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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

Director: Kenneth Bowser, Dede Allen, Peter Bart, Andrew Cohen

Cast: Kenneth Bowser, Dede Allen, Peter Bart, Andrew Cohen

Kenneth Bowser's documentary Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, based on the book of the same name by Peter Biskind, consists primarily of interviews with many of the artists and executives involved in the New Hollywood movement of the 1970s. The film is presented on this disc in a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33


Kenneth Bowser's documentary Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, based on the book of the same name by Peter Biskind, consists primarily of interviews with many of the artists and executives involved in the New Hollywood movement of the 1970s. The film is presented on this disc in a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. Supplemental materials include over an hour and a half of additional interview footage that is structured in chapters pertaining to specific topics. This extra footage is all as good as the material in the finished film, leading one to believe these sequences were cut for no reason other than time. Along with A Decade Under the Influence, this disc offers an excellent survey of an important period in American film.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Dancing through a decade or so of tumultuous Hollywood history -- from the studio system that produced elephantine spectaculars like Hello, Dolly to the bottom line-oriented film industry that turns out loud, noisy, and witless "franchises" like Charlie's Angels -- requires some nimble footwork to get all of its highlights packed into two hours. For the most part, writer/director Kenneth Bowser is up to the task, stumbling only a few times and generally offering a solid overview of an era when the studios allowed more freedom to talented filmmakers than at any other time in its history. Bowser avoids getting bogged down in the kind of celebrity gossip that made Peter Biskind's book a guilty pleasure for some and a catalogue of excesses for others. There is one exception: a she said/she said account by Polly Platt and Cybill Shepherd of the goings-on during the shooting of The Last Picture Show. (For the record, Platt was married to writer/director Peter Bogdanovich, who proceeded to have an affair with Shepherd, his ingénue star.) Although the filmmakers were not able to obtain original interviews with the A-list set of figures discussed here (Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Warren Beatty, Robert Altman), they did come up with some interesting archival footage, including Coppola and Lucas on the set of The Rain People (shot at the same time as Easy Rider, the two film crews were each crossing America in different directions). And those who did agree to participate are pretty impressive, going beyond just the actors and directors to such essential behind-the-scenes personnel as writers and cinematographers. Their insights, allowed to mellow and settle with the passage of time, are generally helpful. There are occasional lapses in chronology, as when M*A*S*H, an early 1970 release, is included with 1969 releases, and, more egregiously, when the mid-'70s is described as a time when urban riots and anti-Vietnam protests were still engulfing America. What's most sobering, however, is the observation by writer Joan Tewskbury that the beginning of the end of this short-lived movement came when TV shows such as Entertainment Tonight (and newspapers like USA Today) began reporting weekend box-office figures. When Paramount opened The Godfather on 400 screens in 1972, they went against the grain of the usual pattern of playing a film in a few major cities, allowing critical reviews and word of mouth to work its magic before slowly releasing the film to the rest of the country. So when Coppola's film went on to make box-office history, it opened the floodgates for highly promotable (and less artistically ambitious) films such as Jaws and Star Wars. Backed by endless months of hype and cross-promotion, these movies became first-weekend events, designed to return a significant portion of their budgets before critics could see them and any bad word of mouth could have a chance to affect ticket sales. (And, as the film points out, '70s critics such as Pauline Kael played a more important role then in shaping public taste. Now critical opinion is limited to "thumbs up" assessments or blurbs supplied by publicity-hungry reviewers.) "It didn't matter whether the film was good or not," says one observer of the late-'70s rash of special-effects spectaculars, "as long it made a good trailer." Nearly three decades after Jaws created the very model of a modern major blockbuster, studio filmmaking became all about either the box office or the Oscars. For the most part, Hollywood studios has stopped taking risks on quirky projects, and what quality films the studios do choose to make are the well-crafted, though hardly idiosyncratic, movies held for release in the last three months of the year, so they'll be fresh in the minds of Academy voters come Oscar time.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Shout Factory
Region Code:

Special Features

Bonus disc "More Sex 'n' Drugs 'n' Rock 'n' Roll": A full disc's worth of additional "mini-docs" featuring Dennis Hopper, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Burstyn, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Schrader, John Milius, Peter Bart, and more

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dede Allen Interviewee
Peter Bart Interviewee
Andrew Cohen Interviewee
Tony Bill Interviewee
Karen Black Interviewee
Peter Bogdanovich Interviewee
Ellen Burstyn Interviewee
Roger Corman Interviewee
Micky Dolenz Interviewee
Richard Dreyfuss Interviewee
Peter Fonda Interviewee
Carl Gottlieb Interviewee
Jerome Hellman Interviewee
Monte Hellman Interviewee
Dennis Hopper Interviewee
Willard Huyck Interviewee
Stanley Jaffe Interviewee
Henry Jaglom Interviewee
Gloria Katrz Interviewee
Margot Kidder Interviewee
Laszlo Kovacs Interviewee
Kris Kristofferson Interviewee
Mardik Martin Interviewee
Mike Medavoy Interviewee
Sylvia Miles Interviewee
John Milius Interviewee
Charles B. Mulvehill Interviewee
David Newman Interviewee
Arthur Penn Interviewee
Michael Phillips Interviewee
David V. Picker Interviewee
Polly Platt Interviewee
Albert S. Ruddy Interviewee
Jennifer Salt Interviewee
Andrew Sarris Interviewee
Paul Schrader Interviewee
Cybill Shepherd Interviewee
Jonathon Tapin Interviewee
Joan Tewkesbury Interviewee
Fred Weintraub Interviewee
Gordon Willis Interviewee
Rudolph Wurlitzer Interviewee
Vilmos Zsigmond Interviewee
William H. Macy Narrator

Technical Credits
Kenneth Bowser Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Paskal Akesson Editor
Andrew Cohen Executive Producer
Andy Cohen Executive Producer
Mia Barker Sound/Sound Designer
Josh Braun Executive Producer
Teddy Champion Associate Producer
Pierrot Colonna Sound/Sound Designer
Mike Lahaie Editor
Paul Mailman Cinematographer
Scott Petticlerc Sound/Sound Designer
Steven Robinson Sound/Sound Designer
Rachel Talbot Producer
Nick Wave Executive Producer
Susan Williamson Associate Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
1. Opening [1:36]
2. Before the Revolution [8:35]
3. King of the B's [4:18]
4. Storming the Gates [10:28]
5. Freedom Man, That's What It's All About [13:25]
6. The Man Who Would Be King [12:53]
7. Easy Rider Takes a Spill [15:17]
8. The Next Wave [9:37]
9. The Lunatics Take Over the Asylum [11:43]
10. The Revenge of the Nerds [26:16]
11. Epilogue [1:50]
12. End Credits [2:00]
Side #2 -- More Sex 'n' Drugs 'n' Rock 'n' Roll
1. The Times [5:04]
2. Sex and Drugs [8:46]
3. United Artists and Midnight Cowboy [9:06]
4. The Film Critics [5:21]
5. Robert Altman: A Director's Style [7:14]
6. Hal Ashby: The Homeless Spirit [5:00]
7. Peter Bogdanovich: The Man Who Loved the Movies [13:16]
8. Francis Ford Coppola: Director's Journey [10:21]
9. Dennis Hopper: Actor as Director [3:24]
10. George Lucas: A Galaxy Far, Far Away [4:31]
11. Sam Peckinpah: Sensitive Excess [4:09]
12. Martin Scorsese: Talent Finding the Edge [5:15]
13. Steven Spielberg: Innocent Savant [3:27]
14. The Participants Strike Back [3:46]
15. The Author: Peter Biskind [13:54]

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