7.3/10
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422 user 132 critic

Easy Rider (1969)

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2:47 | Trailer
Two bikers head from L.A. to New Orleans through the open country and desert lands, and along the way they meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap they are unaware of.

Director:

Dennis Hopper
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Popularity
2,033 ( 440)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Fonda ... Wyatt
Dennis Hopper ... Billy
Antonio Mendoza Antonio Mendoza ... Jesus
Phil Spector ... Connection
Mac Mashourian Mac Mashourian ... Bodyguard
Warren Finnerty ... Rancher
Tita Colorado Tita Colorado ... Rancher's Wife
Luke Askew ... Stranger on Highway
Luana Anders ... Lisa
Sabrina Scharf ... Sarah
Sandy Brown Wyeth Sandy Brown Wyeth ... Joanne (as Sandy Wyeth)
Robert Walker Jr. ... Jack (as Robert Walker)
Robert Ball ... Mime #1
Carmen Phillips ... Mime #2
Ellie Wood Walker Ellie Wood Walker ... Mime #3 (as Ellie Walker)
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Storyline

Netting a hefty profit from their latest drug deal, hippies Wyatt and Billy decide to outfit themselves with among other things motorbikes - Wyatt complete in what they call his Captain America gear and similar motif on the bike - and chucking any structure in their lives beyond the want to get there for the event, cycle from their home base of Los Angeles to New Orleans for Mardi Gras in just over a week. They don't plan to spend their proceeds on this trip - they saving that for a more carefree life in Florida after the fact - they sleeping in the great outdoors along the way. While Wyatt is more easy going, believing in the karmic nature and practicality of helping others when they can and in turn asking for help when they need it, Billy is a little more suspicious of the people they encounter, especially in hiding their wad of cash that is stuffed into the gas tank of Wyatt's bike, that money their future. They will find that not all counter-culturalists have the exact same ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This Year It's Easy Rider See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the film was shot on 16mm film instead of 35mm. This was demo footage shot a year before production began. See more »

Goofs

In the commune Billy walks in front of one of the tents and the bright sunlight of the reflector moves with him on the tent. As he walks back the it follows him back. See more »

Quotes

George Hanson: See there, twenty-five dollars. Not too bad. No razor blade, you know what I mean.
Captain America: Very groovy, George. Thank you.
George Hanson: Very groovy. Very groovy.
[to policemen Bob and Pat]
George Hanson: See there. I bet nobody ever said that to you!
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Connections

Spoofed in Crank (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Born to Be Wild
Performed by Steppenwolf
Composed by Mars Bonfire
See more »

User Reviews

 
This used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.
25 September 2004 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

I was utterly surprised by this film. I was expecting nothing more than some short scenes of our now-infamous actors smoking marijuana followed by trippy Willy Wonka scenes . Oddly, this did occur, but this film was much more than that. This film should be shown in every American History class in the United States. It not only showed the beauty of the country of which we reside, but it also spoke about the people that reside in it. You know the old saying, 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people', well after watching this film, it is a very true statement. We are afraid of what is different. We are a culture that is afraid of change, yet seek it so badly. We are a society of hypocrites, androids, and ignorants. We thrive on the fact that we are the best country in the world, yet somebody shows any disassociation of routine, we are the first to question and get angry. I would dare say that we have moved so far from the 60s that I cannot see why our parents do not cry everyday. Their generations was a free-spirited, mind challenging culture that explored all possibilities no matter the cost. The experience was all they needed as a reward. Now, we are more concerned about money and the family-plan that we sometimes place ourselves on the backburner to life. Wake, eat, and pay the bills. What a sad daily structure that we have. When was the last time you considered the possibility of just jumping on your bike and riding until you hit water? Probably not for a long time … why? It is called 'bills' and 'responsibilities'. These are the choices that we chose to make, and for anyone to say that they cannot do it, I would have to challenge. You CAN do anything, it is whether you chose to do it is another question. I wonder what it will be like in another 30 years. Where will we be, and will the idea of individualism be lost? I can't wait to see …

Outside of the deeply rooted themes of this film, I felt that Hopper (who also directed) knew exactly what he was doing behind the camera. He kept the talking short, the music loud and symbolic, and allowed the background to do the explaining. I loved the fact that we really knew nothing about Fonda or Hopper's characters. It allowed us to relate to them. You could easily add your story into their characters and have the life that you lead and wish to escape. Hopper was able to transform this film from a drug movie to a film about humanity. Fonda, who also helped write the film with Hopper, did a superb job of adding Nicholson's character into the mix.

Nicholson represented us, the American public and our love of liquor, football, and lies. I viewed Nicholson as the average American. He drank too much, was the product of a wealthy upbringing, but did not know much about the world. He was sheltered. He never smoked weed (in fact didn't even know what it was when presented to him), never left the state line, and never lived life. He constantly used the expression, 'I have always wanted to …'. How many times do you hear this a day from either a family member or a co-worker? If you always wanted to do it, why haven't you? So, here we have Hanson, dreaming a dream but never following through, who is traveling with two guys that live the ultimate life and live by their own rules. They are complete opposites, but Hanson's words seemed to remain in my mind for a long time. He reminded me of one of my wife's students today that spoke about freedom. He knew exactly what it was, but never practiced it. Hopper and Fonda were walking (driving most of the time) representations of the word 'freedom'. It is tragic what happens to Harmon, because he (unfortunately) experienced the negative side of freedom … hatred and fear of the unknown.

There was one scene that just jumped out at me. It occurs in the diner before the incident later that night where our travelers experience hatred in the country they admire so much. They go from peace and love to fear and hate. It is as if they witnessed night and day. It was frightening to hear the words coming from people in that restaurant. It was not only scary to wonder what was going to happen to our narrators, but mainly that people were speaking that way to fellow citizens. I know that it still occurs today, and it is surprising to me. We bomb a country because they do not follow the same principles that we do, but we need to start asking ourselves this question … do we need another United States?

Grade: ***** out of *****


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

26 June 1969 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Loners See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$360,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,448, 14 July 2019

Gross USA:

$123,276

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$123,276
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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