MORGANZA – Fans of the movie Easy Rider joined hundreds – maybe thousands – of car and motorcycle enthusiasts Saturday for the 50th anniversary of the cult classic. The movie staring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, among others, was partially shot in the small Pointe Coupee Parish town. Town and parish officials hosted the reunion of sorts Saturday to help spur cultural re-development in this quiet area.
Fonda and Hopper play renegade motorcyclists headed to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. They meet Nicholson’s character along the way. The biker flick was one of Nicholson’s early movies. Reuters, a news service, reported in 2010, Hopper thought the movie’s story was a fable about how people who chase the American dream lose sight of their freedom.
Easy Rider became the third highest-grossing film of 1969 making $41.7 million in the United States and $60 million worldwide. The movie is said to have kickstarted the popularity of chopper-style motorcycles. The movie"did more to popularize choppers around the world than any other film or any other motorcycle,” a motorcycle aficionado told NPR in 2014 in a story about the movie and the iconic motorcycles.
The event in Morganza lasted all day Saturday.
The Advocate newspaper spoke with locals who were extras in the movie 50 years ago. Read the story here.
"It gave us something for 50 years to talk about," Elida Hebert Aronstein told the newspaper. She was twenty-years-old when the movie was filmed at her mother's local cafe.