In 'Easy Rider,' The 1960s Were A Time Of Freedom, And Failure

By Rebeka Knott
Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in 1969 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gilbert TOURTE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Released in July 1969, the month before Woodstock, Easy Rider captured the spirit of the late '60s on film. Yet unlike the music festival, Easy Rider ultimately had a message of disillusionment and violence, an almost prophetic one given the massive downers that would haunt the counterculture beginning with Altamont in December 1969 and continuing through 1970. While the hippies at Woodstock were coming together, the protagonists of Easy Rider were crossing the country and feeling very alone.

As the tagline said, "A man went looking for America, and couldn't find it anywhere."

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