Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.
Captain America's (Peter Fonda's) chopper was so "squirrely" to ride that at one point Jack Nicholson (who was on the back) squeezed his knees on Fonda's side to balance himself and broke one of Fonda's ribs. See more »
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 »
They'll talk to ya and talk to ya and talk to ya about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em.
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Too often this film is relegated to retro documentaries and cheap nostalgia for an era too often reduced to its superficial artifacts (flower power, popular music).
I was born in 1972, three years after this film was made, but the themes in it are still relevant and important to me. Maybe I'm the last of a certain kind of American; someone wondering about what's still possible in the USA, and searching for the realized potential of the American Dream. Perhaps what has changed since this film was released is that freedom - that is, real freedom, just doesn't matter as much to people as it once did. Self-enslavement is a popular past-time for today's numb middle class; a group of people who, I am convinced, do not dream when they sleep.
This movie defined the road film genre, even though it was not the first of its kind. I owe a debt of gratitude to Fonda, Nicholson, and Hopper for pointing out a very real truth about America and its often twisted approach to "freedom." By any standard, this is a film which should not be missed. It is a film I wish I had written myself.
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