Why it’s famous:
A landmark counter-culture movie, Easy Rider captures the essence of a seemingly long-lost era. Telling the story of two bikers exploring the American southwest, this movie transports the viewer into a time most of us try to capture without much authenticity. Many of us will admit to naively buying vintage records and using the 1977 filter on Instagram, and yet have no real truth of what that era was like except hearing excerpts from our parents.
George Hanson: They are not scared of you. They are scared of what you represent to ‘em.
Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.
GH: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.
GH: I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace.
Why you haven’t seen it:
You saw the poster, you watched the preview, and you came to the conclusion that it looked like a lame trip down memory lane for your baby boomer parents.
Why it might be tough to get through:
Easy Rider hits you with the double-whammy of a slow pace and little to no storyline, which keeps you scratching your head thinking, where could this possibly be going? For a movie where most scenes involve riding, it doesn’t really go the distance in terms of storytelling.
Why you should see it anyway:
This isn’t a flick to throw on when you’re tired and want to chill out. It’s a movie that has to be experienced. The point is not so much to keep you on the edge of your seat with excitement, it’s about bringing you into the whole mentality of a different place and time. The film achieves this through beautiful cinematography, flawless performances, and delightfully light dialogue, counterbalanced by heavy underlying themes. It remains a very profound social commentary that at any given point might strike a chord somewhere inside your cold, institutionalized, modern heart. So sit back, grab a beer, weave some macrame, and enjoy the ride, man.
- Peter Fonda wore the Captain America jacket and rode his chopper a week around Los Angeles before shooting to give them a broken-in look and to get used to riding the radically designed bike.
- It was one of the first films to make extensive use of previously released musical tracks rather than a specially written film score. This is common with films now but was quite unusual at the time.