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1969 was a watershed year for American cinema, with two films in particular heralding significant changes to the movie-making industry. One was “Midnight Cowboy,” the story of a hustler and a junkie on the streets of New York City, starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman; this became the first X-rated film to win an Oscar, proving that an X was no barrier to mass acceptance.

The other was Dennis Hopper’s hippie road-movie, “Easy Rider.” Made for $375,000 and eventually earning in the region of $50 million, “Easy Rider” proved that hip, confrontational films aimed at a counterculture audience could sell, despite a lack of big stars.

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