EASY RIDER (1969) Best Actor Oscar
Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, Phil Spector
Directed by Dennis Hopper
Jack plays an alcoholic but the more articulate of his dropout buddies, as they criss
cross the West on motorbikes, searching for the meaning of life. They find bigoted
violence. A classic, of course.
FIVE EASY PIECES (1970) Best Actor Oscar
Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush, Fannie Flagg, Sally
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Have your nerves wracked by the best in the business: Jack. His portrait of Bob is utterly
absorbing, a mixed up and out of place character whose pieces are never easy.
KING OF MARVIN GARDENS (1972)
Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Julia Anne Robisnon
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Not Bob’s best, but Jack comes out well in a tale of two brothers (Jack plays younger
to Dern’s older) in which the self effacing younger allows himself to be seduced by
the wheeler dealer elder’s lifestyle.
THE LAST DETAIL (1973) – Best Actor,
Cannes Film Festival
Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James
Directed by Hal Ashby
Jack plays the senior of two sailors escorting a dumb young recruit to a naval prison
after he commits petty thievery. It’s leisurely, ‘cause they’ve got time to
deliver the boor bugger, and Jack makes the most of the exchange of compassion between the
prisoner and the detail assigned to him.
A FEW GOOD MEN (1992) Best Supporting
Actor, Oscar nominee
Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon Keifer
Directed by Rob Reiner
Defence lawyers, Kaffee (Cruise) and Galloway (Moore) are assigned the case of defending
two US soldiers, accused of murdering a fellow soldier who was deemed to have 'broken the
code'. Kaffee and Galloway soon run into Jessep (Nicholson), a brick wall who sees himself
as a military 'untouchable.' The accused claim they were obeying orders (Jessep's), and
that the death was an accident. Trim, taut and terrific…
Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Christopher Plummer
Directed by Mike Nichols
Although Witches of Eastwick was a better (supernatural) vehicle for Jack, (because he
makes a better devil than a werewolf) this is often inventive and entertaining, avoiding
cliches for the most part and posing the question: what if it were me.
AS GOOD AS IT GETS (1997) Best Actor,
Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding jnr, Skeet
Directed by james L. Brooks
New York City’s Melvin Udall, a cranky, bigoted, obsessive-compulsive writer, finds
his life turned upside down when neighboring gay artist Simon is hospitalized and his dog
is entrusted to Melvin. In addition, Carol, the only waitress who will tolerate him, must
leave work to care for her sick son, making it impossible for Melvin to eat breakfast.
Everyone sparkles and the humour has an edge. This is one of Jack’s three Oscar
winning roles (apart from eight others for which he was nominated).