The following is from the Sept. 12, 2007, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Professor Rick Worland, chair of SMU's Division of the Cinema-Television, was a source for this story.
By MICHAEL E. YOUNG
The Dallas Morning News
Four decades after Easy Rider merged low-budget biker flicks with art-house sensibilities, the man who gave life to the iconic "Captain America" is selling off some of his cherished memorabilia from the film.
Peter Fonda – son of Henry, brother of Jane, and the producer/co-writer/co-star of the movie named among the 100 best by the American Film Institute – "just decided it was time to share some of his treasures with collectors and fans," said Doug Norwine, director of music and entertainment memorabilia at Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas . . .
Dr. Rick Worland, chairman of the Division of Cinema-Television at Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts, shows Easy Rider to his students as part of a course on films from the 1960s and '70s.
Though dated in some ways, it remains a powerful and beautiful film, Dr. Worland said.
"Easy Rider had two main influences that were almost contradictory," he said. "The first were the postwar films from Europe, especially the French New Wave. And secondly, you had the [American International Pictures] biker movies.
"If you took The Trip and The Wild Angels from AIP and combined them, this is what you'd get."
Not coincidentally, Mr. Fonda starred in both. Naturally, when he and Dennis Hopper began work on Easy Rider, they took the idea to Samuel Z. Arkoff at American International.
"He was a shrewd businessman," Dr. Worland said, "but he turned them down. He wasn't ready for them to be auteurs."
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