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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)
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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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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9 March 2003 (USA)  »

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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls  »

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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 The Spider (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Documentary on a golden era in Hollywood which didn't go sour so much as it evaporated...
27 July 2006 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

After 20th Century-Fox's "The Sound of Music" raked in big box-office and Academy Awards, every Hollywood studio was busy for the next couple of years trying to duplicate its success (it isn't specified here, but Fox itself was one of the hungriest at pilfering from this genre). Unfortunately, "The Sound of Music" was really the end of the popular, old-fashioned, break-out-in-song Hollywood movie, giving way to the rebellious counterculture. Seen as a major turning point--and released before "Bonnie & Clyde"--"The Wild Angels", a Roger Corman biker flick from A.I.P. (which came out one year after "The Sound of Music"), signaled a change in perceptions. The studio system was breaking down and actors were no longer on contract (since the youth movement didn't exactly want pretty stars). Most young, hungry American movie makers of this period took their cues from the European directors of the early '60s, and this documentary chronicles their battles with the ever-present Hollywood regime into getting their avant garde movies made, marketed and released. Most of the movers and shakers from the past are here, looking quite good, and their recollections from this fertile period for thought-provoking entertainment are fascinating. The downfalls (the drugs, the egos) are documented in a matter-of-fact way, nobody is chastised or condescended to, as the rise of the summer blockbuster (Steven Spielberg's "Jaws") heralded the weakening of the character-driven drama. This film does make it seem as if the smaller, more personal Hollywood motion picture is completely dead now, but fails to take into consideration terrific films like "Sling Blade" or "Monster's Ball" which, high profile or not, give serious movie-fans hope for the future. But as a chronicle of this golden era, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls", narrated by William H. Macy, is fairly straightforward, mostly accurate, very entertaining, and a great tool for film buffs who weren't privileged to have been there. *** from ****


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