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>
The movie's conversation "You want me to hold the chicken, huh?" - "I want you to hold it between your knees." between Robert (Jack Nicholson) and the waitress (Lorna Thayer) was voted as the #98 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007. See more »
When Bob and his sister return from drinking coffee on the water front he no longer is holding his brown coffee mug. When the camera angle changes to show them walking up the porch steps the cup is not present. See more »
Well, what if she was, Bob? I can't see nothin' so bad in that. Well, what if I were to let you in on a little secret that she is? That's right. She told me. She's all torn up about it, too, which I hate to see. Well hell, isn't it somethin' you just have to face up to? I tell ya, somewhere along the line, you even get to likin' the whole idea. When Stoney first give me the news, I coulda shit!
[Bobby spits out his food and throws down his food in disgust]
Well isn't that nice?
It's ridiculous. ...
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This movie is most famous for a scene in which Jack Nicholson tells a waitress to hold the chicken salad between her knees so he can get some plain wheat toast, but, in a movie as good as this, that very famous scene may be its least memorable one. After that scene, I hadn't heard anything about what this film was really about, and its depth and power took me completely by surprise. It's a story of a man trapped in his own life, unable to find a place to settle. All the locations at which he has arrived have lead to nothing but disappointment and the realization that there just might not be a life for him. God, how I can sympathize. Just as I was starting to question whether Nicholson was as good an actor as everybody seems to think he is, I've come upon his very best performance. Karen Black plays his girlfriend, a hick who loves him to death. He's not sure if she's good enough for him, or vice versa. Lois Smith, Ralph Waite, and Susan Anspach give good supporting performances. A flat-out masterpiece.
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