IMDb > Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Five Easy Pieces
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Five Easy Pieces (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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Five Easy Pieces -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   26,386 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Carole Eastman (screenplay)
Bob Rafelson (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Five Easy Pieces on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 December 1970 (Argentina) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
He Rode The Fast Lane On The Road To Nowhere.
Plot:
A dropout 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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One Of The All-Time Greatest Films See more (195 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Nicholson ... Robert Eroica Dupea

Karen Black ... Rayette Dipesto

Billy Green Bush ... Elton (as Billy 'Green' Bush)
Fannie Flagg ... Stoney

Sally Struthers ... Betty (as Sally Ann Struthers)
Marlena MacGuire ... Twinky (as Marlena Macguire)
Richard Stahl ... Recording Engineer

Lois Smith ... Partita Dupea

Helena Kallianiotes ... Palm Apodaca

Toni Basil ... Terry Grouse
Lorna Thayer ... Waitress

Susan Anspach ... Catherine Van Oost

Ralph Waite ... Carl Fidelio Dupea

William Challee ... Nicholas Dupea

John P. Ryan ... Spicer (as John Ryan)
Irene Dailey ... Samia Glavia
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Clay Greenbush ... Baby (uncredited)

Directed by
Bob Rafelson 
 
Writing credits
Carole Eastman (screenplay) (as Adrien Joyce)

Bob Rafelson (story) and
Carole Eastman (story) (as Adrien Joyce)

Produced by
Bob Rafelson .... producer
Bert Schneider .... executive producer
Harold Schneider .... associate producer
Richard Wechsler .... producer
 
Cinematography by
László Kovács (director of photography) (as Laszlo Kovacs)
 
Film Editing by
Christopher Holmes 
Gerald Shepard 
 
Casting by
Fred Roos 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sheldon Schrager .... assistant director
Bill Green .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Toby Carr Rafelson .... interior designer (as Toby Rafelson)
Walter Starkey .... prop master
 
Sound Department
Charles T. Knight .... sound mixer (as Charles Knight)
Bob Minkler .... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
James Nelson .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richmond L. Aguilar .... gaffer (as Richard Aguilar)
Bill Curtis .... best boy
Howard Hagadorn .... dolly grip
George Hill .... key grip
Bernie Abramson .... still photographer (uncredited)
Ronald Vidor .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bucky Rous .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Peter Denenberg .... assistant editor (as Pete Denenberg)
Harold Hazen .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Pearl Kaufman .... musician: piano
 
Transportation Department
Alfred Schultz .... transportation captain (as Al Schultz)
 
Other crew
Kent Remington .... location representative
Marilyn Schlossberg .... production coordinator
Terry Terrill .... script supervisor
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
98 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Australia:SOA (original rating) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 | Italy:VM14 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) | New Zealand:R16 | Peru:14 | Sweden:11 | UK:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | USA:R

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Jack Nicholson wanted Lauren Hutton as Catherine.See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: 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 »
Quotes:
Bobby:I move around a lot, not because I'm looking for anything really, but 'cause I'm getting away from things that get bad if I stay.See more »
Soundtrack:
Don't Touch MeSee more »

FAQ

Was Rayette really pregnant?
How does the movie end?
Is 'Five Easy Pieces' based on a book?
See more »
117 out of 146 people found the following review useful.
One Of The All-Time Greatest Films, 28 September 2005
Author: tightspotkilo from Oregon, USA

This film is a classic because it operates and works on every level imaginable, a truly evocative film. Other posters have elucidated upon and discussed the musicology of it, and the significance of Chopin. I'll take their word for it, and not go there. That's out of my league. And, as others have noted, the film is an exploration and study of character, which it certainly is. All that and more. I see the film as being in its own way a period piece unto itself, the period being films made in the late 60s and early 70s. It is quintessentially representative of what was an important movie circa 1970. Of course the storyline of an alienated young man (Jack Nicholson as Robert Dupea), walking away from all that is expected of him, and indeed walking away --if not running away-- from his prodigious gifts, and doing it all with a cocky attitude, no longer resonates quite the way it did in 1970. But, if you weren't around in 1970, trust me, it resonated well then. It was a theme that seemed important and meaningful at the time, even though the character's motivations for his actions are never really explained and remain something of a blank slate for the viewer to fill in. In 1970, when the concept of an "identity crises" was big, it worked to just suggest and imply that Dupea felt the need to Quixotically search out and determine for himself what was important for him. That dovetailed with another important component in many movies of that era --you never explain yourself, because if you explain things, you trivialize it all and ruin it. Or, as Jenny, Ali McGraw's character in Love Story (also a 1970 film) put it, "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Meanwhile, unfolding alongside the Dupea character, was Karen Black's tour de force performance as the big-haired clingy-dependent waitress girlfriend, Rayette, and doing it to a medley of apropos Tammy Wynette tunes. Karen Black's performance perfectly captured and spot-on nailed an almost ubiquitous sort of woman prevalent in that era, when the social changes wrought by the women's movement had not yet taken fruit.

As for the notorious diner scene, this one scene essentially dominates the whole movie. It is something that people who have seen the movie will bring up and talk about, even decades later. Yet the scene is in no way pivotal or important to the story. At most it once and for all permanently affixes in the viewers' minds that Dupea was an impulsively flippant and angry person, not one to meekly abide any of life's minor frustrations. But we were already getting that picture of him before this scene happens. And, courtesy of Dupea, the scene provides a snippet of gratuitous social commentary about inflexibility and the stupidity of mindless adherence to meaningless rules. Something for the viewers to cheer and say, "I can relate to that!" Those things aside, to me the real value of the scene was that it provided an entertaining contrast in a bleak drama, a needed change of pace. But regardless of whether it was a statement about Dupea's attitude, or a social comment about stupid rules, or a needed amusing interlude, no matter which of those it is, its lasting impression renders its importance out of proportion to the movie as a whole. Surely, as he made this film, director Bob Rafelson's never intended that 35 years later this particular scene be the main thing viewers took away and remembered about the film. In this sense, as entertaining as it is, the scene therefore must be viewed as being a bit of a story-telling flaw. In retrospect, it should have been toned down just a skosh. But, then, on the other hand, were it not for this scene, perhaps the film would hardly be remembered at all. It is already a largely overlooked masterpiece.

This movie pops up on the movie channels on a semi-regular basis, and when it does I always stop and am riveted. The cinematography is superb. The acting is superb. Nicholson turning in one of the performances from that era that made him the unhinged star in the first place, long before he became a parody of himself. But be warned, it is not a "happy" film. It is the product of an era that did not as a rule produce happy films. But it is nevertheless a film that must be seen.

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