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Five Easy Pieces (1970)

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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.

Director:

Bob Rafelson

Writers:

Carole Eastman (screenplay) (as Adrien Joyce), Bob Rafelson (story) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Marlena MacGuire ... Twinky (as Marlena Macguire)
Richard Stahl 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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

He Rode The Fast Lane On The Road To Nowhere.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1971 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi vida es mi vida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,099,091, 31 December 1971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

After Bobby and Carl are finished playing Ping-Pong, Carl leaves in the blue station wagon to go to the mainland where he spends the night. In the next several scenes when Bobby and Catherine spend time together while it is understood Carl is away, they are seen cavorting outside where the blue station wagon is shown parked in the driveway. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Truly Madly Deeply (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Pearl Kaufman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
When Everything is Nothing
15 October 2001 | by patrickfaulknerSee all my reviews

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.


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