Two young "hippie" bikers, Wyatt and Billy sell some dope in Southern California, stash their money away in their gas-tank and set off for a trip across America, on their own personal odyssey looking for a way to lead their lives. On the journey they encounter bigotry and hatred from small-town communities who despise and fear their non-conformism. However Wyatt and Billy also discover people attempting 'alternative lifestyles' who are resisting this narrow-mindedness, there is always a question mark over the future survival of these drop-out groups. The gentle hippie community who thank God for 'a place to stand' are living their own unreal dream. The rancher they encounter and his Mexican wife are hard-pushed to make ends meet. Even LSD turns sour when the trip is a bad one. Death comes to seem the only freedom. When they arrive at a diner in a small town, they are insulted by the local rednecks as weirdo degenerates. They are arrested on some minor pretext by the local sheriff and ...Written by
The bridge, seen in the opening credits, the Old Trails Arch Bridge in Topock, Arizona, is the same bridge Peter Fonda's father, Henry, playing Tom Joad, crossed with the Joad family when entering California in The Grapes of Wrath (1940). See more »
When Wyatt and Billy ride off from the farm, where they fix the tire, a shadow of the camera is cast on Billy. See more »
"Easy Rider" likely made a generation of young men want to take to the road on motorbikes, sticking it to the man and living the American dream. And today, it's viewed nostalgically as a relic from a simpler, more innocent time. But I think it's wrong to read the film this way, and robs it of much of its impact. "Easy Rider" isn't about living the American dream; it's about finding out there is no such thing.
That's what I like most about this movie. Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda could have made a smug, alienating critique on bourgeois American culture, and it's rather surprising that they didn't. Instead, they made a disturbing film with a big heart at its center, about two drifters who go out in search of what makes America great, and find that there's no place in it for them. The ending packs a wallop, and I'm always amazed that two newbies who were probably both loopy most of the time on drugs could manage to put together such a strong, resonant film.
Jack Nicholson appears in a supporting role as another drifter the two pick up on their travels, and the always fascinating Karen Black appears briefly as well as one of their female companions.
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