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Scroll down to read some excellent stories about how ON ANY SUNDAY touched people everywhere. Visit often as we'll add stories as we get them (send your stories to info@onanysundayreunion.com)


Original film review by Roger Ebert / August 3, 1971


Calvin Trillin is a man with an interesting job. He wanders all over the United States for the New Yorker magazine and files dispatches about what our fellow Americans are up to in Duluth, Altoona, Cincinnati, and all the Holiday Inns and Howard Johnson's in between. At one time or another he has studied the life styles of Paul Anderson (world's champion weight lifter) and Fats Cohen (world's champion pizza eater, until a recent diet).


During spring vacation this year, he wandered down to Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach to check out the life styles of the college students who annually migrate there. In the course of his investigation he asked himself, he says, whether the time had actually come when one felt nostalgia at the sight of a Phi Delta Theta sweatshirt?


Like a lot of good observations, that one uses very few words to imply an entire state of mind. The whole world of the late 1950s and early 1960s (when Trillin doubtless saw many such sweatshirts, as well as garments bearing the emblem of the Betas, the Sigma Chis and so on) is supposed to have been rendered obsolete by the plague of war, assassination and social misery that has descended on us since.


And yet, if we can buy the Big Band Sound from Time-Life records and pick up reprints of old Liberty magazines at the newsstand, is it not permitted to feel nostalgic for the slightly more recent past of rush weeks, exchanges, pledge classes, chapter meetings? Just the other day, I saw a girl wearing a fraternity pin on her sweater, and the whole big 1960 thing about fraternity pins (and sweaters) came rushing back to me.


I mention this only because you will probably not fully appreciate Bruce Brown's "On Any Sunday" unless such a sight brings memories rushing back to you. Brown's movies are charming, infectious, clean-cut, and, enthusiastic as only a Rush Chairman could be enthusiastic, leading a line of jogging Actives down the steps of the House to shake hands with potential Pledges wearing new sport jackets and wing-tip shoes. That is why they are so much fun to see. They come from a world of innocence and simple physical pleasures.


Brown's first film, which made him a great deal of money, was "The Endless Summer." He took a 16-mm. camera and a crew of two on a trip around the world in search of something that was perhaps not of earthshaking significance, but wouldn't bite you when you found it: The perfect wave. Along the way, he visited a great many waves that were imperfect for one reason or another, and we saw a lot of sun, sand, healthy bodies and spectacular surfing feats.


The instrument weaving all those waves and surfboards together into an enjoyable movie was the Brown voice which is youthful, unaffected and genuinely enthusiastic. "Boy! That was a big one," he said about any number of waves, and the way he said it somehow made us agree that it sure was. Now he has made "On Any Sunday," which does for motorcycle racing what "The Endless Summer" did for surfing and it's enjoyable in exactly the same way.


You and I know that professional motorcycle racers must be a daring, violent and occasionally dangerous lot. But Brown sees them as basically having fun, and when we got a close-up of a national champion who has just completed a six-day race through rugged country terrain, Brown is likely to say: "Here he is now, still wearing that ear-to-ear grin." And so he is (must have been Malcolm – editor).


A lot more art goes into a film like "On Any Sunday" that might be apparent. It's tremendously hard to get the footage, first of all; a surfer on a wave operates within a relatively small area, but a two-mile motorcycle race requires thousands of feet of footage from several cameras to be adequately covered. Brown has somehow accomplished this (with some financial backing from Steve McQueen, who turns up in the movie a couple of times). What's better, having done it he doesn't tell us about it.


Despite the work that went into his film, and despite the desperately difficult experiences that professional motorcycle racers endure, he somehow makes the whole thing seem informal, casual, relaxed. There is still some tension there, but it's masked by that ear-to-ear grin, like the night luring rush week when you didn't have to wear a tie because the Interfraternity Council had decreed a cookout.

Don Shoemaker’s ON ANY SUNDAY Memory

(Don was the producer of the film, and often was behind the camera)


I had been working on the movie (On Any Sunday) for about a year and a half when this happened and only about four people new about this story:


The day we traveled from Dana Point over the hill to the Elsinore GP I was riding in Steve McQueen’s old Chevy truck with his bike in the back.  We left Dana Point and as we turned off the freeway on to the Ortega Highway there was two young men hitching for a ride. Steve pulled over and they hopped in the bed of the truck with the Husky.


When we stopped at the bottom of the Ortega Highway  they jumped out and came up to thank the driver. As soon as the saw who was driving the truck they both just stood there and looked at each other. They could not believe that they were riding over the hill with Steve McQueen!!!


Steve and I laughed about it the rest of the way to the track!

Dave Evans' ON ANY SUNDAY Memory

By Larry Langley


Dave Evans is the guy in the movie who does the great "out of sight" wheelie.  Dave was a very good trials rider who also was a very good enduro rider.  The day before my first D-37 enduro (I was a squid enduro rider), Dave and his riding partner Roy Sheridan took me on a all day "trail ride".  At that time I had ridden a couple of family enduros and was pretty much in awe of the upper level, tougher D-37 enduros.  But I had entered the Foothill Hawks enduro in 1972 on my Honda XL-250.  Anyway, I took off after Dave and Roy and soon we weren't riding trails anymore, we went up, down, sideways and sometimes upside down for hours.  Naturally I couldn't keep up but they patiently waited for me as I struggled to ride their terrain.  I was thinking there was no way I was going to finish this ride, it was so tough.  Finally they led me back to camp and as I collapsed onto a chair by our camp they smiled and said "Hey Larry, you'll do just fine".  I pondered that.  Then I rode the enduro and it was easier than the trail ride!   They had just performed the "throw him in the water and see if he can swim" on me.  I guess I learned to swim as it only took less than a year to attain "A" (expert) enduro rating.  I'll never forget that ride and to this day Dave and Roy remain my friends. 


Dave was telling me the story of how he met Doug Domokos, the "Wheelie King".  Seems Dave was riding his bicycle somewhere in Orange County back in the day when he rode by a motorcycle dealership where Domokos was performing one of his "Wheelie" shows.  Dave was so impressed he went up to him after the show and introduced himself to Doug.  He told him that he had performed the "out of sight wheelie" in On Any Sunday and Doug replied "Man, that was the scene that got me excited about doing wheelies!  I figured if you could do it so could I!"  Dave was dumfounded and so very proud!  And so On Any Sunday gained yet another convert and a great story. 



On Any Sunday Film Crew member Allan Seymour’s recollections on being involved with the On Any Sunday film project.

April 8, 2008 - Capistrano Beach, CA


For me working on On Any Sunday was a life changing experience. It all started in the south turn at Ascot Park in 1964. My surfing buddies Phil Stubbs, Walter Hoffman, and “Grubby” Clark would leave Capistrano Beach every Friday early enough to catch the first AMA flat track practice session at the famous 1/2 mile dirt track in Gardena.


At the end of the season we would fly up to Sacramento for the AMA Mile National. Every once in awhile Bruce Brown would come along. I knew Bruce as a former lifeguard, surfer, and had seen all of his 16mm surfing films.  However, I really did not know him personally.


On August 20th, 1966 I married my wife Gertie. I tried to change the date when all my surfing buddies decided to go to the Springfield Mile on that exact date, but my mother-in-law talked me out of it. We are still married.


After life-guarding seasonally for 10 years I had the opportunity to become a full time ocean lifeguard in Del Mar, CA  At that time there was nothing going on during the winter on the beach. Sitting there day after day was mind numbingly boring for me. In the two years I was there we had three real emergencies.


I went back to school and studied photography. I borrowed a 600 mm lens a surf photographer owned and would go to Carlsbad Raceway and shoot the first turn from across the hill. All the number plates were un-muddied so I was able to sell 8” x 10” b x w prints to all the amateur moto-crossers. Rapidly I was able to not only afford my hobby, but was making a little money. Went to the San Jose Mile and entered my photos in a now defunct magazines photo contest. Won the contest two issues in a row.


Since we lived in Del Mar, I had not been to Ascot the entire season in 1968.

Running into my old Ascot friends at the September AMA National I told them I was looking to get out of life-guarding. Phil Stubbs said, “Hey talk to Bruce, you know about all the motorcycle racers. Maybe you can work for him.”


I drove up to Dana Point in my brand new BMW 2002 and said I would do anything to be on the film crew. Bruce said O.K. Go see Bob Bagley my office/production manager. Bagley showed me how to load the original Bolex Bruce had used to film The Endless Summer and sent me to Ascot to see if I could capture any crashes at the amateur moto-cross. If you have watched enough racing you see that there is a certain flow and rhythm. Life-guarding is the same way. You don’t look at everybody individually. You look for a break in the pattern, something out of place. Using that technique I was able to bring back rolls of film with lots of crashes. This was my test. I was hired to learn how to be a cameraman, soundman, still photographer and keep all the equipment clean. Every Monday, I would drive in my BMW as fast as I could to Hollywood to have the film processed, and every Wednesday I would drive back from Dana Point and pick it up. Also, I would go to the movie equipment rental companies and pick up specific lenses or cameras. The two most memorable parts of the film I was involved with were the slow motion crash in turn three at the Charity Newsy 1/2 mile national in Ohio where Gary Fisher was hurt, and the audio tape of someone yelling “oil on the track”. The sound bite was actually from Oklahoma City.


Don Shoemaker was the other person involved in the production of On Any Sunday. Don is a gifted film editor who had the daunting task of running through literally thousands of feet of 16mm film. No one worked harder or longer hours than Bruce and Don to make the film happen.

The production stills of Steve McQueen, Malcolm Smith,  Mert Lawwill, and Bruce Brown that were used in the On Any Sunday press kit I photographed while on location in the sand dunes north of Ensenada.


Going from a laidback lifeguard job to working for Bruce Brown can be compared to a bull walking out of the shadows, hearing the blare of the music, the roar of the crowd, and here comes the picador. Not having ever been involved with any type of film, and knowing Bruce as a casual, funny guy, laidback surfer I was totally unprepared for the intensity, immensity, and committed work ethic these three guys had. All of them were veterans of creating many films. This was your typical non-union workaholic, work all week, sit in the back of Bagley’s van on the film cases and go to some type of motorcycle races every weekend deal. Other than the 6-Day Trials, Bonneville, and ice racing segments I went to every event in the movie.  Bruce Brown smoked over three packs of cigarettes a day. He constantly had wet armpits that rivaled a piano mover. Don Shoemaker worked 16-18 hour days and filmed on the weekends. Bob Bagley, the production manager, also was a cameraman and kept track of this logistical nightmare.


Bruce’s late wife Pat was the one who Bruce ran every edit by for the final decision. Talk about someone not getting enough credit. She deserved a gold medal.


When the film was made Bruce asked if any of us knew anyone who could recommend a guy with a motorcycle racing background to promote the movie. R. Paul Allen, the legendary promoter/publicist of all of Bruce’s films including The Endless Summer, was happy surfing and sailing. Criss-crossing the country again, living alone in hotels in strange cities doing the film publicity again was not what he wanted to do.


My friend John Sutton at CBS, who I had met while I was the Chief Lifeguard at the Dana Strand Club, suggested Roger Riddell. Roger was a pretty fast amateur desert racer. I think the term “Brutally Handsome” from the Eagles song fit Roger perfectly. He had a background in selling television advertising. I called him up and he came down to Dana Point and was hired. He is still pissed at me for ruining his plans of spending that winter skiing in Aspen.


Steve McQueen seemed to really enjoy being with us. He would come down from Hollywood and hang out looking at pieces of the film. It was really funny to see the reaction of local Dana Point people seeing him eat a hamburger, or do anything else normal to us. Although he put up the money for the film, he really gave Bruce artistic license to make the film. I’ll never forget one time Bob, Don, Bruce, and I were in Bob’s van on the way to Saddleback Park for a moto-cross race and I said something about “our film”. Bruce sternly looked at me and said.” It is not “our” film, it is “my” film.” As the months making the film went on I grew to understand what he meant. This was a Bruce Brown Film. We were all part of the support crew. As the filming segment of the film came to an end the pressure on Bruce became enormous. You could make over 10 films from the amount of film we all shot. Like a driver on the first qualifying weekend for the Indy 500, or a Formula One racer, I saw Bruce concentrate on creating the film.

Someone once said the great ones make it look easy. Well, put Bruce on the list of great ones. The finished film had all the elements of motorcycling and would become a “Classic”.


Bruce in my opinion was so wiped out from the effort he went sword fishing for two years and moved up the Ortega Highway on a ranch to get away from people. At the premier in Hollywood, which my wife could not attend due to the recent birth of our first child, I met Don Rugoff. Don Rugoff, owned the New York film distribution company Cinema V on Madison Avenue in the same building as the New York Jets. This is the company that distributed The Endless Summer.

I was basically out of a job, with a wife, and a new child. Bruce had said that Don Rugoff was having a hard time figuring out how to promote the movie. Remember, in the early 70’s the sport of motorcycling was not a mainstream activity like it is today.


With nothing to lose I went up to Don Rugoff and said, “ I worked on the On Any Sunday film project from the beginning. No one knows the film any better than me. I can help you promote the film.


He looked at me and said. “I agree.”


He said,” Go buy a suit. I will send you a first class ticket to New York. You will work in our office on Madison Avenue and stay at the Park Lane Hotel.”


I went home and told my wife. I would be on the road for the next four months opening the film in 20 markets across the United States. Instantly, I was making more money in a week than Bruce had paid in a month. With the money comes the pressure.


Together with Roger who opened the film at the same time in other markets we created the press kit. I wrote the radio spots, and voice over for the television spots. Roger and I created an advertising plan. We booked the television and print ads prior to going on the road. After the first week Rugoff invited me to his weekend home in the Hamptons with his wife and children. Surfed a really good swell at Montauk Beach. The first time I had been in the water for over two years.


For four months I lived alone in hotels working seven days a week in Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Syracuse, Chicago, San Francisco, etc.

The tough part about promoting the film was it was not a typical biker film. The theater owners did not have faith in booking the film longer that a weekend. When the crowds hit they had already booked another film behind it. Unfortunately, many people did not get to see On Any Sunday the first time it was distributed.


Most newspaper sports and entertainment section editors really looked down on motorcycling. I remember the Houston Post running photos of Mert Lawwill tucked in on the high bank at Daytona, with a Hell’s Angel type biker holding a chain looking like he was going to beat a half naked women draped across his tank. The caption under both photos said, “ Two new motorcycle films opening this week.”


Roger Riddell who’s background was in television advertising put together a deal with Yamaha to re-distribute the film using the four-wall technique. Roger hired me to help him.

The marketing concept was unique. Visit a local Yamaha dealer and get a dollar off coupon to see the movie. I remember being in Texas at a district Yamaha dealer’s meeting and this one” good ol boy”says, “ Geez, why doesn’t Yamaha come up with something new instead of re-running a film we have all seen? As part of our marketing we would re-visit the Yamaha dealers a month after the promotion to see how we could make it better.

The same guy is at the meeting and bitches. “Geez, if I had known how many people were going to come into my shop for On Any Sunday discount tickets I would not have put in new carpet a week before the promotion. We done wore out the new carpet!”

I ended up working on the On Any Sunday project longer than anyone else.

When it was all over I found out the local speedway motorcycle track in Orange County was looking for a publicist.


Using the experience I had gained from working for Bruce Brown Films and Cinema V, I was part of the reason speedway motorcycle racing in the mid-70’s outdrew the Angels. It became the largest weekly motorcycle event in the country with over 9,000 screaming fans every Friday night.


Other than my BBF light meter, the only memorabilia I have from those days is a personally autographed AMA Grand National Champion  #1 plate from Mert Lawwill.


That’ll do…..







(Review and Interview by Panhead Jimmy)


Two movies changed me forever:  Easy Rider released in 1969 and On Any Sunday released in 1971.  I was equally torn between my love of Choppers and Dirt Track Racing (trust me it can happen) and both of these films fueled the fire.  I imagine many street riders have not seen On Any Sunday, and that’s a shame.  Exactly why this movie is so great is a little difficult to get across.  First of all, it’s a perfect time-period piece much like Easy Rider.  Few movies have ever captured the sprit, style and essence of the end of the 60’s through the 70’s as these films have.  That said both are just as relevant today as ever.


They both tell stories about people and the trials they went through to earn a living and do the things they love.  If On Any Sunday has a “star” it would be Malcolm Smith.  The name belongs to the same person who started the motorcycle shop bearing his name alongside the 91 Freeway in Riverside, CA.  He was arguably the best all around motorcycle rider and racer of his time, maybe any time.  I could list all of his accomplishments but your eyes would glass over because the list is sooo long.  The best descriptions of his talents are from a review: “...he would take the gravest possible exception to being called anything like a movie star.  Malcolm is presented as a nice, young, fun-loving guy who just happened to be the best motorcycle and motocross racer of his day.  The feats that this guy was able to perform were pretty incredible, but what was so spectacular about this guy is just how much better he was at this stuff than everyone else...” 


The On Any Sunday Reunion was held on May 18, 2005 and was a huge success.  The idea of the reunion was to bring all the participants of one of the greatest motorcycle movies of all time together.  Not just the stars but the “little guy” who made a brief appearance in the movie.  For example, the “kid” (Bob Ewing) who threw away his expensive $40 glasses and re-passed his buddy was there.  The guy in the “Easter Bunny” suit (Ernie Aragon) was there.  Also in attendance was the film production crew, singer/songwriter of the sound track, and director Bruce Brown.  These people were the tip of the ice burg. 


This event was a fundraiser for The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and was the passion of The Orange County Dualies founder Larry Langley.  Langley had attended the 25th Anniversary of the movie at the Peterson Museum in LA nine years ago and thought it would be great to hold another reunion of the movie participants and invite the public.  Apparently 1,100 people agreed with him and came out on a Wednesday night in Newport, CA to witness history.  Langley is employed at Saddlemen by Travelcade, the maker of superior quality leather products for motorcycles.  Saddlemen owner Tom Seymour let Langley utilize company resources and was paid full salary during the organizing phase of this event. I was so impressed with this company I bought one of their seats the very next day.  True story!  This is a major fundraiser for the Orange County Dualies, a dual sport on-road off-road club, and they were on site in force. 


The following is from an interview with Larry Langley:


Thunder Press (TP): How did you get all of these people together?


LL:  I knew I had to get Malcolm Smith to commit to the movie as he was the “star” so to speak.  I had mentioned the project to him the past few years and he said he was on board.  At the Indy trade show in February we looked at calendars and he gave me some dates he was free.  We picked May 18th and the planning started.  With Malcolm on board, Bruce Brown was contacted and agreed to participate.  From then on it was just tracking down the racers including Mert Lawwill, Jim Rice, Gary Nixon, Gene Romero, Dave Aldana, Jim Odom, Don Emde, Don Castro, Doug Douglas, Walt Fulton, John Hateley, Keith Mashburn, Feets Minert, Jody Nicholas, Sammy Tanner and Skip Van Leeuwen. Plus the film crew and people who were “bit players”.   We rented a 525 seat movie theater in Huntington Beach, CA and started sending out flyers.  We were dumfounded to learn of the tremendous interest in the film.  We actually sold out of the theater is less than three weeks!  So we rented a bigger theater.  Actually the largest theater West of the Mississippi, the Big Edwards on Fashion Island in Newport Beach, seat capacity 1100.  And then we sold that out too!  We knew we had a monster on our hands.


TP: Tell me how Tom White got involved.


LL:  Tom White (of White Bros) was invited to co-emcee the event and he suggested that it might be cool to bring a couple of his vintage bikes from his extensive collection to show.  That turned into a mini-moto expo that filled the parking lot of the theater with numerous bikes on display including a Honda Riders Club truck showing off Johnny Campbell’s XR-650R Baja winning bike, Bruce Ogilvie’s Baja winning XR-600 and Marty Smith’s championship RC-125 motocrosser from the early 70’s.


TP: One of the fund raisers was the auction of a large painting of some Flat Trackers all tucked in drafting each other.  Tell me how that happened.


LL: The Dualies were contacted by an artist from England by the name of David Burk who was in the process of painting a dirt track scene inspired by the movie with Mert Lawwill, Dave Aldana and Sonny Burres featured.  He offered to donate a copy of the painting.  The winning bid of $3,800 for this painting was made by Perry Sands of Performance Machine.  Don Emde also printed up 24 copies from his extensive photo collection of the movie and had the participants autograph them for another auction item and this was won by Cobra Engineering’s Ken Boyko with a winning bid of $3,000.


TP:  One of the most touching moments of the night was when that young man came up on stage and shared his accomplishments with fundraising for Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.  Tell me about him.


LL:  Eleven-year old Curtis Hermann was presented with a special Dualie Hero Award for his fund raising efforts on behalf of his sister Breena who died of a brain tumor when Curtis was eight years old.  Curtis started a fundraiser called Laps 4 Love (http://www.laps4love.com/) and raised $14,000 his first year by taking pledges from people for each lap he rode around the track.  In year two he raised an additional $17,000.  In year three he raised over $40,000.  That’s a total of $71,000.  For his effort, Honda’s Johnny Campbell also presented Curtis with an autographed pit shirt from Team Honda.


TP:  The film didn’t look like it had been…how can I can this…touched up.  It had that 16-millimeter character about it.  Where did you get it?


LL:  The Dualies found that there was not a print of the movie available except for Bruce Brown’s personal copy.  It was guarded like the treasure it was and had not been shown for quite a few years so the condition was unknown.  The audience was warned that the movie was old and quality probably not up to DVD specs.  It didn’t matter as the projector rolled, seeing the classic movie on the huge 70 foot screen enthralled the audience.  Five minutes into the movie the film broke leading to fears that the film was too fragile for showing.  But a few minutes later it rolled again and had no further problems during its showing.  The audience response was unbelievable, hooting and hollering when a recognizable racer came on screen.  Big applause for Steve McQueen and Malcolm Smith and others.


TP:  I saw a lot of activity in the parking lot.  At first I thought it was spillover from the waiting line for Star Wars III scheduled to open at midnight, and then I saw some old motorcycles.  What was that all about?


LL: The moto-expo was scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm and hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts quickly packed the parking lot buying special collector t-shirts and posters or bringing their own item to autograph.  Most of the racers were on hand and were kept busy signing for the entire time.  Finally at 7:00 pm the theater was opened and seating was snatched up.  At 7:45 pm OC Dualie Eric Bondus opened the festivities with a nice monologue about the history of the 34 year old movie and the cultural events taking place in 1971 when the movie opened.  In attendance was the who’s who of the motorcycle industry thrilled to be there just like the average enthusiast. Dana Brown, A.C. Bakken, Mitch Mayes, Joe Bonnello, Barry Briggs, Eddie Castro, Debbie Evans, Bruce McDougal, Joe Lawwill, Morgan Malocco, Larry Roeseler,  Troy Lee, Broc Glover, Bruce Ogilvie, Johnny Campbell, Goat Breker, Edison Dye, Dan Gurney, Gunnar Linstrom, Marty Smith,  and Tom Webb to list just a few.


At the end the lights came back on to thunderous applause as the audience knew they had been part of a great evening.  Bruce Brown was called up to be introduced and he received a huge standing ovation.  Most of the 1,100 viewers were still present even though it was late.  No one wanted to go home.  Finally, the theater management kicked everyone out as the theater had to be cleaned for the midnight premier viewing of Star Wars.  Little did those people waiting for that movie realize that we had just watched our own version of Motorcycle Racing Star Wars.  And made $40,000 for The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, too.

Come back often for more stories...

All Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation fund raising efforts by the
Orange County Dualies are dedicated to the memory of Michael Hoeflin