Drive, He Said (1971) is an American motion picture released by Columbia Pictures. It is one of the lesser-known works in the influential group of "New Hollywood" films of the late 1960s and early 1970s made by independent production house Raybert Productions (The Monkees, Easy Rider) and its successor, BBS Productions. Based upon the 1964 novel of the same title by Jeremy Larner, the film is mainly notable as the directorial debut of Jack Nicholson (who also wrote the screenplay) following his breakthrough as an actor in Easy Rider (1969) and Five Easy Pieces (1970).
Although it was coolly received at the time, and has subsequently faded into obscurity, the production brought together many significant Hollywood names. Director of photography Bill Butler gained renown for his later work on classic films such as Steven Spielberg's Jaws, Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Original music was composed by David Shire (then married to Coppola's sister Talia Shire) and the screenplay included uncredited contributions from future director Terence Malick.
It starred several of Nicholson's friends and frequent screen collaborators in leading roles - Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Robert Towne and Henry Jaglom (although Towne and Jaglom became better known as screenwriter and director, respectively). Several younger actors who became familiar TV faces in later years were also featured in small supporting roles, including David Ogden Stiers (M*A*S*H), Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley) and Michael Warren (Hill St Blues), who (like Tepper) was also a former collegiate basketball player.
It was filmed on the campus of the University of Oregon and other locations in Eugene, Oregon. The film is also notable for its controversial (for the time) use of profanity, its depictions of sex and drug use, and for several scenes of male frontal nudity, including a locker-room shower scene, and the mental breakdown scene in which Gabriel (Margotta) is shown frontally nude, which led to an attempt by the censor to give the film an 'X' rating.