Film Response: Five Easy Pieces

Brian Fairchild

            In relation to the fact that the New Hollywood Film era focuses on artistic, political, and in general a free range of non studio shooting, I would have to say that the very first thing that caught my eye was early in the film. When Robert Dupea (Nicholson) and his girlfriend were sitting on the couch after his day at work, I noticed an obvious poster of JFK behind them. Being that this film was shot in the 70’s, the assassination was just barely a decade old and fresh in the minds of young people questioning their faith in the government.


Another thing that struck me about this movie was that Dupea was an extremely talented pianist coming from a strong prosperous family of musicians. Being that this was part of the era of the “free spirit,” something drove him away to find his own way in life even if it meant just barely getting by jumping from job to job and living day to day. The scene where the two men Dupea and his co-worker were turned away from work as they showed up hung-over and were forced to drive home in traffic had to have been my favorite scene in the film. When the slightly drunk Dupea jumped on the back of the truck and started playing piano to pass the time gave off a sense of freedom and taking life for what it is in that moment. As he left his car with his buddy in the middle of the highway and took off the exit ramp jamming away on piano cracked me up as I’m sure it did the young audience of the 70’s.


As theses young filmmakers decided to shoot on location, it took this film to another level with its broad variation of landscape shots which really made the sense more realistic and brought them to life. Some examples that stuck out to me have to be the shots where Dupea and his woman were driving north to visit his sick father. I really felt as if I were traveling with them with the spectacular views. Other on location shots that struck me were when Dupea was riding the ferry with the chilly wake behind the boat. It almost made me feel cold just watching the way Nicholson was all bundled up with the icy mist in his face.

According to the article, “Beethoven, Chopin and Tammy Wynette: Heroines and Archetypes in Five Easy Pieces,” states that,



Works Cited

Campbell, Gregg M. “Beethoven, Chopin and Tammy Wynette: Heroines and Archetypes in Five Easy Pieces.” Literature Film Quarterly 2.3 (1974): 275. Communication & Mass Media Complete. EBSCO. Web. 23 Feb. 2011.

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One Response to Film Response: Five Easy Pieces

  1. Juan Monroy says:

    Excellent review!

    Your excerpt also appears to be broken.

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