Jack Nicholson: In The Frame

29/10/2007
  |  Buy to Own: 29/10/2007
  |  637 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

This set contains six films starring Jack Nicholson. In 'Five Easy Pieces' (1970), Robert Dupea (Nicholson) works with his friend Elton as an oilrigger in California, and spends his free time bowling and drinking beer. When his witless girlfriend Rayette (Karen Black) announces that she is pregnant, Robert meets up with his concert pianist sister (Lois Smith), who tells him that their father does not have long to live. Rayette sees Robert in a new light when he reveals that he, too, is a classical pianist, and accompanies him when he decides to return to his family home in Washington. However, things don't go particularly smoothly once in Washington when Robert falls for another woman (Susan Anspach), who is the complete opposite of Rayette. In 'As Good As It Gets' (1997) Nicholson plays curmudgeonly romantic writer Melvin Udall, a neurotic homophobic racist who enjoys insulting his gay neighbour, artist Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear), and being rude to waitress Carol (Helen Hunt) at his local restaurant. However, when Simon is hospitalised, it falls to Melvin to look after his pet dog, Verdell. An emotional thaw begins to set in, and when Carol misses stints at the restaurant due to her son's asthma, Melvin pays for him to have proper medical attention. A budding romance with Carol is threatened, however, by Melvin's obsessive neuroses. 'The Last Detail' (1973) tells of career sailors, Buddusky (Nicholson) and Mulhall (Otis Young), who are given the task of escorting Seaman Meadows (Randy Quaid) to gaol. He is facing a long sentence on trumped up charges and the two sailors, feeling guilty about his gloomy prospects, decide to show him a good time before he goes down. In 'Easy Rider' (1969), bikers Captain America (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper, who also directs) set off across America on the proceeds of a cocaine deal. En route to the New Orleans Mardi Gras festival they stop off at a hippy commune, before being arrested in Texas for joining a street parade without a licence. In jail they meet boozy civil rights lawyer George Hanson (Nicholson), who decides to join them on their odyssey. In Antonioni's 'The Passenger' (1975), David Locke (Nicholson) is a television reporter on location in Africa. Returning to his hotel after getting lost and bogged in the desert, he discovers that the man in the room next to his is dead. After deciding that his own life wasn't worth living anymore, he switches identities with the dead man, taking the man's passport, his luggage, and his appointment schedule. Leaving Africa, he heads off to keep the dead man's appointments, hoping that his new life will be more interesting than his old one was. Downbeat drama, 'The King Of Marvin Gardens' (1972) stars Nicholson as David, a radio personality from Philadelphia. When his older brother Jason (Bruce Dern) calls out of the blue one day, David travels to Atlantic City to see what his latest easy money scheme is. Along with his former beauty queen companion Sally (Ellen Burstyn) and her pretty stepdaughter Jessica (Julia Anne Robinson), Jason plans to open a resort on a small Hawaiian island, insisting to David that the deal is as good as done. When David discovers the reality behind the scheme, he attempts to make Jason come to his senses. Unfortunately, Jason is having none of it, leading to a tragic lesson about the cost of superficial values like beauty and wealth, and the limits of brotherly love.