Two hippie bikers set out to discover the real America and wind up taking the ultimate bad trip. Special features: Dennis Hopper audio commentary, production notes, interactive menus, talent files, scene selections, subtit... more »les in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and much more.« less
Don T. (Donzilla) from CASTLE ROCK, WA Reviewed on 6/7/2008...
I know it supposed to be a classic, and it does have some beautiful cinematography and shots of landscapes. And motorbikes. BUT it's plagued with uninspiring dialogue, and is ultimately depressing. It lacks redemption.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Classic Late 60's Hippy/Biker Movie Worth Owning!
highway_star | Hallandale, Florida United States | 10/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Easy Rider" directed by Dennis Hopper, produced by Peter Fonda and written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern was a low budget film ($340 grand) that surprisingly became a box office smash. The story is about two hippys (Fonda & Hopper) who buy choppers with cash they've gotten from a drug deal. They ride cross country heading to Louisianna (to Mardi Gras) and on their way meeting different people, visiting a commune of hippys, ending up in jail, going to a brothel, taking acid etc. The ending was disturbing in 1969 and still is, even in these days of non-stop violence in our country. This 35th Anniversary Edition is identical to the regular dvd version of "Easy Rider" with the exact same bonus material "The Making-Of Documentary "Easy Rider: Shaking The Cage" (feat. interviews with Fonda, Hopper, etc.) and an audio commentary by Dennis Hopper plus production notes. The bonuses for this 35th Anniversary Edition are a cd which includes eight songs (do not confuse this cd with the actual "Easy Rider Soundtrack" as it is not). The songs are "Born To Be Wild" - Steppenwolf, "The Weight" - Smith, "Nights In White Satin" - The Moody Blues, "Wasn't Born To Follow" - The Byrds, "San Francisco Nights" - Eric Burden And The Animals, "The Pusher" - Steppenwolf, "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" - Roger McGuinn and "Get Together" - The Youngbloods. The 80 page book "Easy Rider" by Lee Hill is interesting and includes all you'll ever want to know about the film. The bottom line is, if you already own the regular dvd of "Easy Rider" I'd pass on this 35th Anniversary Edition. Of course, if you don't own this classic film it may be worth the extra cash for the bonus cd and book."
Get Your Motor Runnin'; Head Out On the Highway
highway_star | 10/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this title because I am a motorcyclist. If you have never ridden one and want to know what it is like, this movie will take you on a virtual road trip from Los Angeles through beautiful mountain scenery down to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The two stars, Peter Fonda (Wyatt) and Dennis Hopper (Billy), head out on the highway to the motorcycle anthem, "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf, and there are some fantastic camera shots of them crossing the Colorado River. If that scene doesn't get your blood pumping, then you can be assured that motorcycling isn't for you. There's a lot more to this movie than just scenic motorcycling and sixties music. A typical biker movie has a weak plot, usually involving some gang terrorizing the local community. Before creating this movie, Fonda and Jack Nicholson (George), as well as some of the other cast members all appeared in such flicks. By contrast, "Easy Rider" is really a mold-breaker for its type, because it involves a lot of social commentary.Early in the movie, Billy and Wyatt pick up a stranger along the highway, who turns out to be the leader of a commune. He is a dead ringer for John Lennon, when he had his Sgt. Pepper look. Wyatt and the stranger get along well, but Billy is suspicious of the hitchhiker. They take him back to his commune and hang out for awhile there with the people. Wyatt fits in OK, but Billy is not generally respected. Many of them make fun of Billy. For some time, this was very hard for me to account for, since Billy is a freak.I did not gain any insights into this until I read the book, "Riders On the Storm" by Doors' drummer, John Densmore. In it, he explains how the Doors, who were from Los Angeles, were not invited to play the Monterey Pop Festival. San Francisco flower power was about peace and love, and Jim Morrison, the lead singer, gave off an aggressive vibe. Densmore also said that some famous flower power musicians did not want to be publicly associated with The Doors. For instance, John Sebastian agreed to play harmonica on "Roadhouse Blues," but he would not allow his real name to be used in the credits. I believe that the difference in values between Los Angeles and San Francisco is crucial to understanding why Billy was rejected by the commune members.Wyatt and Billy are not from San Francisco, and they do not wear psychedelic clothing. They hail from Los Angeles, and they are preoccupied with freedom--not peace and love. Billy has a real aggressive vibe to him. He is very confrontational, and he doesn't get along well with others. Wyatt is more of a seeker. He is open-minded and interested in what other people have to offer. They're both rich, but not through legal or reputable means. They smuggled some cocaine across the border from Baja, Mexico, and then they sold it for a huge profit. The two are friends, and they seem to have accepted each others strengths and weaknesses.The movie makes some clear statements about sixties social values and morals. In other cases, it brings up issues, but doesn't reach any firm conclusions. The movie ends tragically, but it isn't an indictment of flower power. Billy had rejected peace and love, and had he not reacted in the confrontational manner that he did, things might have turned out differently. This movie is about the tradgedy and failure of hate--and the need for peace, love, and understanding. I give this movie a five-star rating because it documents the issues of the times so effectively. As a motorcycle movie, this production is practically unbeatable because it has captured the spirit of motorcycling so well."
"Helmut? Oh, I got a helmut..."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 01/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Easy Rider is a truly landmark film in the true sense of the meaning of the term. Produced on a very low budget and set in the late 60's it was, in my opinion, the first movie to really capture a particularly interesting moment in time. While many films sort of used the notion of the late 60's, drugs, sex, rebellion, idealism, as a means to make money, this seemed really the first film to accurately reflect a realistic image of the time period with an unflinching eye.Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper play Wyatt, or Captain America, and Billy, two free type spirits who, after a making quite a bit of money through a sale of drugs, decide to hit the road and drive cross country to Mardi Gras. Along the way, they pick up George Hanson, a southern lawyer, played by Jack Nicholson.While watching this movie, you may get a sense that it is sort of a western, with the western landscapes and the main characters riding 'iron' horses. This was the intention of the filmmakers, especially the director, Dennis Hopper. One of my favorite scenes was at the beginning, right before Wyatt and Billy are about to embark on their trip, Wyatt removes his watch and throws it on the ground. This symbolized a sense of throwing off the constraints of the old world and an effort to embrace true freedom, if there is such a thing.Nicholson tends to steal the scenes he is in, and gives a particularly wonderful piece about what freedom is, and why people are so afraid of it. He sort of represented to me one who has been fed many misconceptions about the individuals and movement Wyatt and Billy represent, but once in their company, finds that much of what he has been told may not be true. A sort of individual caught between the generations.The film is dated, but that didn't detract anything for me. The only scene I really didn't care for was when Wyatt, Billy, Mary (Toni Basil), and Karen (Karen Black) drop acid in a Louisiana cemetery and proceed to trip for an extended period of time. Along with wonderful performances, much credit must go to the cinematographer, as the landscapes are beautiful, especially the wide shots of the western scenery. They are truly breathtaking. And the music used was exceptionally good, fitting each scene and helping to create the proper mood throughout the film.The movie presented here looks excellent, in anamorphic wide screen, and includes a commentary by Dennis Hopper. Also included is a wonderful 'Making of' featurette called Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage which really helps to illustrate all that went into making this film. The production, at time, often reflected the turbulent times of when the film was made, and helps to give more flavor to the movie, really enhancing the overall effect. All in all, Easy Rider is a wonderful slice of outsider Hollywood that captured the true essence of an exceptionally turbulent time in America."
UNEVEN QUALITY TO TRANSFER REMAINS IN TACT
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 09/26/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Easy Rider" is the 60s counter-culture classic that seems to wreak slightly of formaldehyde today. It stars Peter Fonda (Wyatt) and Dennis Hopper (Bill) as a pair of drugged out loners who trade a formidable amount of cocaine to `Connection' (Phil Specter) for a sizable amount of cash. Unfortunately, the best that either Wyatt or Bill can think of doing with their new found wealth is to mount a pair of truly sweet cycles and roam the countryside - looking for trouble and, ultimately finding more than they bargained for. Along the way they enter into an on again off again tempestuous relationship with loose canon George Hanson (Jack Nicholson). Together the boys go through a heap of money, a string of hookers and more than a few ounces of psychedelic trippin'. Nothing seems to help cleanse these reprobates of their rebel without a clue - little boys lost - syndrome. Fueled by a soundtrack that features Steppenwolf's classic "Born to Be Wild," "Easy Rider" is anything but, and perhaps, the closest realization of the decade's hippy counterculture ever put on film. That it today seems quaint in its hostility toward authority only serves to reflect just how lost contemporary film culture is.
Previously, "Easy Rider" had been made available through Columbia Tristar in a moderately pleasing DVD transfer. If you're thinking of upgrading to this new 35th Anniversary edition for a better print of the film don't bother. This is the exact same transfer and extras previously made available. The only pluses to this edition are an extra CD of the film's soundtrack and a nicely put together pocket book on the making of the film. But the DVD quality remains the same. As for the quality of the transfer - beginning as it does with several long shots of the boys on their bikes, there is a remarkable amount of resolution to be had in the image. Fine details are nicely realized for the most part and colors, while slightly dated, exhibit a fairly accurate level of contrast and balance. Unfortunately, roughly mid-way through this transfer some strange digital happenings begin to occur, beginning with the flashback sequence in which Wyatt and Bill pick up a pair of hookers. Designed to reflect to an audience that the sequence is going on in the mind of the boys, its exceptionally grainy and slightly out of focus with a bleached out color scheme that is unflattering to say the least. On top of the inherent grain in the print we get an exceptional amount of digital grit which generally makes for a very harsh looking image. Also, the print quality after the flashback - which until its insertion had been moderately pleasing to very nicely done - is increasingly riddled with age related artifacts and grain which degrades the final third of the film's image quality. I really am unable to account for the reason this occurs but it does and is distracting. The audio is 5.1 and, as expected, dated. Dialogue is never natural sounding, obviously manufactured post production studio recordings that are tinny at best. The one kick that the audio gets is in its throbbing rock score that jumps to life with an explosive bass and vibrating treble.
The Death of The '60s
Briggs May | Richmond, VA | 10/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Plot: Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda are two drug dealers from L.A. who get rich selling coke to Phil Spector(imagine that...). They celebrate by hitting the road on their choppers towards Mardi Gras. Among many of the kind Americans they run into along the way is the one and only Jack Nicholson, an alcoholic ACLU attorney who helps them out of jail. In return, they decide to take him to New Orleans with them and get him stoned in the process (the funniest scene in the movie--Nicholson offers an inspiring monologue concerning extraterrestrial intelligence). Enduring harassment and abuse from the rural locals, they arrive at Mardi Gras. Tony Basil(!) is one of the hookers they drop acid with in the graveyard (an unsettling psychedelic sequence only surpassed by the climax of "2001: A Space Odyssey"). Sounds great, doesn't it? It is. Despite its flaws and shortcomings, this is an American classic not to be missed. Any fan of independent films will adore this movie (check out "Midnight Cowboy", too, if you like this one). The acting is amateurish but the script is inspired, and the cinematography and soundtrack are terrific. This movie is a symbolic snuff film, and the American Dream is the victim in the spotlight. It foreshadows the paranoia and hostility that would later precipitate the War On Drugs and, now, the War On Terror. Ironically, the alcoholic lawyer played by Jack Nicholson is the only person that has a clear and sober idea of what is going on, and he is quickly silenced by the barbaric locals. The two main characters themselves have a vague idea of it, but are too caught up in their own hedonism to see it clearly. Near the end of the film, Peter Fonda grimly concludes: "We blew it." Ouch--the truth hurts; I wasn't even alive in the '60s and I'm still feeling it today."