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Two young "hippie" bikers, Wyatt and Billy sell some dope in Southern California, stash their money away in their gas-tank and set off for a trip across America, on their own personal odyssey looking for a way to lead their lives. On the journey they encounter bigotry and hatred from small-town communities who despise and fear their non-conformism. However Wyatt and Billy also discover people attempting 'alternative lifestyles' who are resisting this narrow-mindedness, there is always a question mark over the future survival of these drop-out groups. The gentle hippie community who thank God for 'a place to stand' are living their own unreal dream. The rancher they encounter and his Mexican wife are hard-pushed to make ends meet. Even LSD turns sour when the trip is a bad one. Death comes to seem the only freedom. When they arrive at a diner in a small town, they are insulted by the local rednecks as weirdo degenerates. They are arrested on some minor pretext by the local sheriff and ... Written by
For the famous soliloquy that Peter Fonda does in the cemetery while tripped on acid, Director Dennis Hopper asked Peter to talk to the statue as if he were talking to his mother, who died via suicide when Peter was 10 years old. Peter didn't want to do it, as he had never confronted his feelings about his mother. But Hopper insisted, which is why you hear Peter call the statue "Mother", and he states that he both loves her and hates her, which expresses his conflicted emotions. This scene persuaded Bob Dylan to allow the use of his song "It's Alright Ma" in one of the final scenes, which contains lyrics referencing suicide. Peter told Dylan, "I need to hear those words", and he agreed to its use. See more »
In the diner, George Hanson enters wearing his football helmet. When he begins to sit down, his reflection in the mirror shows him rubbing his eyes. The next shot shows him just sitting and the helmet is already on the table. See more »
[holding up a business card]
The governor of Louisiana gave me this. Madame Tinkertoy's House of Blue Lights, corner of Bourbon and Toulouse, New Orleans, Louisiana. Now, this is supposed to be the finest whorehouse in the south. These ain't no pork chops! These are U.S. PRIME!
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In this counterculture film, we have a spaced-out trio of Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and a funny Jack Nicholson tooling down the "high"way, on motorcycles and "stuff", en route from L.A. to Mardi Gras. As artistic expression during an angry era of war and social change, the film communicates a powerful philosophy, in lieu of a complex plot.
Most scenes take place outdoors, in the American South and Southwest. Laszlo Kovacs' adroit cinematography, combined with an expansive soundtrack, hippie lingo, and "cool" clothes, convey the film's underlying message of individual freedom and nonconformity. The film is significant in that it was one of several successful 60's films made by individuals outside the traditional Hollywood studio structure. As such, "Easy Rider" broke new ground in film-making.
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