4. Easy Rider (1969)
And how would Sir like to pay?
Hollywood trembled when Henry Fonda’s wayward son Peter and ‘difficult’ Dennis Hopper announced they wanted to make a drugs ‘n’ motorcycles movie.
Of course, no one would ever finance such a thing – at least, they wouldn’t until the arrival of Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson.
As Fonda explains: “Bert and Bob had invented The Monkees and they’d gotten rich and they had enough to help us make Easy Rider.”
This wasn’t the only time the Prefab Four gave indie films a leg-up – when Alex Cox made Repo Man, the money came courtesy of Mike Nesmith.
Money well spent?
Yes, if you consider that Hopper’s movie almost single-handedly created American independent cinema.
No, if you remember that it’s only any good when Jack Nicholson’s on screen.
Next: The Terror