Easy Rider Reviews

  • May 07, 2021

    Easy Rider feels more like a state of mind than your typical movie. Billy (Dennis Hopper) and Wyatt (Peter Fonda) are vessels that carry us through different aspects of Americana. The film doesn't linger in one place for too long, mimicking the transient lifestyle of its protagonists. This style gives it an almost Terrence Malick-like quality, in which Easy Rider is more concerned with the essence of the 1960's counterculture movement than a traditional plot. While I appreciate this aspect, it doesn't resonate with me as a viewer, in part because I'm watching it almost 50 years after its release. For my money, the best scenes are the ones with George Hanson (Jack Nicholson.) He is chewing up every inch of carpet in range. His appearance and performance made me perk up in a way unlike anything else in this film. Billy and Wyatt are such laid back and uninteresting character's that Nicholson's presence adds immediate zest. Also, while this movie doesn't have any ground-breaking insights into the counterculture movement, the ending of this film is its most striking and poetic moment.

    Easy Rider feels more like a state of mind than your typical movie. Billy (Dennis Hopper) and Wyatt (Peter Fonda) are vessels that carry us through different aspects of Americana. The film doesn't linger in one place for too long, mimicking the transient lifestyle of its protagonists. This style gives it an almost Terrence Malick-like quality, in which Easy Rider is more concerned with the essence of the 1960's counterculture movement than a traditional plot. While I appreciate this aspect, it doesn't resonate with me as a viewer, in part because I'm watching it almost 50 years after its release. For my money, the best scenes are the ones with George Hanson (Jack Nicholson.) He is chewing up every inch of carpet in range. His appearance and performance made me perk up in a way unlike anything else in this film. Billy and Wyatt are such laid back and uninteresting character's that Nicholson's presence adds immediate zest. Also, while this movie doesn't have any ground-breaking insights into the counterculture movement, the ending of this film is its most striking and poetic moment.

  • Apr 05, 2021

    Beautifully shot, well acted and socially relevant for it’s time. Easy Rider set the groundwork for the New Hollywood Era and has inspired generation after generation of filmmakers.

    Beautifully shot, well acted and socially relevant for it’s time. Easy Rider set the groundwork for the New Hollywood Era and has inspired generation after generation of filmmakers.

  • Mar 02, 2021

    One of the greatest anti-establishment films ever made. They go off looking for America but it was America that was not ready for them.

    One of the greatest anti-establishment films ever made. They go off looking for America but it was America that was not ready for them.

  • Jan 28, 2021

    This to me encapsulates the 'American Dream', its definitely not, 'Land of the free'. An all round nice watch.

    This to me encapsulates the 'American Dream', its definitely not, 'Land of the free'. An all round nice watch.

  • Jan 22, 2021

    A movie that's hard on the rednecks. The nasty crowd in the restaurant was told that the bikers had recently raped and murdered a woman. That makes their rage a bit easier to understand. "Easy Rider" offers the strange blend of communal optimism, rebellion, and fear that was present in the Sixties. Everything was possible. Nothing was possible. Maybe things will get better. Maybe.

    A movie that's hard on the rednecks. The nasty crowd in the restaurant was told that the bikers had recently raped and murdered a woman. That makes their rage a bit easier to understand. "Easy Rider" offers the strange blend of communal optimism, rebellion, and fear that was present in the Sixties. Everything was possible. Nothing was possible. Maybe things will get better. Maybe.

  • Jan 05, 2021

    Una historia que sigue trascendiendo decadas.

    Una historia que sigue trascendiendo decadas.

  • Nov 22, 2020

    While the world started adopting independent filmmaking as a viable method to create widely consumable films in the 1940s and 50s, it wasn't until Easy Rider in 1969 that the USA caught on. In an interview with Peter Fonda, he recalls his father telling him the film was a horrible idea and a mistake to invest in: "it needs more story, more structure." But what Henry Fonda didn't realize, is that Peter and the rest of the motley crew of cinematic merry pranksters were out to capture the essence of the counterculture. While Films like Roger Corman's, The Trip, attempted to recreate the counter culture (interestingly, written by Jack Nicholson) Easy Rider was a direct product of that life, a capturing of it, where the line between reality and fiction is blurred. With a nod to the neorealists of Italy in the 1940s, Easy Rider employs a number of non-actors and is shot entirely on location. It almost has the feel of a documentary, which is exactly why it was such a whopping success. Unlike the contrived look and feel of say, Zabriskie Point (Antonioni's film paid for by the studios) which was poorly received, both critically and commercially. In Easy Rider, we get a slice of life look at America in the late 60s. Like most great road movies, we meet a slew of fascinating characters from different walks of life: Native Americans, hippies, cops, sweet southerners, hostile red necks and more. Though none so memorable as the young Lawyer played by Jack Nicholson, who from this film forward would remain in the stratosphere of the greats. Hopper's direction is on point, and if it wasn't for the Studios writing him off for his attitude and personal style, his next film The Last Movie (which won multiple awards internationally) would have had national success and potentially kept him atop the directing throne for years to come. In Easy Rider, we have an ambling groovy cascading structure that culminates in some of the most heavy hitting emotional action of any film I've seen. Not so much because the construction of drama is so precise but because the weight of the loss feels so heavy, so unnecessary, cruel, unusual and evil. The surprise of death, the unfairness of it all, resonates with a bizarre truth. We understand it, because what's captured and conveyed is the deeper sickness of America that still endangers our minds and hearts today. While there are race and class wars, at the root of division is a deep personal fear, as George Hanson explains: "Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em." That is as true now as it was 1969. When you break the rules it can work, but that doesn't mean people will trust or want you. Easy Rider is a one-of-a-kind experiment and a helluva ride. Hopper with his chops, from his then short lifetime in the cinema, and a team of greats - including the fabulous László Kovács behind the camera - created a time capsule of history. The film is an example of what can happen when cinematic artists collaborate not for commercial gain, but out of personal passion and a desire for truth.

    While the world started adopting independent filmmaking as a viable method to create widely consumable films in the 1940s and 50s, it wasn't until Easy Rider in 1969 that the USA caught on. In an interview with Peter Fonda, he recalls his father telling him the film was a horrible idea and a mistake to invest in: "it needs more story, more structure." But what Henry Fonda didn't realize, is that Peter and the rest of the motley crew of cinematic merry pranksters were out to capture the essence of the counterculture. While Films like Roger Corman's, The Trip, attempted to recreate the counter culture (interestingly, written by Jack Nicholson) Easy Rider was a direct product of that life, a capturing of it, where the line between reality and fiction is blurred. With a nod to the neorealists of Italy in the 1940s, Easy Rider employs a number of non-actors and is shot entirely on location. It almost has the feel of a documentary, which is exactly why it was such a whopping success. Unlike the contrived look and feel of say, Zabriskie Point (Antonioni's film paid for by the studios) which was poorly received, both critically and commercially. In Easy Rider, we get a slice of life look at America in the late 60s. Like most great road movies, we meet a slew of fascinating characters from different walks of life: Native Americans, hippies, cops, sweet southerners, hostile red necks and more. Though none so memorable as the young Lawyer played by Jack Nicholson, who from this film forward would remain in the stratosphere of the greats. Hopper's direction is on point, and if it wasn't for the Studios writing him off for his attitude and personal style, his next film The Last Movie (which won multiple awards internationally) would have had national success and potentially kept him atop the directing throne for years to come. In Easy Rider, we have an ambling groovy cascading structure that culminates in some of the most heavy hitting emotional action of any film I've seen. Not so much because the construction of drama is so precise but because the weight of the loss feels so heavy, so unnecessary, cruel, unusual and evil. The surprise of death, the unfairness of it all, resonates with a bizarre truth. We understand it, because what's captured and conveyed is the deeper sickness of America that still endangers our minds and hearts today. While there are race and class wars, at the root of division is a deep personal fear, as George Hanson explains: "Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em." That is as true now as it was 1969. When you break the rules it can work, but that doesn't mean people will trust or want you. Easy Rider is a one-of-a-kind experiment and a helluva ride. Hopper with his chops, from his then short lifetime in the cinema, and a team of greats - including the fabulous László Kovács behind the camera - created a time capsule of history. The film is an example of what can happen when cinematic artists collaborate not for commercial gain, but out of personal passion and a desire for truth.

  • Oct 19, 2020

    Feels like one of those "you had to be there" movies from an era too long ago to hold sentimental value for most people. Objectively boring and not worth a watch by today's standards.

    Feels like one of those "you had to be there" movies from an era too long ago to hold sentimental value for most people. Objectively boring and not worth a watch by today's standards.

  • Sep 20, 2020

    Amazing look into the lifestyle of america and hippie culture in the 60s! It's well made, great performances, and solid story! Great film!

    Amazing look into the lifestyle of america and hippie culture in the 60s! It's well made, great performances, and solid story! Great film!

  • Sep 13, 2020

    Perhaps a bit too direct in its reflections of the emerging cultural shift in the late '60s, speaking to the moral strengths and literal shortcomings of the counterculture movement, but so influential on the emergence of the novel style of American filmmaking called New Hollywood with its unique cuts and editing, and in particular on the development of the more conventional road movie (inspiring an endless combination of Steppenwolf and asphalt) that it cannot be ignored. Interesting in that it likely invites multiple interpretations of its main characters; to the more liberally minded, Fonda and Hopper are the ultimate expressions of the self-liberated, going whereever they want, while others may see the pair in a more literal sense, as a couple of drifters who smuggle drugs and provide no tangible benefit to society. Still, the film does literally have local law enforcement and their conservative supporters kill an ACLU lawyer, so it's not exactly a seminar in subtlety the whole way through. (4/5)

    Perhaps a bit too direct in its reflections of the emerging cultural shift in the late '60s, speaking to the moral strengths and literal shortcomings of the counterculture movement, but so influential on the emergence of the novel style of American filmmaking called New Hollywood with its unique cuts and editing, and in particular on the development of the more conventional road movie (inspiring an endless combination of Steppenwolf and asphalt) that it cannot be ignored. Interesting in that it likely invites multiple interpretations of its main characters; to the more liberally minded, Fonda and Hopper are the ultimate expressions of the self-liberated, going whereever they want, while others may see the pair in a more literal sense, as a couple of drifters who smuggle drugs and provide no tangible benefit to society. Still, the film does literally have local law enforcement and their conservative supporters kill an ACLU lawyer, so it's not exactly a seminar in subtlety the whole way through. (4/5)