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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
Easy Riders Raging Bulls
Actors: Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Peckinpah, Warren Beatty
Director: Kenneth Bowser
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2004     1hr 59min

This 2-DVD set is Kenneth Bowser?s BBC-produced documentary of Peter Biskind?s controversial, best-selling book. It chronicles the evolution of a new breed of filmmaker who, in the late ?60s and ?70s, exploded old Hollywoo...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Peckinpah, Warren Beatty
Director: Kenneth Bowser
Creators: Kenneth Bowser, Andy Cohen, David Tecson, Joe Cilibrasi, Josh Braun, Peter Biskind
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Pop, Rock & Roll, Film History & Film Making
Studio: Shout Factory Theatr
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 05/11/2004
Original Release Date: 03/09/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 03/09/2003
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 59min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Excellent documentary, but not on the DVD
Brendan Lynch | Toronto, CANADA | 08/04/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I watched this doc obsessively on my local cable movies channel. Unfortunately, the version of the film on the DVD is rather different -- most noticably that most (if not all) of the soundtrack is missing. I actually bought this DVD interested to know what song was on while they talked about "Mean Streets" -- but the only licensed music on the entire DVD is Born To Be Wild and the Jaws theme. I'm very disappointed on this regard.

But, don't get me wrong here -- this is a documentary worth seeing (and perhaps owning if you are a film buff rather than music buff). There is some excellent archival footage and home movies from the participants, and the animated transitions of movie posters and stills are very well done. The content is most likely not a surprise as everyone knows the majority of the films discussed (and the mammoth financial or artistic results). It's the backstory and the who did what with whom to allow these films to be made or released that provides interest.

Back to the DVD... one happy addition is that there is a full second disc of interviews. Very dry, but there is some interesting extra information / story tidbits and an interview with the author of the book which probably would have been welcome in the film (but wouldn't have fit it's structure perhaps).

I would recommend this DVD for film buffs and baby-boomers in general... any chance the "Original Soundtrack" might be released separately? Or perhaps the 97 minute "as seen on tv" edition as a DVD instead of this 118 minute version?"
Plodding Overview of a Unique Era in Hollywood History.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 05/29/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" is based on Peter Biskind's book of the same name which explored the rise and the fall of the director's era in Hollywood during the 1970s. The film actually starts in 1966, when the film industry was suffering low ticket sales under an obsolete studio system. The old studio bosses no longer understood their young audiences who frequented drive-ins and art house theaters. While the Nouvelle Vague raged in Europe, American movies weren't making money. A group of young filmmakers emerged, the first generation of directors to self-consciously view film as an art form: Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Warren Beatty, Sam Peckinpah, Paul Schrader, Robert Altman, Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Roger Corman, Roman Polanski. Through still photographs, film clips, interviews, and narration by William H. Macy, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" traces these filmmakers' rise to power in the 1970s under the wings of inspired producers like Robert Evans, Bert Schneider, and Peter Bart, through the Age of the Auteur, and to the eventual decline in directors' power in the late 1970s due to the rise of the special effects film and the consequences of the directors' own excesses.Hollywood of the 1970s is certainly an interesting subject, populated with interesting characters. But "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" is so plodding that it seems twice as long as it actually is. I'm fascinated by film history, but there was a point when I didn't think I'd make it through this film. And that was only half an hour into it. "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" covers a lot of ground, but it's really an overview of the changing Hollywood power structure 1966-1980 and the films that resulted. Nothing is discussed in much detail. It would have been a better film had it covered less territory in more depth. As it is, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" comes off as cursory, but long. There are a lot of interviews, but some of the most prominently featured personalities are: Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Peter Bart, Paul Schrader, and Richard Dreyfuss. "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" isn't a bad film, but for a two-hour film that seems like four, it says very little."
Impossible to Turn Off.
Bernard Chapin | CHICAGO! USA | 02/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was one of the better documentaries that I've seen this year. It has some excellent interviews with the likes of John Milius and Dennis Hopper. It really wasn't about the sixties or seventies as much as it was about the age of directorial freedom in film. Before I saw it, I knew very little about Sam Peckinpah or Martin Scorcese. They are/were fascinating people as well as artists. The same can be said about George Lucas. "Easy Riders..." explains quite well the reasons why he went into semi-retirement after "Star Wars." For any film buff, you'll be rewarded greatly by letting this play for two hours."
Absorbing documentary
David Mandau | Takoma Park, MD | 04/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First off, there's no way that a film adaptation can compare to the great book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. There's just so much detail and nuance in the book that can't be transalted to the silver screen. That said, this documentary is a valiant attempt to cover the period in which the new Hollywood (inspired largely by the French New Wave and the late-sixties counterculture in general) briefly rocked the boat before being absorbed by the moribund studio system that it revived. Of particular interest are the complete interviews on the bonus disc. You get to here some of the main and supporting players give their take on that heady time. If you love Scorcese, Coppola, et al, this DVD is a must-see."