entertainment

'Easy Rider' star, 1960s swashbuckler Peter Fonda dies at 79

18 Comments
By LINDSEY BAHR and ANDREW DALTON

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


18 Comments
Login to comment

When I was a kid, Peter Fonda in Easy Rider was the epitome of cool.

Some people think that movie was just a movie of the day, that it doesn't have much depth, that it's of no relevance today. In my opinion it was a deep and dark exploration of the American psyche that is still relevant today (watched it again just a couple of years ago) and it's certainly no idealization or glamorization of the hippie culture of the time. And Jack Nicholson was a standout in it.

All that, plus Dennis Hopper and a fabulous soundtrack - The Byrds, Steppenwolf, Hendrix...

Thanks for the movie, Peter.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The real life 'Captain America'. iSad. RIP Peter. You and Dennis Hopper changed the way movies were made.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

You gotta be kidding. I mean, you know who this is, man? This is Captain America. I'm Billy.

RIP Mr Fonda!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Yeah, I remember Easy Rider. I liked his father’s movies too, especially Grapes of Wrath from depression years. So, it was sad for me to learn from this that Peter’s mother had a nervous breakdown from learning of Peter’s father’s extramarital affair. And that she later killed herself with a razor blade to her throat. This was more shocking than the news of Peter’s death. He was only 10 when he lost his mother. Not sure if he knew why.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"We wanna be free!" Fonda tells a preacher in the film. "We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna be free to ride. We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man! And we wanna get loaded!"

RIP, dude.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdaCDfj-nWY

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Strange, last night Easy Rider came into my dreams. After watching a movie with Anjelica Huston---Jack Nicholson----Peter Fonda----Easy Rider.

What's one ride I would have liked to take.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@BigYen

In my opinion it was a deep and dark exploration of the American psyche that is still relevant today

I'll plus 1 you on that. You are right. Although it used the metaphors of hippies and bikers it was not about them, it was about the American Dream and how it had gone bad. That was what the early interviews were always about.

Funny, the conservative elements within American biking are still out using it to hate Jane Fonda in public, even though her brother just died.

It was a tremendously seminal piece, specifically for its use of rock music in the score and broke the mould of Hollywood opening the doors for independent movies.

Two asides not generally discussed about it. The first was that motorcycle (choppers) were actually styled and created by African-American rider mechanics. That was hidden for many decades due to the racist nature of the American Harley riding market and they never got their credit.

Secondly, it was also a breakout role for Toni Basil who played Mary the Hooker and her career and influence is worth looking into. She's also never for credited for it. Basil was in Hopper's artistic circle and starred in the Bruce Conner short films that inspire him in Easy Rider. Basil deserves to be up there with the like of Yoko Ono for her cultural influence.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Mr. Fonda shed light on some of the problems within American society.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The comments here will probably show the typical division on JT.

No thanks to you Ms. Bahr and Mr. Dalton for droning on about a third rate actor and including comments from his 4th rate actress sister. If it weren’t for the skill and well merited fame of the great Henry Fonda, Peter would have spent his life flipping burgers if that.

He’s dead now and that’s a tragedy for someone. However, it’s no loss to the world of entertainment.

Go ahead, posters, and press your finger straight through the “-“ button.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I saw “Easy Rider” with two long-haired, dope-smoking friends when it premiered. Talking afterwards through a haze from burning weed the comments - when more than a syllable or two long - were very favorable. They were mostly of the “my confrontations with rednecks” variety (and I know from experience there were such occurrences).

Less than ten years later these guys were laughing their behinds off at the pretentious of the story plus the terrible acting (except for Jack Nicholson).

”Easy Rider” a classic? Of sorts.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I saw Easy Rider in San Francisco nearly a half century ago. In front of me was an older woman who was rocking back and forth with the music like a spaced-out hippie...As I remember it, the movie begins with the protagonists selling white stuff to a young and rich Middle-Easterner in a limo. The two take the money, toss their wristwatches, and head off on their motorcycles for adventure. I suppose that for almost everyone in that Bay Area audience, there was nothing immoral about peddling drugs. (Morallity? Nah, just be cool!) At the end, which I did not expect, the woman in front of me was weeping in rage and grief...Yeah, ya know, like, uh, total redneck fascism, man, total redneck fascism! I later heard that in the demonized South there was applause at the end, as though two Orcs had been dispatched...Even back then America was polarized. I was then a foolish man of the left. Now I'm an old man of the right--grateful to have spent most of my life in Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Regardless of whether EasyRider was a "good" movie for you or not, it certainly defined an era with it's gritty soundtrack, out-of-bounds characters and dealings with themes such as drugs, discrimination, freedom, violence/peace etc. It was way cool before cool was way cool.

Although it could only have been made at that time - late 60s - it still packs a punch for US reality today. The superficialities may have changed, but much of the content still resonates within society today.

And it was made for a spit, setting up the way for the Indie Industry to grow.

Captain America and Billy.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ooops - Capn America & Billy's link didn't show. The Original Trailer.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwST6mpT7Ds

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alfie NoakesToday 11:32 am JST"We wanna be free!" Fonda tells a preacher in the film. "We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna be free to ride. We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man! And we wanna get loaded!"

RIP, dude.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdaCDfj-nWY

I just recently went on a long vacation, which I hadn't done in years. At the hotel I stayed in Quebec City, as well as Portland, Maine there were bikers galore - men and women. Going thru PQ, in the gorgeous state of Maine, thruout New England I saw biker clubs out on Route 95. They were not outlaw gangs but diverse clubs with their affiliation on their backs - New York, New England, Harley-Davison etc. Multi-racial clubs, bikers riding with their women, veteran bikers, gay bikers, you name it. What was it all about? When I arrived in Boston there was a huge biker rally at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to honor the 6 bikers who were killed by a DUI semi truck driver in New Hampshire. Those 5 biker men and one 'chopper chick' were riding free and were killed by an irresponsible truck driver with a record of several drunk driving offenses.

The biker culture lives on and the legacy continues. RIP PETER FONDA

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If it weren’t for the skill and well merited fame of the great Henry Fonda, Peter would have spent his life flipping burgers if that.

Sure. It could have been that way. But then people play the cards they're dealt with, don't they? If it wasn't for who their daddies were, George W Bush would have spent his life selling cars, and Donald J Trump would've been a real estate salesman. You can go round and round playing that game.

Peter Fonda, along with Dennis Hopper, made a great movie that affected many people and continues to be well-regarded to this day. That's an achievement to be proud of, whether or not you're the son (or daughter) of a famous person.

Oh, and I haven't "-" buttoned you, man. That wouldn't be cool.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

ER was a pioneering indie that showcased the weary, disenchanted young generation's rejection of the morality and values of war-mongering Amerika. I still remember walking out of the cinema as a young man exhilarated and thrilled by this iconic Road Movie with its rebellious, counter-culture soundtrack of music "sacred" to my generation. This fresh, novel experience of cinema simply overpowered the indisputable ham-acting of all but Jack Nicholson, the break-out star. The sudden, shockingly violent ending graphically depicted the curse of America's gun violence and the cultural fault-lines of a divided, polarized society that to this day continue to characterize the USA of the corrupt mega-corporations, the NRA and Trump's bleating minions. And yes, in the end, Peter Fonda "blew it", too, as we all do.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Its been years since I've seen Easy Rider. Always found it quite shocking, the denouement. Seems apt, now more than ever.

Also liked Fonda in The Limey. Although his character was a sleaze.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"I am very sad," Jane Fonda said in a statement. "He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing."

Can't ask for more than that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites