Director – Dennis Hopper
Writers – Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, Terry Southern
What can you say about Easy Rider that hasn’t already been said? It’s a film about some guys, Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper), who ride across the country on motorbikes. That’s the basic summary, but there’s more to it than that. The creators, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, could never agree on who officially wrote it, not realising that they both probably did together, but were too frazzled to remember. It was the sixties, after all. There are hitch-hikers and crazy communes, dirty deals and a psychedelic trip to Mardi Gras, all shot with stunning cinematography. Jack Nicholson comes along for the ride in a spectacular performance as affable lawyer George Hanson who wants to cut loose, and each actor contributes to the glowing whole in its intense entirity.
The soundtrack itself was revolutionary too, taking in Bob Dylan, Steppenwolf and the irascible Holy Modal Rounders amongst others, creating a swathe of free-wheeling odes to freedom, liberty and sticking it to The Man.
This is an exploration of the American Dream, and some of the realities that arise from it after you wake up. Ultimately, if you resist the Establishment, you pay the price.