Monday, March 05, 2007


Two of the biggest hits in the multiplexes right now -- the male menopause buddy pic Wild Hogs and the Satanic comicbook actioner Ghost Rider -- have more than mere motorcycles in common. They both have that long-haired, bird-flippin', American-flag-wearin' hippie biker dude from the seminal 1969 counter-culture classic, Easy Rider, in the cast.

Yup, Peter Fonda -- whose portrayal of Wyatt, a.k.a. Captain America, in Easy Rider, made the Son-of-Hank an iconic figure in the flower power days of the Age of Aquarius -- is jokin' around with the likes of paunchy suburbanites Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence at the end of Wild Hogs (Fonda shows up as the founding father of a biker gang called the Del Fuegos). In Ghost Rider, the 67-year-old Fonda is no less a figure than Mephistopheles himself, and as such, the proprietor of the soul of a crazed motorcycle stunt man, Monsieur Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage).

So almost forty years later, Fonda, nominated for a screenplay Oscar for Easy Rider (with co-scriber, and co-star, Dennis Hopper, and author Terry Southern), is trading on his anti-establishment, chopper-hits-the-blacktop image. Whatever happened to that other Peter Fonda, the one who scored serious thespian cred -- and a best actor Academy Award nomination -- for the great little 1997 indie, Ulee's Gold?

Get your motor runnin'....


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