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Easy Rider (1969)

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Through the open country and desert lands, two bikers head from L.A to New Orleans, and along the way, meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap they are unaware of.

Director:

Dennis Hopper
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Popularity
1,578 ( 956)
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 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:

It's here! EASY RIDER ...the biggest hit in the cinema today! (British Quad) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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:

$400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$41,728,598

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,000,000, 31 January 1972
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In total, four former police bikes were used in the film. The 1949, 1950, and 1952 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide bikes were purchased at an auction for five hundred dollars, the equivalent to about thirty-four hundred dollars in 2015. Each bike had a back-up, to make sure that shooting could continue in case one of the old machines failed or got wrecked accidentally. One "Captain America" was demolished in the final scene, while the other three were stolen, and probably taken apart before their significance as movie props became known. The demolished bike was rebuilt by Dan Haggerty, and shown in a museum. He sold it at an auction in 2001. It now resides at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa. Many replicas have been built since the film's release. See more »

Goofs

Wyatt and Billy are going to the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. This indicates that they are traveling in either late January or early February, given that Mardi Gras usually takes place in mid February. Despite this, and despite the number of states they drive through, the men never drive through an area of cold weather. Many of the characters they meet are wearing summer style clothes, and the weather is most obvious in New Mexico, where the winters can be extremely hard with lots of snow. See more »

Quotes

Captain America: Did you ever wanna be somebody else?
Stranger on the Highway: I'd like to try Porky Pig.
Captain America: I never wanted to be anybody else.
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Connections

Referenced in The Doors (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wasn't Born to Follow
Performed by The Byrds
Composed by Gerry Goffin & Carole King
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The American Dream/Nightmare
25 August 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider is often cited as being an all time classic, and while I don't think this is a great film in terms of technical brilliance, it sums up the era it was made and the tongue in cheek, cynical take on the 'American dream' is both potent and well done. This film is very much a product of the sixties and, like many things from the decade, will always be fondly remembered. Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, men of substance and substance abuse, wrote the film together and Hopper directed it. These two were obviously in the thick of what was cool in the sixties, and that gives the film an element of authenticity as we feel like what we're seeing isn't too far away from the things really going on at that time. The plot is simple and more just a base for the film to deliver it's real sting than anything else. It follows two motorbike riders on their way from Los Angeles to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. We follow their exploits as they travel the country meeting various people including, most notably, George Hanson; an offbeat lawyer, played by the great Jack Nicholson.

The American Dream has always been about freedom. But like George Hanson says; it's one thing to talk about being free, but something else entirely to actually be it. That's the theme of the entire movie, and the way that it plays out, and the ending especially, aptly portray the difference between saying something and actually doing it. The acting performances are a big part of the movie, and the two leads; Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper stick out the most. The two actors brilliantly get into their characters, and after a while you forget that you're watching actors and start to think that these people really are these characters. Jack Nicholson turns up halfway through and steals the show. It's not hard to see why this actor went on to become one of the best of all time. Even here, he shows his charisma and ability to steal the show and that is what he would go on to become famous for doing later in his career. Last but not least, another great thing about Easy Rider is the music. Music was, of course, a big thing in the sixties; and it's a big thing about this movie. Classic rock accompanies the pictures of the two men rider their bikes, and it's very cool indeed. On the whole, this film is an out and out classic.


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