Jack Nicholson turns 75 today. When you look back at his career, he seems oddly like an old-fashioned movie star, in that he has rarely played characters that weren't simply versions of himself. He's like Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant or Gary Cooper in that way... they simply were themselves on screen. But, because they had bigger personalities than the rest of us, they became stars. Back when I was a pretentious youth -- it's unclear to me when that period ended, if it ever did -- I remember watching Five Easy Pieces, one of Nicholson's early great movies. I can't help thinking that this scene captures the essential Nicholson, and that he never really did much of anything too different after this.