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Easy Rider (1969)

A man went looking for America. And couldn't find it anywhere.

Starring:

Antonio Mendoza

Dennis HopperDennis Hopper

Luana Anders

Luke Askew

Mac Mashourian

Peter Fonda

Phil Spector

Robert Walker Jr.

Sabrina Scharf

Sandy Brown Wyeth

Tita Colorado

Warren Finnerty

Directed by:

Dennis HopperDennis Hopper

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 95 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

Contrary to popular opinion from people who haven’t seen this iconic Sixties movie (admittedly, me until an hour ago), it’s not all just drug montages and trippy hallucination scenes. Easy Rider is all about three things – the cinematography, the soundtrack and the message. Much of the film is just shots of the two bikers against a beautiful, industrial or yokel-infeste background whilst an iconic Sixties song blares away but it’s simple yet effective stuff. With an engaging message wound in to the minimalist storyline, we have a winner as Hopper, Fonda and Southern capture all the hope and idealism of the time but also the realism as the two bikers struggle to find the America they were hoping to encounter.

The story tells of Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) who do a drugs and then go on a biking trip (petrol not lycra-and-peddle fueled) across American to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Along the way they run foul of the locals, meet a friendly, drunken lawyer (Nicholson), pick up a commune hippy (Spector) and meet a couple of lovely prostitutes (Anders and Scharf).

The three main characters act as excellent counterpoints to each other. You’ve got the cool, monosyllable Wyatt, Billy the talkative classic stoner, and the flawed face of normal society (in other words, one who likes to get drunk rather than high) tagging along for the funnies. There’s something for everyone and it’s a formula that been copied for the last thirty years.

All-in-all, it’s an excellent film but it is always going to be pretty tough for us young ‘uns to really immerse ourselves in the experience because we weren’t there, man.

It's Got: Awesome music, characters and cinematography

It Needs: Some kind of connection with the film or era

DVD Extras Digitally remastered version includes a Directors Commentary, pretty interesting 67 minute 'Shaking The Cage' featurette to get you in the mood and some filmographies -pretty standard stuff DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

Diarios de motocicleta, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Rebel Without a Cause

Summary

The original road trip movie has excellent cinematography, a thumping sountrack and three great characters. Good film if you weren’t there, awesome film if you were.

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