Lawrence O'Toole
September 28, 1990 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Five Easy Pieces

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
98 minutes
performer
Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Sally Struthers
director
Bob Rafelson
distributor
RCA/Columbia Home Video
genre
Drama

We gave it a B

In Five Easy Pieces, Jack Nicholson is the drifting scion of a cultured West Coast family who has traded his musical gift (the title refers to piano exercises) for sleeping around, heavy drinking, and blue-collar bravado. In Bob Rafelson’s polished and observant (but rather cold) film, the character’s aimlessness and rebellion reflected America’s mood at the time. Karen Black is memorable as Nicholson’s waitress-girlfriend, Rayette, and so is Helena Kallionotes as a lesbian hitchhiker who delievers a scathing tirade on the filth of urban living. B

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