I was a month and seventeen days shy of my fourth birthday when Easy Rider premiered fifty years ago yesterday, so, unfortunately, I cannot provide any personal insight of the actual groundbreaking event.
In fact, it would be another twenty years or so until I finally saw the flick.
And then another thirty years or so would pass until I at last watched it again…
Which brings us to yesterday when I watched it in honor of its golden anniversary.
But it’s not like I’m a fanboy of the flick or anything…
Hell, I should despise the sucker just for how old it makes me feel.
No, I only became aware about the occasion of its fifty year mark after stumbling fortuitously upon this interesting Hollywood Reporter article the other day. It’s a good read, one that really digs into the history and making of the flick.
Yeah, the movie itself is pretty good and all (I gotta lay down a disclaimer right here and now that I think most movies produced before the mid-Nineties are pretty much laughable in their acting and/or production or lack thereof (obviously there are exceptions to this — The Godfather, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, Highlander (JK! I used to think Highlander was the baddest (as in awesome-est) movie ever until watching it with my then teenage sons a decade or so ago (after not having had watched it for almost two decades or so by then, yet still talking it up frequently to the boys during that time as one of the most badass films ever) and then almost throwing up at how bad (as in disgusting) it really is. It took a long, long time before my sons would ever trust me again with a movie recommendation)), but it’s nowhere near as good as its (mostly deserved) legend or the impact its release had on the industry (first movie to speak on behalf of the Baby Boomers; first movie with a Rock-and-Roll soundtrack).
To me, however, the best part about the movie is not its message or myth…
It’s that it introduced us on a grand scale to the great and powerful Jack Nicholson.
By that fact alone Easy Rider is deserving of its place in history and our hearts.