Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Easy Rider Sell's Out

Easy Rider (1969) is the incomic sixties "road film". A tale of a search for freedom and rebellion in a conformist America, in the midst of paranoia, bigotry and violence. Released in the year of 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 by youthful audiences in the late 1960s as a reflection of their realistic hopes of liberation and fears of the Establishment.

The protagonists are two bikers. Their look has become an icon of the counter culture. One is a cool and introspective "Captain America" Wyatt (Peter Fonda) on a gleaming, silver-chromed low-riding bike with a 'stars-and-stripes' tear-drop gas tank, wearing a tight leather pants held at the waist by a round belt-buckle and a black leather jacket with an American flag emblazoned on the back; also with a 'stars-and-stripes' helmet.

The other a mustached and shaggy, long-haired Billy the Kid (Dennis Hopper), with a tan-colored bush hat, fringed buckskin jacket, shades, and an Indian necklace of animals' teeth.

'Captain America Sells His Booty.
In September 2007 Peter Fonda announced that he was planning to auction off a stash of memorabilia from Easy Rider that he'd held onto since the movie's 1969 release. The producer, co-writer, and co-star of the trailblazing film "decided it was time to share some of his treasures." The crown jewel is the American flag from the jacket he wore in the film. The flag is worth an estimated $50,000.

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