E is for Easy Rider

For this year’s A-To-Z Challenge, my theme is MOVIES. I will be working my way through the alphabet during the month of April with movie titles and short blurbs about each movie. Today’s movie is “Easy Rider.”

“Easy Rider” was a 1969 American independent road drama written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern, produced by Fonda, and directed by Hopper. Fonda and Hopper play two Harley-riding, hippie bikers who travel through the American Southwest and South, carrying the proceeds from a cocaine deal.

Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) are ostensibly en route to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but in reality they are on an odyssey in search of freedom and some meaning in life. Along the way they encounter an eclectic array of individuals, including George Hanson (played by a young Jack Nicholson), an establishment lawyer with a penchant for alcohol. The people they meet and the situations that follow represent the best and worst aspects of modern American life, the worst including bigotry and hatred from the inhabitants of small-town America.

The movie was a groundbreaking American countercultural film that was hailed as a youth anthem for its message of nonconformism and its reflection of social tensions in the U.S. in the late 1960s. It helped spark the “New Hollywood” of the late ’60s and early ’70s, in which a style of filmmaking based on low budgets and avant-garde directors came to the forefront. The film’s use of popular rock songs in place of original music was a concept later adopted by other filmmakers.

The movie’s bleak conclusion, in which Wyatt and Billy have a violent encounter with men in a pickup truck, is still jarring for audiences. “Easy Rider” proved a breakthrough role for Nicholson, who earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Previous A2Z 2022 posts: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

40 thoughts on “E is for Easy Rider

  1. Lou Carreras April 6, 2022 / 6:36 am

    A personal touchstone picture for me. Although I have problems with watching it these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 6, 2022 / 8:40 am

      It was brutal at the end.


  2. newepicauthor April 6, 2022 / 6:53 am

    Jack Nicholson made this movie, as without his character, it wouldn’t have been half as good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie April 6, 2022 / 8:58 am

    Great film although I think I was a bit too young at 15 to understand it all when I first saw it in the theater. I loved the music, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Melanie B Cee April 6, 2022 / 10:59 am

    I didn’t see it at the time it was released (I was nine and wouldn’t have been allowed, IF it had come to Salt Lake, which I’m pretty sure it didn’t until quite a few years later) ..when I did see it, it evoked the longing in me to hit the road (on a motorcycle, which I can’t drive in the first place). It did the same for a lot of people in my generation. Great movie, but Jack Nicholson shocked the hell out of me because of his youth primarily. I thought “Geezus that guy’s been doing acting a LOOOOOOOOOOONGGG time!) I loved anything Dennis Hopper acted in (R.I.P. dude) so those two characters alone would have won my admiration, but I also had a serious crush on Peter Honda. My heck. *PHEW* Now if you happen to review “Deliverance” (I haven’t read all your A-Z posts yet), um. You’ll have a set of counter culture seedy underbelly of America during the time frames they were set in. Good job!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Melanie B Cee April 6, 2022 / 4:27 pm

      Did I seriously type “Honda??!”. 😞😟😳. Damn whoever thought up that old ting about naming their car “Fenry Honda “!! It ought to read Peter FONDA! You’re laughing at me, I can tell! 😛😜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. JT Twissel April 6, 2022 / 11:35 am

    I saw that movie a few years ago and didn’t like it nearly as much as I did the first time – not sure why. The story-line seemed all over the place. Nicholson was a kick to watch though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 6, 2022 / 3:32 pm

      It’s been decades since I last saw it, but I can see, given the changes in the political and social climates, how it might not have aged well.


  6. Nope, Not Pam April 6, 2022 / 1:12 pm

    I’ve heard the title, but another one I’ve never seen

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marleen April 6, 2022 / 6:08 pm

    “They” pronounce “Cannes” differently nowadays, it seems to me. I think I’ll keep my eye out to see this one if I find it somewhere, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

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