In the lead-up to the silly season, I thought I’d go with something a little light-hearted this week, so here’s my pick for some great movie scenes with women riding bicycles. Conforming to the stereotype there are plenty more movies with men riding, and I’m sure there are some other excellent movies with women riding that I don’t know about. I was going to include City of Angels starring Meg Ryan but if you’ve seen it, you’ll know why I left it out!!
The Wizard of Oz
This is one of my favourite movies. My sister Penny and I have loved it since we were little girls and still enjoy watching it every now and then. In the early part of the film, there is a scene where the evil Miss Almira Gulch played by Margaret Hamilton rides her classic step-through roadster away from the farm with Dorothy’s pet dog, Toto. Thankfully (spoiler alert) Toto escapes her clutches and returns to Dorothy.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
There’s a very memorable and romantic scene in this great movie where Paul Newman’s character Butch Cassidy rides around with co-star Katherine Ross (Etta Place) on the handlebars & top tube of a bicycle, to the tune of ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head’. I’m not sure why they chose that song because there’s not a raindrop in sight! Burt Bacharach and Hal David actually wrote it for the film.
Technically she’s not riding the bike but there was definite skill involved in staying on the bike for both riders. I suspect there were many takes to film this scene and I bet they were both exhausted afterward. It is all gooey and romantic but I guess it didn’t feel that way for the actors. Paul Newman reportedly did all his own stunts, except the bit where he falls backward through the fence.
My fellow Australian Nicole Kidman made her film debut on a bike. A lot of people would barely recognise her with her untamed red hair and freckles (where have both of those features gone). Nicole plays a crime-fighting, BMX-riding teenager in this Australian children’s adventure film, against the backdrop of her and my hometown of Sydney.
The Sound of Music
Another classic movie that features the humble bicycle. Julie Andrews and her charges sing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ while riding classic roadster bikes. The beautiful scenery in Austria also helps the film along. I’m sure it took quite a few takes to get it just right.
Miss Piggy in The Great Muppet Caper
My final pick is a great scene from The Great Muppet Caper where Miss Piggy and Kermit are riding bikes through a London Park with the song ‘Couldn’t we Ride’.