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Sir Ridley Scott's first film was all about the bike - and now you can watch it online

Director of Alien and Gladiator also returned to two wheels for iconic Hovis ad


Every glittering career begins somewhere, and for acclaimed film director Sir Ridley Scott, that start came with a 27-minute film made while he was a student at the Royal College of Art in London. Called Boy and Bicycle, it has now been made available to watch online by the British Film Institute, which financed the project.

Made in 1962, it was the first film from the man who would go on to direct some of the best-loved movies in Hollywood history, including Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, for which he won an Academy Award as best director. You can watch it here.

Starring Scott's late brother Tony - who himself would direct films such as Top Gun, Enemy of the State and True Romance - it tells the story of a boy who skips school for the day to go ride his bike.

Shot on 16mm black and white film in West Hartlepool and Seaton Carew, fans of the director's work will be able to pick out some of the trademark touches he would develop in his later works.

Before tasting success in Hollywood, Scott was one of the world's leading directors of TV adverts, and his most famous work in that field also features a bike, and in 2006 was voted the UK's favourite ad.

Boy on Bike was filmed for Hovis, and featured a delivery boy riding up a steep, cobbled hill - not in the North of England, as many assumed, but Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

The boy was played by Carl Barlow, who later became a firefighter - but he would also be reunited with Scott through acting roles on Alien and Gladiator.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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