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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

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

During Bobby's monologue with his father at about 1:27:30 there is an onlooker in the far background in the top left corner of the frame. After 15 seconds they walk away, giving themselves away as a person rather than a tree stump. See more »

Quotes

Bobby: What else do you do?
Catherine: Well, there's fishing, boating, and concerts on the mainland.
[Laughs]
Catherine: I feel funny telling you this. This is really your home. You probably know better than I what there is to do.
Bobby: Nothing.
Catherine: Nothing?
Bobby: Nothing.
Catherine: Well, it must be very boring for you here.
Bobby: That's right.
Catherine: I find that very hard to comprehend. I don't think I've ever been bored. Excuse me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Melrose Place: Dr. Jealousy (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Fantasy in D Minor, K. 397
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Pearl Kaufman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"stick it between your knees"
8 July 2005 | by Lee EisenbergSee all my reviews

In 1969, Jack Nicholson made his big break in "Easy Rider", and the very next year, he got his first lead role in another "easy": "Five Easy Pieces". He plays Robert Eroica "Bobby" Dupea, a man from a well-off musical family. Bobby has given up his potential, choosing instead to work in the oil fields. Angry and with no goal in life, he spends most of his time drinking, partying, and ignoring his girlfriend Rayette Dipesto (Karen Black). Then, his father has a stroke, forcing Bobby to visit his family. Staying with his family prompts him to not only reconsider the path that he has chosen in life, but to reevaluate his whole existence, and how he abandoned his talent.

"Five Easy Pieces" was one of the movies that affirmed the new direction that the movie industry was taking in the late '60s and early '70s. Ten years earlier, they might have given the movie an idiotically sugary ending, but the movie does not have such an ending. The ending not only shows how unhappy Bobby is, but also the sense of cynicism that had come to pervade the country. A 10/10.

Of course, the really famous scene happens in the restaurant. Although that was probably just thrown in for comic relief, it truly is a classic.


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