- Rayette Dipesto (Karen Black) to Robert Dupea (Jack Nicholson)
"I faked a little Chopin. You faked a little response."
- Robert to his brother's fiancée (Susan Anspach) after he plays piano for her
"You want me to hold the chicken'"--Waitress "I want you to hold it between your knees."
Chicago Sun-Times - 03/16/2003
"...FIVE EASY PIECES has the complexity, the nuance, the depth, of the best fiction..."
Total Film - 06/01/2000
"...A subtle and thoughtful character study which is just as effective more than two decades later..."
FIVE EASY PIECES is one of the most notable collaborations between Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson, with Nicholson in an outstanding performance as Bobby Dupea. In the film, Rafelson and Nicholson capture the difficult, awkward life of a gifted man who hasn't discovered a way to fully express his talent or found his place in the world--and maybe never will.
Bobby is a classic misfit--disillusioned about being a musician, unhappy as an oil rigger, and unable to make a commitment to his girlfriend, Rayette (ubiquitous '70s starlet Karen Black), who hopes for marriage. When he visits his family home on Puget Sound after a long absence, things don't get better. Bobby hates the repressive atmosphere: his brother is unbearable, his father can't speak, and his sister is involved with his father's supercilious male nurse. When Bobby sets his sights on his brother's fiancée, Catherine Van Ost (movingly played by the beautiful Susan Anspach), things seem to be getting better--that is, until Rayette arrives and Bobby realizes he is caught in a collision between his two lives. The film features characteristically gorgeous cinematography from Laszlo Kovaks and a soundtrack that skillfully offsets Tammy Wynette with Chopin. FIVE EASY PIECES is a riveting American story about a former musical ingénue whose gift becomes a burden to him as he grapples with the implications of his choices in work, relationships, and family.
Essential Cinema |
Love Story |
Theatrical release: September 12, 1970
FIVE EASY PIECES premiered at the 1970 New York Film Festival.
Director Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson first collaborated on the Monkees' psychedelic film, HEAD, which Nicholson did not star in but coproduced and cowrote.
FIVE EASY PIECES was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2000.
Adrien Joyce, who wrote the script and cowrote the story for FIVE EASY PIECES, is a pseudonym for Carole Eastman. Eastman has worked on other Nicholson and Rafelson films; she wrote THE SHOOTING (as Adrien Joyce), which starred Jack Nicholson, and wrote and produced MAN TROUBLE, another Nicholson-Rafelson collaboration.
The film's piano pieces are played by Pearl Kaufman.
FIVE EASY PIECES is one of the rare movies in which Sally Struthers is credited as Sally Ann Struthers.