When nicholson made it look oh so easy
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Bob Rafelson drew the very best out of Jack in this film about a former musical prodigy who returns to his childhood home to visit his dying father. In the film's most famous scene, Jack sweeps everything off a diner table after an argument with a waitress.
Roman Polanski and screenwriter Robert Towne reinvented the 1940s detective film, with Nicholson excellent as smooth-talking private eye Jake Gittes (left), who gets out of his depth when a simple adultery case leads him into a quagmire of political corruption.
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
In the role he was born to play, Jack blasted his way through this Oscar-winning Milos Forman film based on the book by Ken Kesey, by turns hilarious and touching as the irrepressible Randle Patrick McMurphy. "Which one of you nuts has got any guts!"