Two young men undertake a motorcycle trip to New Orleans, meeting hippies, rednecks, prostitutes, and drugs along the way. It is the story of a journey by two self-righteous, anti-hero bikers, eastward through the American Southwest. "Captain America" Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) score big by selling drugs as they travel from Los Angeles eastwards. A classic youth film of the 1960's, it reflects the attitudes and longings of a whole generation in search of the real America, in search of freedom (or the illusion of freedom) in a conformist America, surrounded by paranoia, bigotry and violence. The message of the film is that death seems to be the only escape from the system.