DENNIS HOPPER | USA | 1969 | 95 MIN | R | ENGLISH, SPANISH | 4K
With the Summer of Love in the rearview mirror, Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and satirist Terry Southern sought to capture the broken remains of the counterculture movement across the southern landscape of America. An unloading of cocaine means a cool amount of cash stuffed into Wyatt’s (Fonda) gas tank at the outset of the film. The emblematic motorcyclist takes to the road with his freewheeling accomplice Billy (Hopper) and a stacked soundtrack of songs by the likes of Steppinwolf, The Byrds, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Like any good bildungsroman, Wyatt and Billy encounter the ghosts of free loving hippys past, squares, police, and Jack Nicholson as an ACLU lawyer-cum-alcoholic while trying to make sense of the fraught decade. EASY RIDER may be remembered most for its generational defining imagery, but it’s wayward hopelessness and bleak ending hit hard long after the record ends.
Cast: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Antonio Mendoza
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Part of the Philadelphia Film Society’s FILM ESSENTIALS series.
Cinema’s greatest treasures as they were meant to be seen: on the biggest screen in Center City!