Jack Nicholson was over thirty, and more than a decade into his acting career, when Easy Rider finally made him a star. His reputation as a rebellious anti-hero was furthered by three notorious confrontations in films of the 1970s: Five Easy Pieces, The Last Detail, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He has played villains in The Shining and Batman, a hot-headed marine colonel in A Few Good Men, and a ruthless mob boss in The Departed. However, some of his best performances are in less showy roles where his skill is conveyed through subtlety. Jack has often turned down big money parts in order to take riskier roles such as the grim, introverted men in Ironweed, The Crossing Guard, The Pledge, and About Schmidt. Undoubtedly, Nicholson is a very fine actor, and in Chinatown he gives what may be his most memorable performance.
About the editor:
Paul Duncan has edited 50 film books for TASCHEN, including the award-winning The Ingmar Bergman Archives, and authored Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick in the Film Series.
About the author:
Douglas Keesey is a professor of film and literature at Cal Poly. He is the author of TASCHEN's Erotic Cinema and Paul Verhoeven.