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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)

TV-14  |   |  Documentary  |  9 March 2003 (USA)
7.5
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A look at 1970s Hollywood when it was known as New Hollywood, and the director was the star of the movie.

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Title: Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)

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Storyline

Based upon Peter Biskind's book of the same name, this BBC-produced documentary traces the rise of a generation of Hollywood filmmakers who briefly changed the face of movies with a more personal approach that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on-screen. Influential directors who appear include Arthur Penn ("Bonnie and Clyde"), Dennis Hopper ("Easy Rider"), Francis Ford Coppola ("The Godfather"), John Schlesinger ("Midnight Cowboy"), Bob Rafelson ("Five Easy Pieces") Martin Scorsese ("Taxi Driver"), Peter Bogdanovich ("The Last Picture Show"), and Jonathan Demme ("Crazy Mama"). Narrated by William H. Macy, the documentary features vintage clips of Coppola, Scorsese, Beatty, George Lucas, Sam Peckinpah, Roman Polanski, Robert Altman, and Pauline Kael. It also includes original interview material with Penn; Roger Corman; Bogdanovich; Hopper; David Picker; writer/directors John Milius and Paul Schrader; actresses Karen Black, Cybill Shepherd, Margot Kidder, and Jennifer Salt; ... Written by alfiehitchie

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How the Sex Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood

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Documentary

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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9 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the subjects profiled in author Peter Biskind's book, including directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Robert Altman, and 'William Friedkin', declined interviews for the documentary. See more »

Connections

References Paint Your Wagon (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nothing of actual substance, but moderately entertaining
28 September 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

The withering latter-end of 1960s cinema gave birth to a short-lived area of mainstream artistic vision - the 1970s was a decade wherein "the director was the star of the movie." I've never thought of it this way, but as the documentary points out, it's a valid and poignant summary of the time period.

This documentary - based on the best-selling book - offers an in-depth analysis of the film-making process of the 1970s... it starts out with "Easy Rider," from the late '60s, which became a huge box office success despite its profane content and extremely low budget.

The financial success of the movie seemed to spawn a new generation of artistic, low-budget films -- Scorsese and Coppola seemingly leading the revolution onwards.

Dennis Hopper would later fail with his semi-sequel to "The Last Picture Show" (as chronicled here) but other directors had success with their projects, attracting viewers despite the grungy themes of the films.

I've heard that cinema "died" in the 1970s, so far as that people had stopped going to see movies...without the influx of 1980s blockbusters, we might not have films today. I think that's rather a stretch.

If anything "Raging Bulls, Easy Riders" exaggerates the mild box office returns of the decade and tries to compensate for their low intake by citing critical praise for the films...all well and valid, when discussing the artistic merit...not financial gain.

I found this to be a rather enjoyable documentary, but I didn't learn anything I hadn't already known. It's got some good interviews, but they're not as insightful as they are amusing anecdotes.

If you are a film student, you could probably view a better and more in-depth summary of the decade; however, for novices, this is good starting ground.


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