Film Bitch History
Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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"Annihilation, First Man and Roma are especially pretty" - Anonny

"The best thing about Roma is that splendid Black and White cinematography. And Lady Gaga could not have asked for a better shot film" - Jaragon

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"Is there a TV in the house?"

RAYETTE [interrupting a conversation that's boring everyone in the room]: Is there a TV in the house?

[...dead silence]

SAMIA: [resuming her preaching] I remarked to John that rationality is not a device to alter facts. Morever I think of it as an extranneous tool or gadget somewhat like [with disdain] ...the television.

To look at it any other way is ridiculous.

RAYETTE: There's some good things on it, tho'.

SAMIA: I beg your pardon?

RAYETTE: The TV. There's some good things on it sometime.

SAMIA: I have strong doubts.

Nevertheless, I am not discussing... media.

That hand shoo and dismissive faux-smile. LOL, what a mega bitch. Irene Dailey is so good in this scene as the pontificating dinner guest who thinks Rayette (Karen Black) is an absolute dolt. Dailey only ever made five movies and mostly worked on the stage with some TV thrown in.

I feel like we didn't give Five Easy Pieces (1970) enough chatter in the Smackdown just past but it's such a fun time capsule of famous people of the 1970s and such a  feast of an actor's movie. Every scene is -- as Denise suggested on the podcast -- like a study for an acting class. Please know that if the Film Bitch Awards had existed back in 1971 this movie could have easily hogged slots in "Best Actress in a Limited or Cameo Role" and "Supporting Actress" categories. I didn't equally love every performance but there are so many of them to...


Lois Smith's authentic deep feeling as a mediator of a sibling

Susan Anspach's cooly practical carnality (the fact that she recalls Toni Collette to modern eyes is quite a bonus) 

Helena Kallianiotes's novelty act "filth" monologuing. (Helena was a belly dancer in North Hollywood at the time and has been a friend of Jack Nicholson's for decades)

Famous lesbian Fannie Flagg, who is a total multi-hyphenate talent as a writer/actress/gameshow personality/comedienne, plays Rayette's friend "Stoney" (Flagg was later Oscar nominated for writing Fried Green Tomatoes and here's a fun trivia note: Her birth name is actually Patricia Neal but obviously she couldn't use that name in her career since it was already taken by an Oscar winner.)

and finally we'd be remiss not to mention Sally Struther's endearing cleft-chin monologue.


Jack Nicholson's character is loathsome in it but he's also quite terrific.

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Reader Comments (10)

I still say Helena wins with Black 2nd Anspach 3rd I didn't enjoy Lois at all

Nat have you a top 5 now you've viewed more 1970 films,we'd love to know.

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Thank you for this, Nathaniel. The movie decidedly did not get enough play in the conversation, I feel. Look at all those amazing actors! I remember Irene Daily well: she played the snobby troublemaker Liz Matthews on the soap opera Another World in the late-70's when I watched it, and obviously she was very good at playing those kind of roles. One of my favorite lines in 5EP is when Nicholson berates Samia for her dismissive attitude towards Rayette: "you pompous celibate!" That's a classic put-down.

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRob

LOVE this post.

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Mark -- unfortunately i didn't get a chance to watch a lot of 1970 movies and its one of my weakest years in terms of what i have left to see so currently my supporting actress list is like so -haha

BAILEY - The Landlord
BLACK - Five Easy Pieces
GRANT - The Landlord
SANDS - The Landlord
SMITH - Five Easy Pieces

most of the other movies i've seen from that year dont have supporting ladies, just leads. Must do more investigation of hte suggestions people made in the comments.

May 15, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Black was an amazing actrice

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

I must hands down Karen Black was MVP and its still one of my favorite films of all time.
Everyone was so perfectly cast in this film.
Helena K ran a celebrity nightspot for years on Temple. Jack was regular.

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDO

Like Rob I too remember Irene Dailey from her decades long playing of Liz Mathews on Another World. She could be sweet and helpful but was usually a noisy budinski who was often told off by another great actress and long time regular Constance Ford as Ada Lucas McGowan.

By the way she was the real life sister of 50's musical star Dan Dailey.

There is a lot of very fine acting in that picture from all involved.

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

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May 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Nesbitt

I'd keep Karen Black and Sally Kellerman and nominate Bibi Andersson for The Passion of Anna, Beatrice Arthur for Lovers and Other Strangers and Lois Smith for Five Easy Pieces, if I could go back in time and be allowed to nominate.

May 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

^Bea Arthur indeed would've been a fabulous nominee.

May 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Carden

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