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Easy Rider (1969)

Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Antonio Mendoza ...
Jesus
...
Connection
Mac Mashourian ...
Bodyguard
Warren Finnerty ...
Rancher
Tita Colorado ...
Rancher's Wife
...
...
Lisa
...
Sarah
Sandy Brown Wyeth ...
Joanne (as Sandy Wyeth)
...
Jack (as Robert Walker)
Robert Ball ...
Mime #1
...
Mime #2
Ellie Wood Walker ...
Mime #3 (as Ellie Walker)
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Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Here - EASY RIDER - the Biggest Hit in the Cinema Today! (British Quad) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 June 1969 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Loners  »

Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both the Captain America bike and the Billy Bike were designed and built by an African-American bike builder named Ben Hardy. Peter Fonda met Hardy when Hardy built the bike he rode in The Wild Angels (1966). Dennis Hopper is interviewed in the documentary "History of the Chopper" and confirms that it was Hardy who built the bikes. One of the people who worked on the bikes was Dan Haggerty, who later starred in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1977). See more »

Goofs

In the commune Billy walks in front of one of the tents and the bright sunlight of the reflector moves with him on the tent. As he walks back the it follows him back. See more »

Quotes

Captain America: No, I mean it, you've got a nice place. It's not every man that can live off the land, you know. You do your own thing in your own time. You should be proud.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Science Project (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Flash, Bam, Pow
Performed by Electric Flag (as The Electric Flag), An American Music Band
Composed by Mike Bloomfield
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

more than meets the eye
5 March 1999 | by (Reno) – See all my reviews

There is so much going on in the multi-layered Easy Rider. For one thing, it doesn't glorify hippies. In fact, Hopper and Fonda are really just businessmen, out to make the big score. They're quintessentially American -- Fonda calls himself Captain America, and wears an American flag on his leather jacket, and has red, white and blue painted on his chopper's gas tank. These guys really just want to make money, not change society. If it were the 80's, they'd be selling computers. Also, some interesting symbolism -- Fonda puts the stash of money resulting from the drug sale in his gas tank -- in other words, money fuels the American dream.

This film is also an anti-Western. Instead of heading west, these guys head east. They pass through Monument Valley, site of many John Ford westerns. At an early point, they fix their choppers in a barn while a farmer fixes the horseshoes for his horse.

There is a structure to this seemingly freewheeling tale: the trip starts out idealistically. After they go to the commune, Fonda and Hopper skinny-dip with two hippie chicks in a bucolic, peaceful setting. The music is laid-back, the Byrds, the drug used is marijuana. It's an idealized example of "free love." Later, in New Orleans, our two heroes hook up with two prostitutes -- so much for free love. Fonda breaks down during an acid trip, and instead of music we hear the jarring sounds of an industrial, urbanized landscape -- geographically and symbolically far away from that Arizona commune.

This film doesn't glorify the hippie ethos -- in fact, it almost seems like a neo-conservative critique on the limitations of the hippie experience. Late in the film, Fonda tells Hopper, "We blew it," a line that prefigures the ultimate disillusionment that set in during the early 70's, when the Age of Aquarius gave way to Watergate, malaise, Reagan and rampant consumerism.


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