Inspired by comments from moviemaking luminaries such as Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader, former Premiere Magazine editor Peter Biskind set about chronicling the work of 1970s filmmakers in his 1999 book EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS. After the critical and commercial success of the exhaustive tome, it seemed only natural to transfer his fascinating tales to the screen, and the Trio channel duly obliged in 2003. With a Hollywood system offering unprecedented freedom to writers and directors, some highly individual and influential works from future main players such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg were produced. A golden era for American film had begun.
Naturally there was a downside to the inexorable rise of such talented artists, and EASY RIDERS RAGING BULLS doesn't shirk from highlighting the scandals and tragedies that often beset the industry. Drug use, relationship problems, soaring egos and a growing sense of competition between the formerly tight-knit community saw the decade come to an unfortunate end. The sting in the tail came with the production of "blockbuster" movies such as JAWS, and demands from studios for more of the same. With dollar signs in their eyes, Hollywood producers closed ranks on the movie makers, restricted their talents, and ultimately made them unwitting victims of their own successes. Amongst those relaying stories on an incredibly creative period for the industry are Peter Bogdanovich, Dennis Hopper, Paul Schrader, Cybill Shepherd, Richard Dreyfuss, and many others. Narration comes from William H. Macy.