought...

Even if the plot sounds simplistic and formulaic, like dozens of buddy action movies seen before, the writing is very good for this kind of 'genre' film, especially the dialogue exchanges between Rourke & Johnson (some cleary improvised by the actors), that reminds a bit of an earlier Rourke's character, The Motorcycle Boy in Coppola's cult film, "Rumble Fish" ('83).

The well cast duo and their genuine chemistry on-screen it's one of the highlights in the movie, this two were made to ride along together. Rumours said that Rourke only accepted this role because he was payed like 1 million, but even if he acts here with his "i don't give a..." attitude, he was cleary having a blast with this tailormade role for his on-screen persona and, with the exception of "White Sands", it was the last time the classic, charming and cool Mickey from his hair to his extravagant clothes hit the screens... after that all went downhill. Don Johnson, makes the perfect transition from the stylished Miami Cop, Sonny Crockett, to a modern day cowboy and his taglines were the best in the movie.

The supporting cast is full of colorful characters from Harley's gang to the bad guys, played by a fresh faced Tom Sizemore and his first in command, Daniel Baldwin, plus appearances from the forever henchmen, Branscombe Richmond & Sven-Ole Thorsen, plus cameos from Robert Ginty ("The Exterminator") and the beautiful Tia Carrere ("True Lies"). Chelsea Field (in the same year she played Bruce Willis' wife in "The Last Boy Scout") plays here Johnson's mistress, Virginia Slim, a female cop fan of bikes...and bikers !!

The movie itself is loaded with good staged action scenes; tons of humour in the interaction between the two protagonists; nice photographed widescreen visuals, including aerial shots, and a great soundtrack, provided by the maestro Basil Poledouris, and featuring the Bon Jovi hit, "Wanted Dead or Alive", also such bands as Copperhead, AC/DC, Roadhouse, The Screaming Jets, Waylon Jennings, The Kentucky Headhunters & L.A. Guns to name a few.

In short, "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man" is a truly watchable 'buddy flick', a modernization of the classic "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and a joy to watch with a pack of Marlboros and a sixpack.

Don't listen to the critics, i give it a 7.5 !!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:






Release Date:

23 August 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man See more »


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,200,549, 25 August 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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