7.5/10
29,099
200 user 93 critic

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 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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Elton: 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]
Elton: Well isn't that nice?
Bobby: It's ridiculous. ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in America at the Movies (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Fantasy in F Minor, Op. 49
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Pearl Kaufman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Definitely one of the great American films.
31 January 2005 | by zetesSee all my reviews

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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