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

 -  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)

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003) on IMDb 7.5/10

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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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Taglines:

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

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Documentary

Certificate:

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 »

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References Superman (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

Told in very broad strokes but still interesting and well structured
8 September 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In the 1960's the Hollywood studios were having a hard time of it. Their audience had grown up, been attracted away by television or had simply become bored with big musicals and the usual fare being fed to them. Against this backdrop some young talents started to come though, breaking the normal operation of the Hollywood system. With Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda making drugged out movies, Coppola being given his big shot and coming up trumps, Spielberg and Lucas coming through to create the idea of blockbuster cinema or Martin Scorsese coming from one Roger Corman feature to create Mean Streets and Taxi Driver.

Based on Peter Biskind's book this film takes on the near impossible task of covering a decade or so of change within the Hollywood system and pretty much does it well. Even having watched it and seen how it did it, I am still impressed by how it managed to structure itself in a way that didn't seem to struggle with the scope of the material and delivered such a broad picture of the time. Viewers with a better knowledge of the era or some of the specifics films in question will probably feel a bit short changed as the film does flash over a lot of stuff but the majority of people will find that it keep moving along enough not to really notice. The reason for this is that the film keeps the delivery coming in consistent broad strokes that mean the audience never gets into the detail but knows that this is about a wide subject.

The talking heads are well managed and really help keep this approach up by giving plenty of good contributions without dragging the film down into the detail. William H Macy does a good job of narration and his lines are well written – informative without being obtrusive. The absence of Spielberg, Altman, Lucas and a few others is not that great a loss because their characters and egos would have dominated a bit too much in a way that the majority of the others don't.

Overall, the specifics can be found elsewhere but this is an effective and interesting broad look at the era of the director. It never gets too deep into the detail of any one story but it doesn't matter too much as the delivery generally supports this broad approach to produce an enjoyable documentary that will suit the majority of viewers.


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