Like many college students, my best friend David had a poster from Easy Rider framed above the couch in his living room. It’s a testament to the legacy of a film that was made over a decade before our generation was born that it would still feature so prominently in our lives (and in our homes).
That movie and a new generation of filmmaking was birthed into this world by the acting and directing of Dennis Hopper. Already holding a pedigree in the industry with small roles in Giant, Rebel Without a Cause, and growing his profile in flicks like The Sons of Katie Elder and Cool Hand Luke, Hopper was a game-changer with Easy Rider.
Of course he didn’t stop there. His career has lasted since the mid-50s all the way up through this year. Unfortunately, that career was cut short this morning when the icon passed away after a short, yet difficult battle with prostate cancer.
There is no way to overstate the man’s influence on the industry or what filmmakers the world over owe to him. There’s also no way to overstate the joy he brought to fans whether it was drama, westerns, action, or horror.
As usual, we here at FSR choose to mourn by celebrating the best works of the actor, and I’ll start by giving the obvious choice. Easy Rider is, in my mind, a masterwork of filmmaking that achieved both technical proficiency and the laudable feat of breaking the rules.
In fact, Hopper’s legacy might be just that. Whenever there were rules that needed to be broken, Hopper was there and ready. He will be missed.
What’s your favorite Dennis Hopper film?