7.5/10
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201 user 94 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

It is the only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year not to win any Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

At the bowling alley, a stain or wet spot is visible on the seat of Bobby's jeans, but is gone in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

Elton: [singing] Do you wanna buy a ticket to the raffle of a dog/ That comes a-runnin', lickin', when you whistle, holler "Claude"?/ A big brown dog, just as sound as a ring/ He'll be eight years old if he lives 'til the spring./ Tickets, tickets, two for a quarter!/ If you haven't got your ticket yet, well, you'd better order!/ He'll wet your carpet and he'll fertilize your grass/ He's got three white feet and a hole in his ass!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The Wrap Party (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Touch Me
Written by Hank Cochran (as H. Cochran)
Performed by Tammy Wynette
See more »

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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