Bob Rafelson

Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces

Following Jack Nicholson’s breakout supporting turn in Easy Rider, director Bob Rafelson devised a powerful leading role for the new star in the searing character study Fve Easy Pieces. Nicholson plays the now iconic cad Bobby Dupea, a shiftless thirtysomething oil rigger and former piano prodigy immune to any sense of responsibility, who returns to his upper-middle-class childhood home, blue-collar girlfriend (Karen Black, in an Oscar-nominated role) in tow, to see his estranged, ailing father. Moving in its simplicity and gritty in its textures, Five Easy Pieces is a lasting example of early 1970s American alienation.

Film Info

  • Bob Rafelson
  • United States
  • 1970
  • 98 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #546

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography László Kovács, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by director Bob Rafelson and interior designer Toby Rafelson
  • Soul Searching in "Five Easy Pieces," a 2009 video piece featuring Rafelson
  • BBStory, a 2009 documentary about the legendary film company BBS Productions, with Rafelson; actors Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, and Ellen Burstyn; filmmakers Peter Bogdanovich and Henry Jaglom; and others
  • Documentary from 2009 about BBS featuring critic David Thomson and historian Douglas Brinkley
  • Audio excerpts from a 1976 AFI interview with Rafelson
  • Trailers and teasers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Kent Jones

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

America Lost and Found: The BBS Story

America Lost and Found: The BBS Story

Blu-Ray Box Set

6 Discs

$99.96

Collector's Set

America Lost and Found: The BBS Story

America Lost and Found: The BBS Story

DVD Box Set

9 Discs

$79.96

Out Of Print

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography László Kovács, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by director Bob Rafelson and interior designer Toby Rafelson
  • Soul Searching in "Five Easy Pieces," a 2009 video piece featuring Rafelson
  • BBStory, a 2009 documentary about the legendary film company BBS Productions, with Rafelson; actors Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, and Ellen Burstyn; filmmakers Peter Bogdanovich and Henry Jaglom; and others
  • Documentary from 2009 about BBS featuring critic David Thomson and historian Douglas Brinkley
  • Audio excerpts from a 1976 AFI interview with Rafelson
  • Trailers and teasers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Kent Jones
Five Easy Pieces
Cast
Jack Nicholson
Robert Eroica Dupea
Karen Black
Rayette Dipesto
Billy “Green” Bush
Elton
Fannie Flagg
Stoney
Sally Ann Struthers
Betty
Marlena MacGuire
Twinky
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 Ryan
Spicer
Irene Dailey
Samia Glavia
Credits
Director
Bob Rafelson
Produced by
Bob Rafelson
Produced by
Richard Wechsler
Screenplay
Carole Eastman (as Adrien Joyce)
Story
Bob Rafelson
Story
Carole Eastman (as Adrien Joyce)
Executive producer
Bert Schneider
Director of photography
Lázló Kovács
Interior designer
Toby Rafelson
Associate producer
Harold Schneider
Film editors
Christopher Holmes
Film editors
Gerald Shepard

From The Current

Three Reasons: Five Easy Pieces
On Five Easy Pieces’ Diner Scene
On Five Easy Pieces’ Diner Scene

The most famous scene in Five Easy Pieces—and perhaps one of the most fondly recalled moments of all of the New American Cinema of the early seventies—is the diner confrontation between Jack Nicholson’s volatile Bobby Dupea and a strict waitres…

/
One Big Real Place: BBS From Head to Hearts
One Big Real Place: BBS From Head to Hearts

“What we need are good old American—and that’s not to be confused with European—Art Films.” So declared the then twenty-nine-year-old beatnik Method actor Dennis Hopper in an unpublished 1965 manifesto. “The whole damn country’s one …

By J. Hoberman

/
Five Easy Pieces: The Solitude
Five Easy Pieces: The Solitude

The solitude. Of men, sometimes women, who refused to settle on a place, a role, a “stable” identity. They walked through my life for a few years when I was a boy—carpenters, child-care workers, counselors, psychiatric patients. Some of them…

By Kent Jones

/
Doug Nichol’s Top 10
Doug Nichol’s Top 10

Grammy-winning director and cinematographer Doug Nichol’s documentary feature debut, California Typewriter, is now playing in theaters.


Film Picks from Agnès Varda, Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, and More
Film Picks from Agnès Varda, Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, and More

As part of the launch of the new French streaming video service La Cinetek—which was founded by the filmmakers Pascale Ferran (Bird People), Cédric Klapisch (Chinese Puzzle), and Laurent Cantet (Return to Ithaca), as well as Alain Rocca, president…

/
Steve Blauner on BBS Productions
Steve Blauner on BBS Productions

Steve Blauner, one of the founders of BBS, the production company that produced Five Easy Pieces, The Last Picture Show, The King of Marvin Gardens, and more, died last month at age eighty-one. We were lucky enough to sit down with him a few years ag…

/
Marc Maron’s Top 10
Marc Maron’s Top 10

Comedian and expert conversationalist Marc Maron is the creator and star of the IFC series Maron.


Will Oldham’s Top 10
Will Oldham’s Top 10

Singer-songwriter and occasional film actor Will Oldham has released eighteen albums.


Remembering Bert Schneider
Remembering Bert Schneider

The filmmaker’s recollections of the great producer.

By Peter Davis

/
Andrew Haigh’s Top 10
Andrew Haigh’s Top 10

Andrew Haigh worked as an assistant editor on Hollywood blockbusters, including Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, before striking out on his own to make more personal films, including his breakthrough 2011 love story, Weekend.


Five Easy Pieces

By 1970, the sixties may have been over, but the youth of America was still riding the crest of the Woodstock Festival into the new decade. 1969 gave us Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, Charles Manson directing his followers to commit the Tate-LaB…

By Michael Dare