Blu-ray, DVD Release: Five Easy Pieces

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 30, 2015
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Following Jack Nicholson’s (Chinatown) breakout supporting turn in Easy Rider, director Bob Rafelson (The Postman Always Rings Twice) devised a powerful leading role for the new star in 1970’s searing character-driven drama Five Easy Pieces.

Jack Nicholson and Karen Black in Five Easy Pieces

Jack Nicholson and Karen Black in Five Easy Pieces

Nicholson plays the now iconic cad Bobby Dupea, a shiftless thirty-something oil rigger and former piano prodigy immune to any sense of responsibility, who returns to his upper-middle-class childhood home, blue-collar girlfriend (Nashville’s Karen Black, in an Oscar-nominated role) in tow, to see his estranged ailing father.

Moving in its simplicity and gritty in its textures, Five Easy Pieces is a lasting example of early 1970s American alienation.

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the film contain the following features:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography László Kovács, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • Audio commentary featuring director Bob Rafelson and interior designer Toby Rafelson
    • Soul Searching in “Five Easy Pieces,” a 2009 video piece with Rafelson
    • BBStory, a 2009 documentary about the legendary film company BBS Productions, with Rafelson; actors Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, and Ellen Burstyn; directors Peter Bogdanovich and Henry Jaglom; and others
    • Documentary from 2009 about BBS featuring critic David Thomson and historian Douglas Brinkley
    • Audio excerpts from a 1976 AFI interview with Rafelson
    • Theatrical trailer and teasers
    • An essay by critic Kent Jones


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.