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Five Easy Pieces (1970)

R  |   |  Drama  |  12 September 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 23,863 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 21 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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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 <>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Jack Nicholson wanted Janis Joplin to have the part of Palm Apodaca, but it was never offered to her. See more »


Bobby tells Raye that he has to go to Washington State to see his father who had a stroke. The Dupea household was actually on Central Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and the ferry scenes occurred at Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay, which are also on Vancouver Island, not Washington. See more »


Bobby: Where are *you* goin'?
Palm Apodaca: Alaska.
Bobby: Alaska. What are you: on vacation?
Terry: She wants to live there 'cause it's cleaner.
Bobby: Cleaner. Cleaner than what?
Palm Apodaca: You don't have to tell everybody about it. Pretty soon they'll all go there and it won't be so clean.
Bobby: What makes you think it's cleaner?
Palm Apodaca: I saw a picture of it. Alaska's very clean. It appeared to look very white to me. Don't you think?
Bobby: Yep. That was before the big thaw.
Palm Apodaca: Before the what?
See more »


Featured in The Siskel & Ebert 500th Anniversary Special (1989) See more »


Stand by Your Man
Written by Billy Sherrill (as B. Sherril) & Tammy Wynette (as T. Wynette)
Performed by Tammy Wynette
[Played over the opening titles]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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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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