TechnoFILE is copyright and a registered trademark © ® of
Pandemonium Productions.
All rights reserved.
E-mail us Here!
Easy Rider

"Easy Rider" - the 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, on DVD

Born to be Wild, again

This new Deluxe Edition of Easy Rider seems to be an excuse to milk the film for everything they possibly can.

Looking back on Columbia's "Easy Rider" through the lens of history, one can hardly argue that it isn't the quintessential 1960's hippie biker flick. It's more than that, however, it's a time capsule and a glorious travelog for America's highways and byways.

Dennis Hopper directed the screenplay he wrote with co-star Peter Fonda (who also produced) and Terry Southern. He plays the angry young man - long haired and rebellious - to Fonda's easy going free spirit.

They begin the film with a cocaine deal that makes them comfortably well off and propels them on their cross country odyssey to sample the fleshpots of New Orleans at Mardi Gras. Along the way they pick up a hippie hitchhiker who takes them to his commune - and later when they're thrown in jail they meet up with George Hanson (Jack Nicholson), a lawyer who decides to make the rest of the trek with them.

Naturally, these anti establishment rebels run afoul of the establishment and it ends up costing all three of them dearly.

The movie is really about Hopper and Fonda's pursuit of the American dream, and a tribute to the freedom of the open road. And as such it's quite enjoyable.

Columbia Tristar has done a terrific job with the DVD of Easy Rider. The audio has been remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1, and it really shows. Early scenes at the end of an airport runway have jets flying overhead - with their noise filling the room most delightfully.

The famous rock music score has also been given a loving treatment. The songs sound as if they were recorded yesterday and the stereo audio is nothing less than first rate.

The movie is presented only in widescreen, which is fine, and it looks wonderful. The locations chosen are a mixture of the lush, the mountainous, the arid, and the spectacular, and it's almost enough to make you want to retrace the boys' route across the US just so you can see those glorious locations.

The DVD itself appears to be a complete rehash of the original special edition, with the same transfers and extras (which include an audio commentary by Dennis Hopper and the hour-long documentary “Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage”). The differences are that the new version comes with a bonus CD featuring eight songs from the movie, including Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf and Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues.

Also included is an 80-page booklet chronicling the history of the project. It’s not exactly something you’d consider bathroom reading, but it makes for an interesting read if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

Much like the new Director’s Cut of Hellboy, the Deluxe Edition of Easy Rider is definitely the version to purchase if you don’t already own it. However, there’s not really enough new stuff to warrant a double dip.

I don't know if I'd agree that "Easy Rider" is "One of the ten most important pictures of the (1960's) decade," as Time Magazine called it - but despite its downbeat ending it's an entertaining film that beautifully captures the mood of its time.

Easy Rider: Deluxe Edition, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
95 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Produced by Peter Fonda
Written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern, Directed by Dennis Hopper


Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think













Support TechnoFile
via Paypal

TechnoFILE's E-letter
We're pleased to offer
our FREE private,
private E-mail service.
It's the "no brainer"
way to keep informed.

Our Privacy Policy

Updated May 13, 2006