Easy Rider: Hippies On the Highway

ENTERTAINMENT

Staff Writer

4 Min Quiz

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

In the 1960s America had a very uneasy relationship with hippies and the counterculture. Out of the blue, a film called "Easy Rider" hit big screens everywhere, exploring dark themes around freedom, substance use and the open highway. How much do you know about this iconic road-trip film?

Which of the following actors is NOT in the film?

Perkins doesn't appear in the movie. The film stars Fonda, Hopper and Jack Nicholson.

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Who directed the movie?

Hopper not only acted in the movie, but he directed, too. It was the first major film for which he received direction credit.

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Which controlled substance becomes a focal point in the film?

The two bikers sell loads of cocaine and then use the proceeds to fund their misadventures. Hopper liked to say that the movie sparked widespread interest in cocaine in America.

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Dennis Hopper plays a biker with which name?

Hopper is Billy, an angry and unstable man who teams up with another biker for a cross-country trip of epic proportions.

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Peter Fonda plays Wyatt. What's Wyatt's nickname?

Wyatt is often called Captain America. It's a suitable nickname for a hippie biker who adventures across the country.

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After making a bundle of cash from cocaine sales in L.A., the bikers set off towards which city?

Thanks to the proceeds from drug sales, the guys decide its time to party at Mardi Gras. They set their wheels in motion towards New Orleans.

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In what year was the movie released?

As one of the first films to really explore America's counterculture revolution, "Easy Rider" touched on many sensitive aspects of the country's psyche. Both primary actors had long hair, something that hadn't really been seen on the big screen before.

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Shooting ended and nearly a year passed before it was completed. Why did it take so long?

Dennis Hopper did much of the film's editing, and he agonized over every detail. As a result, it took more than a year for a version of the movie to surface.

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In the first draft of the story, the bikers were supposed to be selling which drug?

The original storyline had the bikers transporting and selling marijuana that they obtained in Mexico. This portion of the plot changed when the moviemakers realized that a pair of bikers couldn't move enough weed on one trip to get rich.

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What role did Phil Spector have in the making of the film?

Acclaimed music producer Phil Spector played the part of a cocaine buyer in the film. Decades later, of course, Spector was arrested for murdering actress Lana Clarkson.

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Where did the film crew obtain the Harley-Davidson motorcycles that are used in the movie?

Harley-Davidson didn't really want to be associated with the extreme outlaw nature of the movie. The crew purchased the bikes from the Los Angeles police department.

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Which band was originally supposed to create the movie's music?

Fonda wanted Crosby, Stills & Nash to make the movie's music. But Hopper insisted that established rock stars simply didn't mesh with the film's counterculture themes.

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How much did the team pay each band for the use of their songs in the movie?

For the rights to use their music in the movie, the production team paid each band about $1,000. It was one of the first movies to use pre-made pop music for the score in the place of original compositions or classical music.

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Jack Nicholson plays a character who has what occupation?

Nicholson plays George, a lawyer with a fondness for alcohol. After the bikers are arrested on silly charges, George helps get them out of jail.

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The crew had no access to backup motorcycles in the event that the primary bikes malfunctioned.

The production team bought four motorcycles for the movie. Two of them were held as backups in case the primary bikes broke down.

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Which Hollywood studio created the film?

Colombia Pictures bankrolled this movie. Once executives saw the film, they immediately knew they had a hit on their hands.

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How did the movie's production affect the relationship between Hopper and Fonda?

The two argued over scriptwriting credit and profit-sharing, among other issues. By the time the movie was done, they were also done with each other.

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Director Dennis Hopper hired two people specifically to make the drugs in the film look as real as possible.

No one was specifically hired to create fake drugs used in the movie. Some drugs very faked, but for others, the film crew used very real (and very illegal) substances for numerous scenes.

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How did Jack Nicholson react when he first saw the idea for the movie?

Nicholson was immediately onboard with the film's creative vision, and he was sure it would succeed at the box office. He was more than happy to sign up for the part.

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Which character dies after the group's campsite is attacked by crazed locals?

George sets off with Wyatt and Billly to share their adventure in New Orleans. Instead, he's beaten to death as they camp outside of a small Southern town.

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What was the movie's approximate budget?

The movie had a very low budget of less than $400,000. It became a hit of unimaginable proportions, making roughly $60 million at the box office.

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Which man came up with the name for the movie?

Fonda, Hopper and Terry Southern all contributed to the movie's screenplay. But it was Southern who came up with the idea of "Easy Rider" as the title.

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What was the original name of the film before the creators settled on "Easy Rider"?

"Easy Rider" wasn't the first title bandied about for the movie. It was originally supposed to be called "The Loners."

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How was the film originally supposed to end?

The bikers were originally supposed to ride into the figurative sunset, with their way of life vindicated and their adventures triumphant. Instead, they don't quite get that happy ending.

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Which band's music was NOT used in the film?

No songs from The Doors were used in the movie, which features tunes from The Band, The Byrds, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and other major musicians.

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How many Academy Award nominations did the film receive?

"Easy Rider" was nominated for two Oscars. It was one of nine movies to receive two nominations that year.

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The film was NOT nominated for an Academy Award in which category?

It wasn't nominated for Best Picture. "Easy Rider" lost both of the categories in which it did receive nominations.

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The pair of bikers stumbles into a batch of high-grade LSD. Where are they when they decide to try the drug?

The two bikers join up with a pair of prostitutes and they all head to a New Orleans cemetery to take the LSD. It doesn't go well -- they have a bad trip.

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How do the bikers die?

As they're cruising down a highway, a man in a truck pulls alongside the bikers and brandishes a shotgun. First, he shoots Billy -- then he comes back for Wyatt.

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Which actor was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in the film?

Jack Nicholson was nominated for an Oscar, but he didn't win. His character, George, appears onscreen for less than 20 minutes.

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