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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)


Jack Nicholson
Louise Fletcher
William Redfield
Brad Dourif
Danny DeVito

Directed by Miloš Forman

Distributed by United Artists

A tragedy drama that makes you look forward to what Jack is going to do next.

I remember the feeling I had the first time I watched this movie over 10 years ago, the feeling was mutual watching it again in 2012.

The movie is based on the 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey and it was shot at Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Oregon, which was also the setting of the novel.

The director Miloš Forman made sure that you get to feel a sort of attachment with the characters so you share their feelings of joy, sadness, remorse and loss at various times in the movie.

The movie is blessed with some nice classic actors like Jack Nicholson, Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd and Danny DeVito just to mention a few.

The movie focuses on the free spirited Randle P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) who is sent for evaluation at a mental hospital.

Upon getting there, Randle had an idea that he was to do time, not knowing that he was there till the doctors say he is free to go.

He made friends with some of the patients in the institution like mama's boy Billy (Brad Dourif) and silent Native American Bromden (Will Sampson) who all thought was deaf and dumb and whom he called Chief.

The psyche ward is handled by Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), who is seen more like the antagonist in this flick.

McMurphy was an instigator of unruly behaviour from breaking him and his fellow patients out from the hospital to go on a boat trip and to a night party at the hospital, which led to a tragedy. 

The movie did have a message, live free, be happy, don’t allow yourself to be tied down by anyone or anything or let either stand in the way of your happiness.

Two of Miloš Forman films, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984), both gained him an Academy Award for Best Director.

The movie was the second to win all five major Academy Awards which were Best Picture, Best Actor in Lead Role, Best Actress in Lead Role, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991 by The Silence of the Lambs.

The thing about the movie that gets to me most has always been the ending, tragedy never sits well with me sometimes, especially in the case of this movie.

Well, if you haven’t had a dose of this movie, then you need to.


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