1969. Columbia Pictures, Columbia Tristar Home Video, Color, Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1, 95 minutes, Rated R
Release Date: July 14, 1969
Easy Rider is available at Amazon.com on DVD, a Special Edition DVD, in the America Lost and Found Criterion Collection DVD Box Set, on Blue Ray, and on VHS.
Movie Synopsis: Two hippies from California take a ride through the Southwest desert to New Orleans, encountering friends and ultimately enemies in the quintessential psychedelic Sixties road trip. ~Aimee
Cast: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Luana Anders, Karen Black
Director: Dennis Hopper
Thoughts on the Movie:
Okay. Heres how I really feel about Easy Rider. Once you get past the excruciating, dull-airplane-roar, extremely-too-long, opening scene... its not a bad movie, considering. Considering what, you may ask. And you do have a valid point. Its an iconic, 1960s hippie-dippie, counter-culture film classic. I certainly agree with all of the above. And yet, with all that being said, Easy Rider just isnt one of my favorite movies.
Sure... I like it for what it represents, because Im a sixties freak and I love almost everything from that era. Yet, the film itself, the overall content, leaves me kinda cold and wanting something more... but I really have no idea what that would be. I dont think that Easy Rider could be (or should be) improved. I think the film is exactly what Dennis Hopper (and Peter Fonda) wanted it to be. And it succeeds on that level. It certainly deserves its lofty place in movie history. Although it's in my personal DVD collection, I just dont chomp at the bit to watch it. And for me, that says a lot. ~Jean
Taos Pueblo, Taos, New Mexico (see Map)
Several locations in the Taos area were used in Easy Rider, but Taos Pueblo is probably the most recognizable and picturesque site that was used in the film. Located about 1 mile northeast of Taos, Taos Pueblo is the areas most popular tourist attraction. The Pueblo encompasses 95,000 acres and about 1,900 people live there, but only 150 or so live at the Pueblo full-time.
To learn a lot more about Taos Pueblo, see our Taos Unlimited feature about the historic site.
Above Right: Taos Pueblo was one of the major locations for Easy Rider. One thousand years of Southwestern history was combined with the 1960s hippie culture to create a true cinematic classic.
About Taos, New Mexico:
Taos, New Mexico (population 4,700, elevation 6,969 feet; 36° 23 38 N, 105° 34 36 W) is located in northern New Mexico, approximately 60 miles north of Santa Fe, on US 84. Taos calls itself the Town of Taos and was incorporated as such in 1934. Taos is an enchanted town of romantic courtyards, cottonwood trees, narrow streets, and adobe walls. It is also a world-famous art and literary center (Taos boasts more artists per capita than Paris: approximately 1,336, with 96 galleries!). Taos is also a very popular ski resort in the winter and is adjacent to the historic Taos Pueblo.
To learn a lot more about Taos, see our Taos Information page.
Right: Dennis Hopper directs scenes for Easy Rider on the historic Taos Pueblo land.
Lodging & Dining:
For Recommended Hotels, Motels and Lodges in Taos, see: Taos Lodging
For Recommendations for Dining in Taos, see: Taos Food
The New Orleans scenes were filmed in 16 mm; the rest of the film was 35 mm (the standard for major motion pictures).
Jack Nicholson was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.
Jack Nicholson was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actor.
Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern were nominated for the Academy Award in the category of Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Material Not Previously Published or Produced.
Dennis Hopper won for Best First Work at the Cannes Film Festival.
Dennis Hopper was nominated for Best Director by the Directors Guild of America.
Right: Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda ride their choppers through the historic Taos Pueblo, just outside of Taos, New Mexico, in the cult classic 1969 film, Easy Rider. This is one of the few movies that was allowed to shoot footage on pueblo land.
The Captain America jacket was designed by Peter Fonda and made by two little old ladies in Los Angeles. It was later sold at a charity auction.
Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson were actually smoking marijuana on camera. LSD, however, was not actually used during the acid scene, as Fonda has stated.
Left: Dennis Hopper - Right: Peter Fonda.
Peter Fonda was an experienced motorcycle rider and the bike he rides in the movie is seriously stretched and raked and has tall apehanger style handlebars. Dennis Hopper was not as experienced a rider, therefore his bike is less radically chopped.
Dennis Hopper had the original cut of the film at an estimated three hours in length. Upon reviewing it with some of the other key members of the production staff, the length was cut down to 95 minutes.
Easy Rider was one of the first films to make extensive use of previously released musical tracks rather than a specially written film score. Of course, this is common now, but was quite unusual at the time.
Character Quote: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I cant understand whats gone wrong with it. ~George Hanson (Jack Nicholson)