Pause for kids 16 & under
Iconic 1969 road trip movie with violence, drugs, sex.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the release of Easy Rider in 1969 marked a significant change in American filmmaking. Never before had a low-budget, offbeat movie made such an impact upon young audiences. Reflecting a chaotic time in a country that was deeply divided in its values, the film's frank treatment of alternative lifestyles, sexual "freedom," and drug and alcohol use (pervasive marijuana smoking, consumption of cocaine and hallucinogens, heavy drinking and drunkenness) struck a deep nerve. The film and its music are still considered classic and unequaled. Mild, infrequent swearing (i.e., "a--hole," "Yankee queers," "goddamn") is included. Sexuality and some nudity (no intercourse) are seen in both idyllic settings and in a frenzied acid trip. Its few violent scenes are extreme, shocking, and bloody. (Spoiler alert: important characters are killed by gunfire and a brutal beating).
- Families can talk about Easy Rider as an outstanding example of the artistic blending of film and music. How did the music impact your understanding and your enjoyment of the story? How did the music impact your visual experience of the road trip?
- What do you think Wyatt (Captain America) meant when he said "We blew it," near the end of the movie?
- Discuss the term "game-changer" when it comes to describing a movie. Find out why this movie was considered a game-changer and broke new ground in filmmaking when it was released in 1969.