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Easy Rider (1969)

 -  Drama  -  26 June 1969 (Sweden)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 63,984 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 350 user | 101 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Easy Rider (1969)

Easy Rider (1969) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: James Benning
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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
Sabrina Scharf ...
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

Wyatt and Billy are two motorcycle riders (bikers) on their way to Mardis Gras, and encounter hitchhikers, a drunken lawyer, a jail cell, a whorehouse and the death of a friend. Written by Aaron Horne

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A man went looking for America. And couldn't find it anywhere.. See more »

Genres:

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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Dern was also in line to play George Hanson but dropped out because of scheduling reasons. See more »

Goofs

Wyatt and Billy are going to the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. This indicates that they are traveling in either late January or early February, given that Mardi Gras usually takes place in mid February. Despite this, and despite the number of states they drive through, the men never drive through an area of cold weather. Many of the characters they meet are wearing summer style clothes, and the weather is most obvious in New Mexico, where the winters can be extremely hard with lots of snow. See more »

Quotes

George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.
Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that's what happened. Hey, we can't even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we're gonna cut their throat or somethin'. They're scared, man.
George Hanson: They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to 'em.
Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.
George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Code Monkeys: The Secret of 4-20 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Born to Be Wild
Performed by Steppenwolf
Composed by Mars Bonfire
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.
25 September 2004 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

I was utterly surprised by this film. I was expecting nothing more than some short scenes of our now-infamous actors smoking marijuana followed by trippy Willy Wonka scenes . Oddly, this did occur, but this film was much more than that. This film should be shown in every American History class in the United States. It not only showed the beauty of the country of which we reside, but it also spoke about the people that reside in it. You know the old saying, 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people', well after watching this film, it is a very true statement. We are afraid of what is different. We are a culture that is afraid of change, yet seek it so badly. We are a society of hypocrites, androids, and ignorants. We thrive on the fact that we are the best country in the world, yet somebody shows any disassociation of routine, we are the first to question and get angry. I would dare say that we have moved so far from the 60s that I cannot see why our parents do not cry everyday. Their generations was a free-spirited, mind challenging culture that explored all possibilities no matter the cost. The experience was all they needed as a reward. Now, we are more concerned about money and the family-plan that we sometimes place ourselves on the backburner to life. Wake, eat, and pay the bills. What a sad daily structure that we have. When was the last time you considered the possibility of just jumping on your bike and riding until you hit water? Probably not for a long time … why? It is called 'bills' and 'responsibilities'. These are the choices that we chose to make, and for anyone to say that they cannot do it, I would have to challenge. You CAN do anything, it is whether you chose to do it is another question. I wonder what it will be like in another 30 years. Where will we be, and will the idea of individualism be lost? I can't wait to see …

Outside of the deeply rooted themes of this film, I felt that Hopper (who also directed) knew exactly what he was doing behind the camera. He kept the talking short, the music loud and symbolic, and allowed the background to do the explaining. I loved the fact that we really knew nothing about Fonda or Hopper's characters. It allowed us to relate to them. You could easily add your story into their characters and have the life that you lead and wish to escape. Hopper was able to transform this film from a drug movie to a film about humanity. Fonda, who also helped write the film with Hopper, did a superb job of adding Nicholson's character into the mix.

Nicholson represented us, the American public and our love of liquor, football, and lies. I viewed Nicholson as the average American. He drank too much, was the product of a wealthy upbringing, but did not know much about the world. He was sheltered. He never smoked weed (in fact didn't even know what it was when presented to him), never left the state line, and never lived life. He constantly used the expression, 'I have always wanted to …'. How many times do you hear this a day from either a family member or a co-worker? If you always wanted to do it, why haven't you? So, here we have Hanson, dreaming a dream but never following through, who is traveling with two guys that live the ultimate life and live by their own rules. They are complete opposites, but Hanson's words seemed to remain in my mind for a long time. He reminded me of one of my wife's students today that spoke about freedom. He knew exactly what it was, but never practiced it. Hopper and Fonda were walking (driving most of the time) representations of the word 'freedom'. It is tragic what happens to Harmon, because he (unfortunately) experienced the negative side of freedom … hatred and fear of the unknown.

There was one scene that just jumped out at me. It occurs in the diner before the incident later that night where our travelers experience hatred in the country they admire so much. They go from peace and love to fear and hate. It is as if they witnessed night and day. It was frightening to hear the words coming from people in that restaurant. It was not only scary to wonder what was going to happen to our narrators, but mainly that people were speaking that way to fellow citizens. I know that it still occurs today, and it is surprising to me. We bomb a country because they do not follow the same principles that we do, but we need to start asking ourselves this question … do we need another United States?

Grade: ***** out of *****


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Easily one of the top three worst movies I have ever seen Beverwyk
ridiculous demonization of the American South eric102
Why does Wyatt say: We blew it? ahnenthor
recommendations for other films of this style? cexanatos
Jack Nicholson's acting choices- questionable??? shalise-begum
stranger on the highway sanookdee
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