Easy Rider - 50th Anniversary

"Easy Rider became one of the rallying-points of the late '60s, a road picture and a buddy picture, celebrating sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and the freedom of the open road. Seeing the movie years later is like opening a time capsule.

"Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper play Captain America and Billy, journeying cross-country on their motorcycles, using a drug deal in Los Angeles to finance a trip to Mardi Gras. The drug is cocaine, but their drug of choice is marijuana. Billy gets the giggles around the campfire at night. Captain America, who could handle it better, is cool, quiet, remote, a Christ figure who flies the American flag on his gas tank, his helmet and the back of his leather jacket.

"The making of the movie became a Hollywood legend. The budget was so limited, there was no money for an original score, so Hopper, the director, slapped on a scratch track of rock 'n' roll standards for the first studio screening. The executives loved the sound and insisted the songs be left in, and "Easy Rider" begat countless later movies that were scored with oldies.

"The film comes alive with the electrifying entry of the Jack Nicholson character, a lawyer named George Hanson whom they meet in a jail cell. Nicholson's work in "Easy Rider" created a sensation. Audiences loved his sardonic, irreverent personality." - Roger Ebert


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