7.5/10
29,771
203 user 95 critic

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Trailer
2:39 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison, but decide to show him one last good time along the way.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Otis Young
Easy Rider (1969)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Through the open country and desert lands, two bikers head from L.A to New Orleans, and along the way, meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap they are unaware of.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A daydreamer convinces his radio personality brother to help fund one of his get-rich-quick schemes.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Chronicling the lifelong sexual development of two men who meet and befriend one another in college.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A frustrated war correspondent, unable to find the war he's been asked to cover, takes the risky path of coopting the identity of a dead arms dealer acquaintance.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In 1951, a group of high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both culturally and economically.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A professional hitman and hitwoman fall in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, John Colicos
Ironweed (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An alcoholic drifter spends Halloween in his home town of Albany, New York after returning there for the first time in decades.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker
Reds (1981)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.

Director: Warren Beatty
Stars: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter's family problems.

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson
Edit

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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1971 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi vida es mi vida See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Five Easy Pieces" refers to a book of piano lessons for beginners. See more »

Goofs

During the ping-pong game between Bob and Carl, in the background you can see Spicer cleaning the wheelchair on the right side. When Carl is returning from retrieving the ping-pong ball that went under the car, you briefly see Spicer on the left side of the wheelchair. See more »

Quotes

Bobby: That's dangerous, you know.
Catherine: Riding?
Bobby: Mm-hmm. You play the piano all day and then jump on a horse, you could get cramps.
See more »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One Of The All-Time Greatest Films
28 September 2005 | by tightspotkiloSee all my reviews

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.


135 of 166 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 203 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed