Director: Dennis Hopper Year: 1969
The ultimate summer activity—the road trip—will always need a good soundtrack. Therefore, the quintessential road trip movie—Easy Rider—needed to have some solid sounds to accompany Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as they burned across America on their hogs if it was going to be a success.
Hopper was the mad genius here. The film's production was a drug-addled tornado that, against all odds, ended up being a career-changing success for almost everyone involved. Easy Rider captured the malcontent of an America split in two—the hippies on their bikes "searching for freedom" and the hayseed farm population so bored in the summer heat that they'd hate just about anything to distract themselves. The soundtrack is filled with anthemic '60s classics like "Born To Be Wild," "If 6 Was 9," and "The Weight.
"But Hopper also let his freak flag fly, creating a variety of tripped-out sound collages all coming to a head in a sequence that finds the pair tripping acid in a New Orleans cemetery with a couple ladies from The House of Blue Lights.