Easy Rider

Easy Rider

4.6 8

Cast: Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Robert Walker Jr.

     
 

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Tossing wristwatches away, two bikers hit the road to find America in Dennis Hopper's anti-establishment classic. After a major cocaine sale to an L.A. connection (Phil Spector), free-wheeling potheads Billy (Hopper) and Wyatt, aka Captain America (Peter Fonda, who also produced), motor eastward to party at Mardi Gras before "retiring" to Florida with the riches… See more details below

Overview

Tossing wristwatches away, two bikers hit the road to find America in Dennis Hopper's anti-establishment classic. After a major cocaine sale to an L.A. connection (Phil Spector), free-wheeling potheads Billy (Hopper) and Wyatt, aka Captain America (Peter Fonda, who also produced), motor eastward to party at Mardi Gras before "retiring" to Florida with the riches concealed in Wyatt's stars-and-stripes gas tank. As they ride through the Southwest, they take a hitchhiker (Luke Askew) to a struggling hippie commune before they get thrown in a small-town jail for "parading without a permit." Their cellmate, drunken ACLU lawyer George Hanson (Jack Nicholson, replacing Rip Torn), does them a "groovy" favor by getting them out of jail and then decides to join them. Babbling about Venusians, George discovers the joys of smoking grass, but an encounter with Southern rednecks soon proves how right he is about the danger posed by Billy's and Wyatt's unfettered life in a country that has lost its ideals. With the straight world closing in, Wyatt and Billy try to revel in New Orleans with some LSD and hookers (Karen Black and Toni Basil), but the acid trip is shot through with morbidity. Once they reach Florida, Billy raves about attaining the American dream; Wyatt, however, knows the truth: "We blew it." Produced and directed by two Hollywood iconoclasts with under a half-million non-studio dollars, Easy Rider shook up the languishing movie industry when it grossed over 19 million dollars in 1969; it captured the spirit of the times as it woke Hollywood up to the power of young audiences and socially relevant movies, along with such other landmarks of the late '60s as Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, and 2001. Shot on location by Laszlo Kovacs, Easy Rider eschewed old-fashioned Hollywood polish for documentary-style immediacy, and it enhanced its casual feel with improvised dialogue and realistically "stoned" acting. With a soundtrack of contemporary rock songs by Jimi Hendrix, the Band, and Steppenwolf to complete the atmosphere, Easy Rider was hailed for capturing the increasingly violent Vietnam-era split between the counterculture and the repressive Establishment. Experiencing the "shock of recognition," youth audiences embraced Easy Rider's vision of both the attractions and the limits of dropping out, proving that audience's box-office power and turning Nicholson into a movie star. The momentarily hip Academy nominated Nicholson for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and Fonda, Hopper, and Terry Southern for their screenplay. Though none of its imitators would match its impact, Easy Rider remains one of the seminal works of late '60s Hollywood both for its trailblazing legacy and its sharply perceptive portrait of its chaotic times.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
When films emblematic of the 1960s American counter-culture are mentioned, Easy Rider comes to the fore. Almost everything about this story of a motorcycle gang that travels across a landscape of alienation is hopelessly dated, yet the film remains a lot of fun. As one of the most popular films of its times, it both depicted and promoted a youth culture that centered around illicit drugs and rock music. More than any other movie, it established the career of Jack Nicholson, who won some critics' awards and an Oscar nomination as a supporting actor, and promoted the wild image of Peter Fonda. It is also one of Dennis Hopper's earliest directorial efforts and one of his first maniacal roles, though Hopper did not immediately capitalize on his success in either capacity. The psychedelic moments are priceless, and the soundtrack, featuring the Byrds, Steppenwolf, and other bands of the era, is golden. Few who came of age in the turbulent 1960s did not mark Easy Rider as one of their formative cultural experiences.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/2004
UPC:
0043396039377
Original Release:
1969
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:35:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Includes exclusive bonus CD songtrack and the British film Institute Modern Classic book "Easy Rider"; Making-of documentary "Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage," featuring interviews with Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and others; Dennis Hopper audio commentary; Production notes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Fonda Wyatt (Captain America)
Dennis Hopper Billy
Jack Nicholson George
Robert Walker Jack
Luana Anders Lisa
Karen Black Karen
Antonio Mendoza Jesus
Phil Spector Drug Connection
Sandy Wyeth Joanne
Beatriz Monteil Actor
Lea Marmer Madame
Warren Finnerty Rancher
Luke Askew Stranger on Highway
Sabrina Scharf Sarah
Robert Ball Mime#1
Carmen Phillips Mime#2
Michael Pataki Mim
Toni Basil Mary

Technical Credits
Dennis Hopper Director,Screenwriter
David A. Axelrod Songwriter
Hoyt Axton Songwriter
Baird Bryant Cinematographer
Donn Cambern Editor
Antonia Durzen Songwriter
Bob Dylan Songwriter
Peter Fonda Producer,Screenwriter
Virgil Frye Makeup
Gerry Goffin Songwriter
William Hayward Associate Producer
Steve Karkus Special Effects
Jerry Kay Art Director
Jack Keller Songwriter
Carole King Songwriter
Laszlo Kovacs Cinematographer
Paul Lewis Production Manager
Roger McGuinn Songwriter
Bert Schneider Executive Producer
Terry Southern Screenwriter
Larry Waner Songwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- DVD
1. Scoring [2:25]
2. Airport Connection [2:25]
3. "The Pusher" [1:58]
4. Opening Credits [3:21]
5. Campsite [2:22]
6. Rancher Hospitality [3:31]
7. "I Wasn't Born to Follow" [1:55]
8. Jack Fills the Tank [1:41]
9. "The Weight" [2:30]
10. Desert Camp [4:34]
11. The Commune [4:51]
12. History [1:30]
13. Jack's Prayer [2:41]
14. Meal With a Pisces [4:24]
15. "I Wasn't Born to Follow" [2:47]
16. Parade Without Permit [1:05]
17. In Jail With George [5:57]
18. A Toast [1:54]
19. "If You Want to Be a Bird" [2:18]
20. Joints & Venusians [7:36]
21. "Don't Bogart Me" [2:23]
22. Redneck Cafe [5:11]
23. "Used to Be..." [2:44]
24. Night Beating [2:04]
25. "Kyrie Eleison" [2:58]
26. Karen & Mary [2:54]
27. Mardi Gras [2:32]
28. Dropping Acid [5:51]
29. "We Blew It." [1:31]
30. "It's Alright Ma" [1:49]
31. "Let's Scare 'Em." [1:29]
32. End Credits [2:00]

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