Easy Rider is a 1969 American independent road drama film written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern, produced by Fonda, and directed by Hopper. Fonda and Hopper play two bikers who travel through the American Southwest and South, carrying the proceeds from a cocaine deal. The success of Easy Rider helped spark the New Hollywood era of filmmaking during the early 1970s.
A landmark counterculture film, and a "touchstone for a generation" that "captured the national imagination," Easy Rider explores the societal landscape, issues, and tensions towards adolescents in the United States during the 1960s, such as the rise of the hippie movement, drug use, and communal lifestyle. Real drugs were used in scenes showing the use of marijuana and other substances.
Easy Rider was released by Columbia Pictures on July 14, 1969, grossing $60 million worldwide from a filming budget of no more than $400,000. Critics have praised the performances, directing, writing, soundtrack, and visuals. Hopper, Fonda and Southern were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay later on. Easy Rider was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1998.
Partners and friends Wyatt and Billy buy drugs in Mexico and sell them in Los Angeles, raising money to travel to the Mardi Grass in New Orleans on their chopper-style bikes. They cross the country on a musical ride through spectacular landscapes and encounter counterculture groups and experience small-town intolerance for their looks and lifestyle.
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