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Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Five Easy Pieces


96 minutes


Directed by Bob Rafelson


Jack Nicholson as Robert Eroica Dupea
Karen Black as Rayette Dipesto
Billy 'Green' Bush as Elton
Fannie Flagg as Stoney
Sally Ann Struthers as Betty
Marlena Macguire as Twinky
Lois Smith as Partita Dupea
Helena Kallianiotes as Palm Apodaca
Toni Basil as Terry Grouse
Susan Anspach as Catherine Van Oost
Ralph Waite as Carl Fidelio Dupea
William Challee as Nicholas Dupea
John Ryan as Spicer
Irene Dailey as Samia Glavia
Lorna Thayer as Waitress
Richard Stahl as Recording Engineer

Five Easy Pieces dinner scene

Jack Nicholson plays a classical pianist, Robert Dupea whose family are all musicians, but works in an oil field in California. He spends his leisure time in bowling alleys, drinking with his friend Elton and his girlfriend, Rayette. He leaves his job once he finds out that Rayette is pregnant and Elton is taken to prison for robbing a gas station a year ago and heads to Los Angeles with Rayette where his sister, Partita is making a piano recording. Partita advices him to visit their father who has gone through two strokes. He informs Rayette that he will be leaving to see his family and unwillingly brings her along with him. During their trip, they give two lesbian hitchhikers a ride and he quickly regrets picking them, for he is over their talk about “filth”. More problems come his way, when they are kicked out of a restaurant since his order was not to his taste. When they reach Robert’s family home, he leaves Rayette in a motel, for he is ashamed at her appearance. Later that evening during dinner, he encounters Catherine Van Oost, a young pianist who is engaged to be married to his brother, Carl, a violinist.

Although Robert and Catherine are completely different from one another, they are attracted to each other and sleep together in her room. While all of this is going on, Rayette becomes tired of being by herself and visits Robert’s family home. No one was expecting her, causing an uncomfortable feeling with everyone. Robert comes to her defense when Samia, a self-centered family friend criticizes Rayette’s lifestyle. After trying to find Catherine, he finds his father’s male nurse giving Partita a massage as she is half clothed. This infuriates Robert and he starts to fight the nurse. After getting a beating, he tries to persuade Catherine to leave with him, but she wants nothing to do with him, for she feels he does not love himself. Nothing is going well for him during his stay, not even trying to talk to his mute father. He decides there is nothing left to do but leave with Rayette. He leaves Rayette on her own at a gas station and catches a ride on a truck.  

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