James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
Drug-runners Fonda and Hopper take to their choppers and discover an intolerant America. The film that became an anthem for the 1960s cultural dialogue on freedom, individualism and patriotism
By all accounts, Easy Rider should never have been made. Legend has it, for instance, that Peter Fonda hired a bodyguard during filming to protect him from a drug-ravaged, gun-toting Dennis Hopper. The amateur crew had jumped aboard the production's love bus for the hedonistic ride and, as director, Hopper had no idea where he was driving.
These elements seem only to have sharpened the film's seminal edge while the story, about two biking drug-runners discovering an intolerant America on the proceeds of a coke deal, epitomized the 'Born To Be Wild' mantra of the nation's new youth.
Highlights include the magnificently shot American landscape, the acid soaked Mardi Gras scene, Fonda's Captain America chopper and, of course, the martyrological implication of the film's closure.
Easy Rider made stars of Nicholson, film soundtracks and cocaine, and led the independent revolt against the studios in the late 1960s.
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