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Five Easy Pieces (1970)

R  |   |  Drama  |  12 September 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 24,117 users  
Reviews: 177 user | 87 critic

A drop-out from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil-rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest.



(screenplay) (as Adrien Joyce) , (story), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Director: Jack Nicholson
Stars: William Tepper, Karen Black, Michael Margotta


Cast overview, first billed only:
Elton (as Billy 'Green' Bush)
Fannie Flagg ...
Betty (as Sally Ann Struthers)
Marlena MacGuire ...
Twinky (as Marlena Macguire)
Richard Stahl ...
Recording Engineer
Partita Dupea
Lorna Thayer ...
Susan Anspach ...
Carl Fidelio Dupea
William Challee ...
Nicholas Dupea
Spicer (as John Ryan)


Robert Dupea has given up his promising career as a concert pianist and is now working in oil fields. He lives together with Rayette, who's a waitress in a diner. When Robert hears from his sister that his father isn't well, he drives up to Washington to see him, taking Rayette with him. There he gets confronted with his rich, cultured family that he had left behind. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He Rode The Fast Lane On The Road To Nowhere.




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi vida es mi vida  »

Box Office


$1,600,000 (estimated)


SEK 787,060 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The traffic jam on the freeway was shot on a new and unopened section of Interstate 5 near Bakersfield, Ca. See more »


While Tita and Bobby are on the waterfront, talking, Tita is leaning on the tree with no coffee cup and in the next shot she is holding a coffee cup. In the next shot, the cup is gone and she is leaning on the tree again. See more »


Betty: When I was four, just four years old, I went to my mother and I said, "What's this hole in my chin?" - I saw this dimple in my chin in the mirror, and didn't know what it was. And my mother said - get what my mother says - she says, "When you're born, you go on a assembly line past God, and if He likes you, He says,
[grabs her cheeks with both her hands]
Betty: "You cute little thing!" and you get dimples there. And if He doesn't like you, He goes,
[presses one finger on her chin]
Betty: "Go away." So about ...
See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Death Is a Bitch (2000) See more »


Don't Touch Me
Written by Hank Cochran (as H. Cochran)
Performed by Tammy Wynette
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

When Everything is Nothing

After years doing Roger Corman quickies, Jack Nicholson emerged as a fully-formed mature actor in this great movie. I re-watched this film last week, and I still love it. Based partly on the life of eccentric Canadian concert pianist Glenn Gould, this is a wonderful character study of Bobby Dupea (Nicholson) who seems to have everything: musical talent, education, supportive family - but who, as the by-line says "is never satisfied". He tosses it in to work on oil rigs. His father's illness forces him to return to the family home on Puget Sound, bringing his girlfriend Rayette (beautifully played by Karen Black). What emerges is a clash of class and culture with Nicholson stuck between, enraged at both his background and Rayette. What is so wonderful is that information & character emerge thru small moments. (One of my favourites is Nicholson's piano-playing during the traffic jam). Nicholson shows the many sides of this talented drifter; a man who can be both charming and appallingly selfish. The cast is uniformly excellent, and the music of Tammy Wynette adds ironic commentary to the unfolding events.A classic film.

16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Anybody else felt like Bobby Dupea? Zeder82
What's the point of this? amy-girl
Similar movies to see. Recommend!!! nahuil
Glenn Gould and Five Easy Pieces melliot5
Why does Bobby visit Tita at the recording studio? Pleas explain! paradroid
This Movie is America... NiKoDay
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