Criterion Collection—the cream of the crop when it comes to home-video releases—has done a bang-up job with Five Easy Pieces, the Jack Nicholson classic from director Bob Rafelson.
Nicholson plays Bobby, a former pianist and son of a rich man who has left his family behind to work on an oil rig in Southern California. When he discovers his father is sick, he takes his girlfriend (Karen Black) on a road trip where he finds himself wrestling with his past and confusion about his love life.
This is one of the quintessential Nicholson roles, featuring that forever-awesome confrontation with a diner waitress over the preparation of a sandwich. It came out in 1970, kicking off a decade of American filmmaking that remains unparalleled.
Five Easy Pieces is an essential film for lovers of classic American cinema. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: They don’t make ’em like this anymore.
Special Features: This one is loaded. There’s a director’s commentary, a near-50-minute documentary on the movie (with the participation of Rafelson and Nicholson!), a cool booklet and much more.