Easy RiderDirector: Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Robert Walker Jr.
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.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Sony Pictures
Cast & Crew
|Peter Fonda||Wyatt (Captain America)|
|Phil Spector||Drug Connection|
|Luke Askew||Stranger on Highway|
|David A. Axelrod||Songwriter|
|William Hayward||Associate Producer|
|Steve Karkus||Special Effects|
|Jerry Kay||Art Director|
|Paul Lewis||Production Manager|
|Bert Schneider||Executive Producer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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What luck! I was looking for this DVD for a long time and the lady at Barnes and Noble at Mall of America Bloomington MN told me to take a look in the $9.95 box and see what I come up with. As a biker closing on 200,000 kms I thought that this movie would make my day in the long winter month of February when all I could to between shovelling snow was to say hello to mine and my brothers bike waiting patiently in the garage for spring to come along. Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper take us on the ride that we all want to go on. Fresh air, bugs on our teeth and a destination stated but not necessarily the first place we go. Fans of Harley Davidsons and good music will ride along with these two bros and see the countryside better than any car can provide. Remember what Jack Nicholson's character says when he tells us that what people fear most of bikers is that we have the freedom that they so desperately want. Purchase, lay back and ride on bro because this picture gives us bikers the great desire to be on the road again.
If your in to Harleys this is the movie for you. It's basically what gave ''bikers'' the image the have today. That and James Dean. One of Jack Nicklson's first Rolls. He playes a redneck laywer from Texas that is picked up by these two hippy bikers. On a wild adventure across the country to Florida
NO NO...NO. This is not a ''biker movie'' or a Harley movie. It is a great film because it is/was a modern update of... THE WESTERN. Billy and Wyatt (get the names?)cross John Ford's America on their ''horses''(one gets a flat changed in an endearing scene as a horse gets reshoed next to it in a barn)and learn that what Jack's character says is very likely to be true, ''this USED to be a really great country.'' Everything the public at large has come to think that this film stands for is shown for the sham it really is. The film's main points are exactly opposite of what people think they remember the film being about. Hard drugs become mainstream and are part of the end of the idealistic '60s. Billy and Wyatt score the big score and go to Florida to retire, getting high along the way, and too late does Fonda realize they have wasted their lives. Acid trips turn nightmarish. Hippies in communes are starving. The movie says, yes, it would be nice if we could all just drop out and be free and peace and love and all that stuff...but you are totally naive if you believe in that dreamland. The film's score and lyrics are also used intellegently to underscore the irony and become characters themselves. The editing and jump-cuts are inventive and quite welcome in our modern independent film crazy time.
If you love long motorcycle trips and living free,then this is for you. it's the first motorcycle story and the best of all. so sit back and take easy with EASY RIDER!
Easy Rider! A great appreciation for the emotions & thoughts for Rock music & Freedom to live, you gifted to us in our still lasting teenage years, through your perfoming in this Unique Movie!