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May 25, 2013"A man went looking for America, and couldn't find it anywhere..." With a blistering rock-and-roll soundtrack, a host of trippy cinematic techniques, and dialogue that represented a very unique period in American history ("They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to them.) "Easy Rider" from 1969 is a hallmark American film, and a great independent feature success.
The ultimate counter-culture classic, "Easy Rider" directed by first time director Dennis Hopper, jolted a Hollywood in transition when it became an unexpected hit in 1969, encapsulating the freewheeling spirit of the times, and the divide between the youth culture and the Establishment. This unconventional classic, which Time magazine hails as "one of the ten most important pictures of the decade," continues to strike a chord with audiences of all ages to this day.
After securing a major drug deal in Los Angeles, two free-spirited potheads Billy (Dennis Hopper) and Wyatt, a.k.a. Captain America (Peter Fonda), buy choppers and hit the road, traveling from Los Angeles to Mardi Gras in New Orleans to experience "the real America." Along the way, they encounter rednecks, experiment with LSD, visit a hippie commune, end up in jail, all in the name of living the American dream. While inevitably dated, it remains worthwhile, highlighted by Laszlo Kovacs photography, a great soundtrack, and Jack Nicholson star-making performance as a boozed up lawyer who tags along for the ride. Nicholson earned a Best Supporting Actor nod, while Hopper and Fonda continued to solidify their reputations.
"Easy Rider" was the official U.S. entry at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Film by a New Director prize (Hopper). Opened across the country in September 1969, it mesmerized critics with its perspective look at America. The film also received two Oscar nominations-Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Nicholson). Highly influential in its camerawork, storyline, and 60's rock soundtrack--"Easy Rider" endures as the ultimate psychedelic road-trip.… Expand
Someday it was inevitable that a great film would come along, utilizing the motorcycle genre, the same way the great Westerns suddenly made everyone realize they were a legitimate American art form, Easy Rider is the picture.