Great Movie Scene Chronicles Part III – Easy Rider (1969)

Kind of a long scene today guys so hopefully it’s entertaining enough to hold your attention out of context.  Actually thinking about it, it’s 6:54 run-time is about five minutes over the standard attention span time of the nation’s young adult crowd today, so I apologize if you need to update your facebook status twice before this video is over.  Stop traffic!

In this movie two young men (Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda) go on a cross-country trip in search of spiritual freedom.  It’s the 60s so they do drugs, hit on girls who actually like to be hit on (unlike this day in age when you’ll get that snout-nosed pig look like “I’m better than you!”), and talk about pointless stuff.  This movie is the greatest road-trip movie of all-time because of the message the end of the film holds and the foreshadowing in the symbolism that you don’t really notice before the shattering final shot.  Revered in its time for its realism in portraying the hippie counter-culture movement, Easy Rider stands alone at the top in terms of this kind of movie (coming-of-age, road-trip, trippy visuals).

What do I need to know about this scene in context of the movie to appreciate it though?  What you need to know is that these two men go to jail at some point and befriend a lawyer (Jack Nicholson), who ironically is also in jail drunk off his ass.  We find out that this lawyer is a boozehound fiend who loves the bottle more than he loves anyone else.  He decides to join the two bikers on their quest for spiritual freedom, and this scene is where they end up.

About to break a journalistic taboo and use bullets here rather than write paragraphs.  Cut me a break for two reasons:  I’m working right now, and I don’t really care because it’s a blog.

More to know: 

-this movie launched Jack Nicholson’s acting career, prior to it he was nothing more than a guy who had been in a couple of movies and was thinking that his acting career was over.  So he wrote/directed for TV and B-movie producers, until Dennis Hopper called him up for this role.  He got his first of 12 oscar nominations out of it.

-Dennis Hopper writes, directs, and stars in this movie and it helped launch his career as well.

-This is the first movie ever where REAL drugs were used during filming.  Yes I said Real.  And yes they’re all stoned for REAL in this scene.

So what happens the first time you smoke pot?  Paranoia for some, happiness for others, rambling on mindless banter all night, maybe eating more than you ever have in your life!  Watch and enjoy what happens to Jack Nicholson the first time he takes a hit (well, in context of this scene)  I’m not speaking on the guy’s personal life because I don’t necessarily know him.  It’s hilarious!

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About Chris Lewis

I think I'm cool. I know I'm tall. I have red hair but I'm not sure I'll have any hair in 10 years.

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