Easy Rider 1969 Dir. Dennis Hopper
In the late 1960's bikers and acid trips were all the rage in movies, but mostly in low budget exploitation flicks. Peter Fonda decided to do something different with this genre, and went to work on a project with his buddy Dennis Hopper. It was Fonda's idea to have Hopper direct the film. They set out to make a road movie that would engage "kids", with a promise of rebellion against the establishment, drugs, sex, and freedom on the open road -- all very popular and romantic ideas in youth culture at the time. All fine and dandy, but there was more going on: Wyatt, AKA Captain America (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) SEEMED like cool dudes, but as we come to see, there is much to consider and in the end, as Wyatt says, "we blew it, man". This is exactly what is interesting about Easy Rider: that these two were trying to be something else, to do something different than what "normal" society was offering, yet they didn't see that what they were doing was essentially the same thing just dressed up differently: They were trying to grab the brass ring and then "retire". How much more bourgeois could they be?
Moreover, Wyatt and Billy were NOT to be taken as paragons of counter cultural insight to be held in high esteem by youth culture, though it might appear this way on the surface. On the other hand, the enemy wasn't necessarily the conservatives or the right, but rather a mindset unwilling to look at alternative possibilities. The whole notion of what these two are supposed to represent is subverted, which makes Easy Rider way more interesting. If this all sounds a little too abstract or political for a "biker" movie, that's ok, see it and it'll all fall into place. Oh yeah, Jack Nicholson turns in a fantastic, career making performance here as well. See it!