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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

In Carole Eastman's original script, Catherine Van Oost (Susan Anspach) was supposed to be an older woman. But Director Bob Rafelson transformed her into a young beauty, who is Carl's (Ralph Waite's) protégé. See more »

Goofs

When imitating a musical revue, Bobby zips down his shirt, but it is zipped back up in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

Palm Apodaca: I mean then it wouldn't be filthy with uh Coke bottles and whisky and uh -
[takes a puff on her cigarette]
Palm Apodaca:
  • those signs everywhere. They should be *erased*! All those signs selling you crap and more crap and more crap. And I - I don't know. I don't know. I don't even want to talk about it.

See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dead of Summer: Mix Tape (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude in E Minor, Op 28, No. 4
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Pearl Kaufman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

When There's a Fire In Your Heart
3 September 2003 | by PeteStudSee all my reviews

This incredible movie would have to be one of Jack Nicholson and the totally underrated Karen Black's finest hours (and a half!). This would probably be my favourite movie of all time and though you might find it initially depressing you too will find many instances of black humour with repeated viewings. Everybody and their dog always raves about the chicken salad sandwich diner scene and the dialogue between the main character and his invalid father but for my money the money shot is when Bobby first tells Rayette he has to visit his family ALONE and as he tries to leave without her (which wouldve ended up being the most humane thing he does in the film!!) he finds his car wont start at the crucial moment and he completely loses it in his car cursing a lotta four letter words under his breath. I wont go into the details of what this film is about but its thoroughly entertaining and works on many levels. Fans of this sort of drama should check out WHEN YOU COMIN BACK, RED RYDER as well for superb character breakdowns also. If you thought the main character in Michael Leigh's NAKED was a miserable lost soul on a road to nowhere you aint seen nothing yet til you check out Jack in this!! A complete masterpiece from beginning to end. Great soundtrack with Tammy Wynette by the way and Karen Black shows off her awesome vocal style as well......


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