Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces is a road movie built around the evasive charm of Jack Nicholson. Screenwriter Adrien Joyce has partly fashioned the character around the actor’s own personality.
He is Bobby Dupea, a middle-class drifter who briefly abandons oil-rigging and a sluttish girlfriend (Karen Black) to return to Oregon to visit his middle-class musical family – the title refers to five pieces by Chopin (Bobby was a budding classical pianist).
In the end, he forsakes his family, the pregnant Black, and the chance of happiness with Susan Anspach, for the road to Alaska.
It’s a poignant tale of wasted intelligence and American restlessness, and one of the few Hollywood films to explore the theme of class.
Robert Eroica Dupea
Catherine Van Oost
Billy Green Bush
Carl Fidelio Dupea