For me, this is one of the best films ever.
Jim Gourley has very kindly done some clips of the movie here.
What follows is a tribute to this great movie, presented as a short essay, followed by a "click"-able index of each stage of the film, and last but not least the guided tour itself presented as individual pages describing each major scene using stills taken from the film.
A Short Essay
Although much intellectual critique has been directed at this film, for me, quite simply, Easy Rider is inspiring, beautiful, disturbing, humorous, provocative, thoughtful ... something I liked to get lost in.
Throughout much of the beginning we are entranced in a world of dreamy scenes, as the two heroes Wyatt and Billy, (Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper), cruise it down the road to 60's rock'n'roll hits.
As we travel with them we encounter all manner of people ranging from actors, farmers, young families, and young people. The mood turns scary when a turn of events unfolds with the murder of a new found friend and passanger about half way along the film. The scenes that follow this event reveal much of the underlying social tension.
I now believe that at least seven distinct themes occur in the film... (I've watched the film quite a few times.)
• The Definitive Youth Odyssey of the 1960's
• A Search for Oneself
• An Inquiry into Morals, and Values
• Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll
• Male bonding
• The Meaning of Life; in particular God, Spirituality, and Death
• The Hippie Ideal
• The Clash of Society's values with those of our riders
The motorcycle is a focal point in each case.
Each "theme" could constitute a complete interpretation of the film, like a point of view. These are just seven I've come with having reflected on it. Have a surf through these pages and see what YOU think. Or even better, watch the film, then surf through these pages, then you can really compare.
Music in Easy Rider
I've compiled a little list of the music in Easy Rider, taken from the rolling credits at the end, here it is ...
• SteppenWolf, "The Pusher", Hoyt Axton
• SteppenWolf, "Born to be Wild", Mars Bornfire
• The Byrds, "I Wasn't Born to Follow", Gerry Goffin & Carole King
• The Band, "The Weight", Jaime Robbie Robertson
• The Holy Modal Rounders, "If You Want to be a Bird", Antonia Duren
• Fraternity of Man, "Don't Bogart Me", lead vocals by Larry Wagner
• The Jimi Hendrix Experience, "If Six Was Nine", Jimi Hendrix
• Little Eva, "Let's Turkey Trot", Gerry Goffin & Jack Keller
• The Electric Prunes, "Kyrie Eleison", David Axelrod
• The Electric Flag an American Music Band, "Flash, Bam, Pow", Mike Bloomfield
• Roger McGuinn, "It's Alright Ma, (I'm Only Bleeding.)", Bob Dylan
• Roger McGuinn, "Ballad of Easy Rider", Roger McGuinn
About the Walkthrough
I've split the film into eleven parts, (sixteen now that I've added background RealAudio) to make it easier for me. (Otherwise I wouldn't know where to start.) You can click on each of these headings to jump straight to the relevant bit of the film. From the story pages, you can navigate back and forth using the signpost icons. Don't forget to visit my friend's Easy Rider sites; you can do this from the Links page.
• Insights from People Contributing to EZrider
• Books on Easy Rider
2. The Farmer and his Family
3. The Hitchhiker I
4. The Hitchhiker II
5. Hippie Commune I
6. Hippie Commune II
7. Hippie Commune III
8. Parading Without a License I
9. Parading Without a License II
10. Free at Last
11. George Smokes a Joint
12. The Redneck Cafe
13. Attack in the Night
14. The House of Blue Lights
15. Mardi Gras
16. The Trip
17. End of the Film
18. Links on Easy Rider