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''Five Easy Pieces'' is a past gem from Oscar nominee Jack Nicholson

SCREEN GEM: Five Easy Pieces (1970)

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Jack Nicholson, Five Easy Pieces
Five Easy Pieces: Everett Collection

”Five Easy Pieces” is a past gem from Oscar nominee Jack Nicholson

COSTARS Karen Black, Sally Struthers

PREMISE Bobby Dupea (Nicholson) rebels against parental authority, abandoning his future as a concert pianist to work in an oil field. This is the film with the famous chicken-salad-sandwich scene: ”Hold it between your kneeeees,” Jack utters to a diner waitress who won’t let him order plain toast.

FUN FACT The title refers to a piano music instruction book.

WHY IT’S GREAT ”Pieces” continues Nicholson’s tradition — from ”Easy Rider” to ”About Schmidt” — of classic road trip films, but it’s here that he really hones his signature persona: rebellious, subversive, ornery, volatile, unsatisfied, and perversely charming.