Sidewinder’s View: “Easy Rider” (1969)

Interesting how what seemed edgy and profound when I was 18 now comes across as simplistic and a bit silly. Easy Rider‘s one of those Classic Films that seems to work best when its characters aren’t delivering dialogue. It’s in my movie collection now mostly for reasons of personal nostalgia.


The movie still has a few things going for it, though. The soundtrack and the scenery have a nice time-capsule quality, and, so does, I guess, the badly dated, eye-rolling hippie slang. It’s just hard now to hear people talk that way and not crack up at it.


I also enjoyed the fact that the hippie commune wasn’t exactly depicted as some sort of Utopian idyll.


The fact that there are still personality conflicts.


That some members are having problems with entitlement-minded freeloaders unwilling to share.


And that some guys, in spite of all the ‘free love’ nonsense, weren’t willing to share their women with…


…the latest guy to show up just because he was there.

This is also the movie that convinced me I was never going to go near LSD with a ten-foot pole.


The bad-trip scene in the New Orleans cemetery was a great PSA for avoiding acid. It still comes across as dark, grungy and unpleasant.



Easy Rider may have struck a lot of viewers as pro-drug (well, pro-pot, anyway), but it’s actually had the opposite effect on me, even back when I watching it as… idiot teenager in the 1980s.


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