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The Bikes of Wrath: Aussies crossing USA by bike

"The Bikes of Wrath" is an adventurous journey echoing the American Dream, exploring America through the lens of Steinbeck's classic novel.

Keywords: Adventure, Human Connection, American Dream, John Steinbeck, The Grapes Of Wrath, Biking, Road Trip, Discovery, Connection, Exploration, Journey, Friendship, Resilience, America, Culture, Literature. Three words: Adventure, Connection, Exploration.


"The Bikes of Wrath" is a heartwarming documentary directed by Cameron Ford and Charlie Turnbull. Released in 2018, the film follows an adventurous and meaningful journey across America. It brilliantly combines the elements of exploration, discovery, friendship, and resilience, all portrayed through the lens of John Steinbeck's classic novel, ‘The Grapes Of Wrath’.


Armed with nothing but bikes, two guitars, a tiny budget of $420, and the spirit of adventure, a group of friends embarks on an epic journey spanning 2600km. Over the course of 30 days, they chart the same route the Joad family took in “The Grapes of Wrath,” experiencing the American Dream in its various forms. The journey is as much physical as it is emotional, pushing the boundaries of endurance and forging deep human connections along the way.

More Film Analysis


The documentary explores the depths of human connection and resilience. The directors’ approach is grounded and immersive, drawing the audience into the journey. With a shoe-string budget, they highlight the generosity and warmth of the people they meet. The film is an exploration of the American dream, as seen through the eyes of modern-day explorers and through the lens of Steinbeck's novel.

Historical and Factual Context

The journey follows the route of the Joad family, the central characters in Steinbeck's novel, "The Grapes of Wrath". The film explores modern America through this historical lens, revealing the enduring spirit of the American Dream.

Key themes in the film

  • The spirit of the American Dream
  • Human connection and kindness
  • Resilience

Film Comparisons

"The Bikes of Wrath" can be compared to other road trip and adventure documentaries like "Riding Solo to the Top of the World" and "Long Way Round". However, its blend of literary reference and exploration of the American Dream gives it a unique flavor.

Noteworthy Moments

The encounters with everyday Americans, their generosity, and the unexpected friendships forged along the way are truly heartwarming. The moments of struggle, resilience, and triumph that the group experiences are also deeply moving.


"The Bikes of Wrath" has been well received by audiences, with an IMDB score of 7.3. Critics have praised it for its genuine exploration of the human spirit and the American Dream.


"The Bikes of Wrath" is a must-watch for those who appreciate adventure and exploration, the power of human connection, and the enduring allure of the American Dream. It is a testament to the spirit of resilience and the capacity for kindness in people.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
  • Metacritic score: N/A
  • Film festival awards: N/A



  • Cameron Ford: Director and adventurer
  • Charlie Turnbull: Director and adventurer



  • Route 66, United States

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • What does the American Dream mean in the modern context?
  • How does the spirit of human connection and kindness endure in a rapidly changing world?
  • What can we learn from the resilience and determination displayed on this journey?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac for its spirit of exploration and discovery.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen, capturing the spirit of adventure and the American Dream.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be "American Gothic" by Grant Wood, capturing the essence of American life.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Bruce Springsteen, who embodies the spirit of the American Dream.
  5. If this film was a color, it would be blue, symbolizing exploration and depth.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be folk, mirroring the storytelling and connection to the American roots.