EMMYS – After banging around with borrowed tools in a backyard shed for a few years, two boyhood pals in Milwaukee thought they’d finally achieved their dream: a bicycle that required only enough pedaling to spark a pint-sized engine.
In 1903, Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson sold three of the putt-putting contraptions they came to call the “silent grey fellows.”
By 1920, Harley and Davidson, with Arthur’s brothers William and Walter, made 30,000 distinctively roaring motorcycles a year — more than anyone else in the world.
But the path from tin can to two-wheeled tornado was littered with failed plans, flaming wrecks and bloody brawls, as is vividly shown in Discovery Channel’s six-hour miniseries, Harley and the Davidsons. Produced by Raw TV, it’s set to air over three consecutive nights starting September 5.
Shot earlier this year in Romania, the series features Bug Hall as Arthur Davidson and Game of Thrones veterans Robert Aramayo as Harley and Michiel Huisman as Walter Davidson.
Best known as the brash warrior Daario Naharis on Thrones , Huisman spent much of his adult life on motorcycles, hopping off only after the birth of his daughter nine years ago.
“Telling this story about the early days of Harley-Davidson was like a dream for me,” he says, speaking from his native Amsterdam. “On top of that, my character was the embodiment of the Harley-Davidson spirit — a little bit of a rebel, anti-establishment, a wants-to-do-his-own-thing kind of guy.”
INQUISITR – For many motorcycle enthusiasts, Harley-Davidson is an iconic and enduring symbol of Americana. The miniseries tells the fascinating story of how the Harley-Davidson brand was created and evolved. Three young men, with amazing vision and drive, overcame many obstacles and challenges to produce one of the most popular motorcycles in the world.
“This is the type of compelling and honest storytelling that fits perfectly for Discovery Channel,” said Rich Ross, group president of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. “It is a story about brotherhood, an ironclad will to succeed and going against the conventional wisdom of that time. The founders of Harley-Davidson created more than just a motorcycle. They created modern entrepreneurism.”
According to American Motorcyclist, Harley and the Davidsons will provide insight into the success and struggle of the company founders. Walter (Michiel Huisman, Game of Thrones) and Arthur (Bug Hall, The Little Rascals) Davidson along with their friend Bill (Robert Aramayo, Game of Thrones) Harley, were the sons of hard-working, blue-collar immigrants. Together, the young men featured in Harley and the Davidsons firmly believed in the American dream, and they were willing to give everything they had to see their dreams fulfilled. Launching a successful business of building motorcycles was their united goal, and despite facing different challenges along the way, Harley and the Davidsons will highlight how they persevered throughout the good times and the bad.
Believe it or not, there have been plenty of standout films released so far this year—and from some very unlikely places. Here are the best of the best.
THE DAILY BEAST – People whine ad nauseam about the flaming bags of dog shit that the major Hollywood studios leave on their proverbial doorstep every summer (OK, most of winter and spring, too). They’re not wrong. Your typical first-half movie boasts more dodgy storylines and stunted logic than a Trump rally, and 2016 has been no exception. We have been sadistically subjected to laugh-free comedies like Zoolander 2, Dirty Grandpa, and Adam Sandler’s The Do-Over; the bloated disasterpieces Batman v Superman and Gods of Egypt; and whatever the hell Nina was. Sad!
But it hasn’t been all bad. Yes, many fine films have seen the light of day in the months before Oscar season kicks off—you just had to look hard to find them.
So without further ado, here are The Daily Beast’s best movies of 2016 so far.
6. The Invitation (Dir. Karyn Kusama)
Since her thrilling indie debut Girlfight, Karyn Kusama has been chewed up and spit out by Hollywood (Aeon Flux, anyone?), but with The Invitation she reminds us how gifted a filmmaker she is. The setup is simple enough: Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and his new girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) are, along with other close friends, invited to a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills hosted by his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and new hubby David (Michiel Huisman). Eden has been off-grid for two years, as both she and Will struggled to come to terms with the death of their child. Over the course of the evening, Will becomes increasingly suspicious of Eden’s erratic behavior, and convinces himself that this invitation was not to a dinner party, but something far more disturbing. Kusama is a master-builder of tension, upping it inch by inch until it hits its breaking point, culminating in a finale that will leave you breathless.
RIDE CT – WEST HARTFORD, CT – It was happenstance that the white and teal Harley-Davidson motorcycle ridden by actor Michiel Huisman ended up parked next to a flat black Indian outside of Westfarms mall. Commenting about their adjacency to the “Games of Thrones” star was only natural, though, because of his latest role, and Huisman acknowledged the irony.
Best known for playing “sellsword” Daario Naharis on the HBO fantasy-drama series, Huisman depicts one of the Harley-Davidson’s founders, Walter Davidson, in the upcoming Discovery Channel miniseries “Harley and the Davidsons.” The three-parter not only recounts the motorcycle company’s founding in 1903 and its rise to prominence, but also the intense early rivalry that existed between Harley-Davidson and Indian.