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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (2003)

Martin Scorsese , Dennis Hopper , Kenneth Bowser  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Peckinpah, Warren Beatty
  • Directors: Kenneth Bowser
  • Writers: Kenneth Bowser, Peter Biskind
  • Producers: Kenneth Bowser, Andy Cohen, David Tecson, Joe Cilibrasi, Josh Braun
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout Factory Theatr
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2004
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B0001MDQ9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,434 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus disc of mini-documentaries:
  • The Times
  • Sex and Drugs
  • United Artists and Midnight Cowboy
  • The Film Critics
  • Robert Altman: A Director's Style
  • Hal Ashby: The Homeless Spirit
  • Peter Bogdanovich: The Man Who Loved the Movies
  • Francis Ford Coppola: Director's Journey
  • Dennis Hopper: Actor as Director
  • George Lucas: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
  • Sam Peckinpah: Sensitive Access
  • Martin Scorsese: Talent Finding the Edge
  • Steven Spielberg: Innocent Savant
  • The Participants Strike Back
  • The Author: Peter Biskind

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This 2-DVD set is Kenneth Bowser’s BBC-produced documentary of Peter Biskind’s controversial, best-selling book. It chronicles the evolution of a new breed of filmmaker who, in the late ’60s and ’70s, exploded old Hollywood, in the process redefining the very nature of movies. The results were edgy, impressionistic pictures—The Godfather, Easy Rider, Mean Streets, Midnight Cowboy, Rosemary’s Baby, Taxi Driver—by maverick, now-legendary directors: Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas, Altman, Polanski, Peckinpah.

In bringing the celebrated book to the screen, director Bowser employed some adventurous filmmaking of his own. Narrated by William H. Macy, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls features vintage clips of the directors who defined the movement; original interviews with such directors as Arthur Penn and John Milius, actors such as Peter Fonda and Richard Dreyfus and more.

• Over 1.5 additional hours of deleted and extended footage. • Narrated by critically acclaimed actor William H. Macy.

• Features vintage clips of Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Warren Beatty, George Lucas, Sam Peckinpah, Roman Polanski, and others. • Bonus disc offers "mini-docs" featuring Dennis Hopper, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Burstyn, Cybil Shepherd, Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Schrader, John Milius, Peter Bart and others. • Official Selection of Festival de Cannes 2003 and Deauville 2003 Festival du Cinema American.

This BBC production is a companion to Peter Biskind's 1998 book by the same name, an excellent dish on the 1970s American movie scene. It roughly follows the same path, tracing how maverick filmmakers revitalized Hollywood, from Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider to the triumphant quartet of Coppola/Lucas/Spielberg/Scorsese. Any fan will want to listen in as nearly 50 actors and artists remember the day. However, the star meter is on low wattage, with today's most successful directors only talked about, and seen in often bemusingly vintage clips. The better-produced, higher-star-wattage A Decade Under the Influence covers much of the same ground. An on-screen Biskind would have helped matters, but he is nowhere to be seen. Yet there are moments from the book that come to life, be it grainy home movies from Jennifer Salt and Margot Kidder's notorious beach house or Roman Polanski's emotional press conference after the murder of his wife Sharon Tate. The DVD boasts a second disc of extended interviews on numerous subjects, many of which were not covered in the 119-minute film. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary, but not on the DVD August 3, 2004
I watched this doc obsessively on my local cable movies channel. Unfortunately, the version of the film on the DVD is rather different -- most noticably that most (if not all) of the soundtrack is missing. I actually bought this DVD interested to know what song was on while they talked about "Mean Streets" -- but the only licensed music on the entire DVD is Born To Be Wild and the Jaws theme. I'm very disappointed on this regard.

But, don't get me wrong here -- this is a documentary worth seeing (and perhaps owning if you are a film buff rather than music buff). There is some excellent archival footage and home movies from the participants, and the animated transitions of movie posters and stills are very well done. The content is most likely not a surprise as everyone knows the majority of the films discussed (and the mammoth financial or artistic results). It's the backstory and the who did what with whom to allow these films to be made or released that provides interest.

Back to the DVD... one happy addition is that there is a full second disc of interviews. Very dry, but there is some interesting extra information / story tidbits and an interview with the author of the book which probably would have been welcome in the film (but wouldn't have fit it's structure perhaps).

I would recommend this DVD for film buffs and baby-boomers in general... any chance the "Original Soundtrack" might be released separately? Or perhaps the 97 minute "as seen on tv" edition as a DVD instead of this 118 minute version?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to Turn Off. February 10, 2005
This was one of the better documentaries that I've seen this year. It has some excellent interviews with the likes of John Milius and Dennis Hopper. It really wasn't about the sixties or seventies as much as it was about the age of directorial freedom in film. Before I saw it, I knew very little about Sam Peckinpah or Martin Scorcese. They are/were fascinating people as well as artists. The same can be said about George Lucas. "Easy Riders..." explains quite well the reasons why he went into semi-retirement after "Star Wars." For any film buff, you'll be rewarded greatly by letting this play for two hours.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Glance at the Second Golden Age of Cinema April 27, 2005
"Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" is an orgy for movie lovers. How can anyone who loves film not be in heaven at the constant parade of landmark films and key industry figures that charges across the screen in this fast-paced documentary? If you've read the book, the movie will feel cursory, and one will find himself wishing for more detail, more insider stories. There are curious omissions here, and wonders if Bowser structured his content based on who he could get to agree to interviews. Altman is hardly mentioned, Scorsese (who shows up everywhere talking about movies) is not interviewed, and Kubrick isn't mentioned at all (save for one shot of the "2001" poster). Still, what's there is great, and if you're like me, you'll be left with a twinge of sadness that such a rich time in film artistry seems to be gone forever.

Grade: A-
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" is based on Peter Biskind's book of the same name which explored the rise and the fall of the director's era in Hollywood during the 1970s. The film actually starts in 1966, when the film industry was suffering low ticket sales under an obsolete studio system. The old studio bosses no longer understood their young audiences who frequented drive-ins and art house theaters. While the Nouvelle Vague raged in Europe, American movies weren't making money. A group of young filmmakers emerged, the first generation of directors to self-consciously view film as an art form: Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Warren Beatty, Sam Peckinpah, Paul Schrader, Robert Altman, Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Roger Corman, Roman Polanski. Through still photographs, film clips, interviews, and narration by William H. Macy, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" traces these filmmakers' rise to power in the 1970s under the wings of inspired producers like Robert Evans, Bert Schneider, and Peter Bart, through the Age of the Auteur, and to the eventual decline in directors' power in the late 1970s due to the rise of the special effects film and the consequences of the directors' own excesses.
Hollywood of the 1970s is certainly an interesting subject, populated with interesting characters. But "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" is so plodding that it seems twice as long as it actually is. I'm fascinated by film history, but there was a point when I didn't think I'd make it through this film. And that was only half an hour into it. "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" covers a lot of ground, but it's really an overview of the changing Hollywood power structure 1966-1980 and the films that resulted. Nothing is discussed in much detail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good documentary with some teeth missing March 3, 2005
As a subject, the explosion of creativity in 1970's cinema is absolutely bursting with possibility. And since most of the principal players are not only still alive but still working, there should be a fantastic documentary to be made about the period...but "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" is not that documentary, I'm sorry to say.

There are some major figures from the era involved here (Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Schrader, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss, Dennis Hopper, Karen Black), but simply not enough to sustain a 2-hour film. Among the missing are Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman, Woody Allen, Robert Evans, Michael Douglas, Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Jane Fonda...oh, God, the list goes on. We're presented with a vague background, the collapse of the studio system and the rise of the counter-culture and European cinema, but we see precious little of it onscreen. The participants are filmed against a black background, they talk, we see a short film clip, and back to the black talking. Considering the astonishing originality of the period being discussed you'd think some of it would leak into the documentary. No go.

To be sure, what's here is decent and interesting, but this decade deserves a real, hands-on exploration. How about somebody who was THERE getting on the job? Surely Dennis Hopper could put together a spectacular piece of cinematic art on the Seventies...and who'd turn down the man who directed "Easy Rider", freeing Hollywood from the dust of old men and launching the second Golden Age of American movies? C'mon, Dennis, let's go! While we're young!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive doco about that scene at that time.
If you loved the book, you'll like the movie. The extra disk of interviews is worth buying this for. Excellent purchase.
Published 24 months ago by Kristopher Wright
3.0 out of 5 stars Partial History
of the shift from producers to directors. Obviously 1960's audiences wanted movies that were gritty and bold. Read more
Published on September 17, 2012 by mr. contrarian
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun and Bullish Journey Through Movie History
This doc leads to a really enjoyable, entertaining and informative evening. You get a really clear look between the lines as to what was going on during this renaissance of the... Read more
Published on October 18, 2011 by Zack Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars A true look of the major movies of the 70's
If you are a fan of Scorcese, Hopper etc etc you will not be able to stop watching this documentary . . . Read more
Published on December 28, 2009 by C. Weinshenker
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than some reviewers would have you believe
I agree with many of the reviews that EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS is a fascinating overview of American filmmaking of the 1970s. I would add to the other reviews that:

1. Read more
Published on August 13, 2009 by J. Paulsonn
4.0 out of 5 stars How the Sex, Drugs & Rock n' Roll Generation nearly killed...
As a glorification, and explanation, of the wonderful 70's Hollywood industry, it's a great little documentary. Read more
Published on May 23, 2007 by Stephen Ressel
3.0 out of 5 stars Intro. to 1970's Independent Film
This is a kind of Independent Film of the Seventies 101. It's a good solid introductory course that explains just what forces conspired to make the early seventies the moment for... Read more
Published on August 21, 2006 by Doug Anderson
3.0 out of 5 stars Glad I recorded it from TV.
I haven't seen all of this, yet, but while it's an interesting look at the films and film makers - an interesting documentary - I'm glad I got it off of TV - I would't want to buy... Read more
Published on April 11, 2005 by Filmfan
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