Part of our Hollywood 1969 series celebrating the release of Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD!
After selling a large amount of smuggled cocaine in Los Angeles, two counter culture bikers in the 60’s hide their cash in their motorcycle fuel tanks and head for New Orleans, Louisiana for Mardi Gras. On their road trip, they search for the meaning of American freedom.
EASY RIDER is the late 1960s “road film” tale of a search for freedom (or the illusion of freedom) in a conformist and corrupt America, in the midst of paranoia, bigotry and violence. Released in the year of the Woodstock concert, and made in a year of two tragic assassinations (Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King), the Vietnam War buildup and Nixon’s election, the tone of this ‘alternative’ film is remarkably downbeat and bleak, reflecting the collapse of the idealistic 60s. EASY RIDER, one of the first films of its kind, was a ritualistic experience and viewed (often repeatedly) by youthful audiences in the late 1960s as a reflection of their realistic hopes of liberation and fears of the Establishment.
Produced and directed by two Hollywood iconoclasts with under a half-million non-studio dollars, EASY RIDER shook up the languishing movie industry when it grossed over $19 million in 1969; it captured the spirit of the times as it woke Hollywood up to the power of young audiences and socially relevant movies, along with such other landmarks of the late ’60s as BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE GRADUATE, and 2001.