Discover the Dennis Hopper film that turned into an on-set orgy

A previously lost film provides a fascinating insight into the actor’s creative process.

Little White Lies

Photograhs courtesy of

Polaris Communications

With the change still jangling in his pocket from the success of Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper decided to make his dream picture – The Last Movie. A notorious folly and often considered the moment where the dream of counterculture creativity went bad, it sees Hopper as an errant film stuntman who stays in Peru following a film shoot and makes “movies” with the locals. It’s like a druggy Werner Herzog film, in thrall as much to the spectacle of cinema as the landscape around it.

In the run-up to its filming, LM Kit Carson and Lawrence Schiller decided to capture the “creative process” of the endeavour, with a Jesus-like Hopper opting to surround himself with bullets and Bunny Girls. While he obviously takes great joy from broadcasting his complex worldview and personal philosophy to the camera, Hopper is shown as building a cult around himself as a way to allow ideas to flow freely. Seeing this happen is at once scary, seedy and profound.

Dennis Hopper, on his way to relieve stress with a firearm.

More de-stressing, this time with pal.

Back on the ranch, gathering up his harem. To help with the making of the film, of course.

The calm before the storm.

Hopper, again going above and beyond to get his creative juices flowing.

This may be a relaxation method, or another way to build creative focus.

The American Dreamer is released theatrically 5 February and will be available to watch online at mubi.com from 12 February.

Published 27 Jan 2016

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