AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bruce Brown produced the motorcycling movie “On Any Sunday” in 1971. Here are a few facts about Brown, and the movie, that you may not know.
1. Brown first earned acclaim for his groundbreaking surfing movie, “Endless Summer,” which was released in 1966.
2. He never had formal training in film making.
3. Brown discovered motorcycling while in Japan. He and his wife rented a Honda scooter there, and he enjoyed the freedom of riding.
4. Avid motorcyclist, racer and actor Steve McQueen bankrolled “On Any Sunday.”
5. For the movie, Brown used a helmet camera on some of the riders, one of the early times something like that had been attempted. This was before the days of miniature cameras, and the setup was often quite bulky on the rider’s helmet.
6. Brown found a perfect location for a sunset beach riding shot: Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in California. Somehow McQueen got permission for Brown to shoot there.
7. Many racers credited the movie with really helping their careers. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Malcolm Smith, who was a major focus of the film, credits “On Any Sunday” with giving him the worldwide recognition that enabled him to become a leading entrepreneur in the off-road motorcycling business.
8. Over the years, Brown and his wife, Pat, have enjoyed participating in rally car racing, with Pat being the navigator.
9. “On Any Sunday” was a critical success, being nominated for an Academy Award for documentary feature film.
10. There were follow ups made to Brown’s films, including “Endless Summer II,” “On Any Sunday II” and “On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter.”