A drug-addled drug movie about two bikers (Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper) who make their way across America – Hopper also directed – Easy Rider is, inevitably, a bit of a mess, with a loopy graveyard climax that feels like one of the first – and worst – music videos. Yet in its own laconic way, the film also beautifully captures the rhythms of a road trip. There are some stops – we meet a young Jack Nicholson during one – a lot of music and a little bit of talking, but mostly just riding down endless stretches of highway. Easy Rider is a celebration of freedom, but it’s hardly a hippie love-in. ‘We blew it,’ Fonda’s Wyatt later laments near the end of the trip, possibly anticipating the alienation and rootlessness that would become some of the counterculture’s costs. Initially adopted as an emblem of the ’60s social revolution, Easy Rider caused a revolution of its own at theaters, opening the doors for a younger, more adventurous audience. Yet the lasting irony is that the movie now seems more knowing and conflicted than its first fans thought.