Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Easy Rider (1969)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Easy Rider (1969)

In actor/director Dennis Hopper's independent classic road film, accompanied by the sounds of 60s acid-rock 'n' roll:

  • the scenes of two doped-up hippies Billy (Dennis Hopper) and Wyatt/Captain America (Peter Fonda) - after a successful drug deal - riding high-handled motorcycles cross-country (eastward) to the tune of Steppenwolf's "I Wasn't Born to Follow" accompanying the title credits
  • the scene of the visit to the commune, including a 360 degree scan view of the entire group saying a blessing for a meal, and later skinny-dipping at a local hot springs
  • their arrest for parading without a permit, their jailing, and their meeting up with drunken ACLU civil rights lawyer George Hanson (Jack Nicholson) in jail
  • the priceless image of George riding on the back of a motorcycle with a football helmet and spreading his arms as wings (to the tune of "If You Want to Be A Bird")
With ACLU Lawyer George Hanson (Jack Nicholson)
  • George's frequent exclamation of "Nik-nik-nik-f-f-f-Indians!" accompanied by his elbow flapping on his side like a chicken when toasting and taking a drink
  • the scene of George's first sampling of marijuana at a campfire ("You - you mean marijuana. Lord have mercy, is that what that is? Well, let me see that"), and then his display of paranoia when he presented his 'stoned' theories about extra-terrestrial UFOs and alien Venutians on Earth ("So now the Venutians are meeting with people in all walks of life - in an advisory capacity. For once man will have a god-like control over his own destiny")
  • the scene at the local cafe/diner where they witnessed "country witticisms" from good ol' boys
  • George's last campfire scene when he spoke about the film's prophetic theme - their threat to the Establishment and to Americans who were hypocritical about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  • the hallucinatory-LSD scene in a New Orleans cemetery during Mardi Gras
  • the final campfire scene when Wyatt told Billy: "We blew it"
The Deaths of Billy and Wyatt
  • the unexpected brutal ending at the hands of two rednecks in a pickup truck for both riders - instigated first by Billy's rebellious middle-finger gesture toward the Southerners - and he was shotgunned; Wyatt turned around and saw how injured Billy was on the side of the road, and then pursued the truck - which had stopped and reversed itself further down the road; suddenly, Wyatt's leather American flag-decorated bike exploded in flames (metaphorically?) (after a brief flash of red) when his gas tank was shot, but his body didn't appear in the wreckage of the bike that went sailing through the air; the film ended with a pull-back shot of the camera rising high into the sky to view the wreckage

"Born to Be Wild"

George: "Nik-nik-nik-f-f-f"

George's First Sampling of Marijuana

George's Last Campfire Discussion About Freedom

Hallucinating on LSD in a New Orleans Cemetery

Wyatt: "We blew it"


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