After securing a major drug deal in Los Angeles, free-spirited potheads Billy (Hopper) and Wyatt, a.k.a. Captain America (Fonda), buy choppers and hit the road, traveling from Mardi Gras in New Orleans to Florida, where they plan to retire on the booty hidden in Wyatt's gas tank. Along the way, they encounter rednecks, take LSD, visit a hippie commune, and land in jail, all in the name of living the American dream.
The ultimate counter-culture classic, Hopper's "Rider" jolted a Hollywood in transition when it became an unexpected hit in 1969, encapsulating the freewheeling spirit of the times and the divide between the youth culture and the Establishment. Jack Nicholson became a bona-fide star playing football-helmeted, hard-partying lawyer George Hanson, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor nod, while Hopper and Fonda merely amped up their reputations as iconoclasts. Along with its pulsating rock soundtrack, "Rider" endures as the ultimate psychedelic road-trip.