5 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Easy Rider
On this day, July 14th, in 1969 Easy Rider was released and the film that cost a mere $360,000 to make would go on to gross over $60 Million at the box office and become one of the greatest cult American road movies of all time.
As you can imagine, a film starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson in their prime has some interesting stories behind it so we thought we would look for a few interesting facts for you.
The Weight by Smith
We will start you off nice and easy by talking about the soundtrack, which also happened to be one of the films first to veer away from a traditional score and make use of previously released tracks.
On the soundtrack, the third track is credited as being performed by Smith. That song is The Weight by The Band but at the time they couldn’t license the original track for the soundtrack so commissioned Smith to cover it, it is the Band’s version in the film though. In the grand scheme of things it’s a pretty decent cover but seeing as how The Weight by The Band is one of the greatest songs ever recorded by one of the greatest bands in history it is always a bit of a sore one for me to take.
The film sees a lot of drug use and according to reports, it was, mostly, just the Marijuana that was real. Jack Nicholson recounted the UFO campfire speech and is quoted as saying “Each time I did a take or an angle, it involved smoking almost an entire joint. After the first take or two, the acting job became reversed. Instead of being straight and having to act stoned at the end, I was now stoned at the beginning and having to act straight, and then gradually letting myself return to where I was – which was very stone.”
During filming it is said that Hopper and Fonda didn’t even have a finished script and just made it up as they went along. They didn’t even have a crew and relied on friends and people they met in communes to film for them. Add to this the constant smoking and drinking and it is probably why so many of us love the film. Because it’s real.
Jack Nicholson’s Fleeting Screen Time
Despite being an integral part of the film, Jack Nicholson is only on screen for 17 minutes of the film. To be fair that’s two minutes more than the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park who were furious at Spielberg, one, in particular, was said to be…spitting mad.
You might have thought you recognised the cocaine dealer, imagine him with massive curly hair and you will get there. That’s right, it’s celebrity murderer Phil Spector! Although his musical accomplishments were beyond impressive, it is the 2003 murder of Lana Clarkson that he is currently serving time for that he is probably more famous for now.
Well, that wraps up our 5 interesting things post, we hope you enjoyed it and if you haven’t watched it get it did! If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack, get it did!!! Spark up a nice big herbal tea, sit back and enjoy a cinematic masterpiece.