One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

4.0 41
Director: Milos Forman

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield

     
 

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With an insane asylum standing in for everyday society, Milos Forman's 1975 film adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel is a comically sharp indictment of the Establishment urge to conform. Playing crazy to avoid prison work detail, manic free spirit Randle P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is sent to the state mental hospital for evaluation. There he encounters a motley crew of… See more details below

Overview

With an insane asylum standing in for everyday society, Milos Forman's 1975 film adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel is a comically sharp indictment of the Establishment urge to conform. Playing crazy to avoid prison work detail, manic free spirit Randle P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is sent to the state mental hospital for evaluation. There he encounters a motley crew of mostly voluntary inmates, including cowed mama's boy Billy (Brad Dourif) and silent Native American Chief Bromden (Will Sampson), presided over by the icy Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). Ratched and McMurphy recognize that each is the other's worst enemy: an authority figure who equates sanity with correct behavior, and a misfit who is charismatic enough to dismantle the system simply by living as he pleases. McMurphy proceeds to instigate group insurrections large and small, ranging from a restorative basketball game to an unfettered afternoon boat trip and a tragic after-hours party with hookers and booze. Nurse Ratched, however, has the machinery of power on her side to ensure that McMurphy will not defeat her. Still, McMurphy's message to live free or die is ultimately not lost on one inmate, revealing that escape is still possible even from the most oppressive conditions.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Milos Forman had proven his talent for astute social comedy in such earlier Czech films as Loves of a Blonde (1965) and The Firemen's Ball (1967), and his adept treatment of Cuckoo's Nest's metaphorically loaded conflict fulfilled the promise of an immigrant observer of American culture indicated in his first U.S. feature, Taking Off (1971). Shot on location at the Oregon State Hospital, and visually imprisoning the characters in tightly framed compositions, Haskell Wexler's and Bill Butler's cinematography underlines the psychological as well as physical confinement dogging the patients. The restrained, soft-spoken control of Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched contrasts with the thoughtful vigor of Jack Nicholson's McMurphy, further emphasizing both the need to revolt and the difficulty in doing so posed by such consistent, quiet, internalized power. For a culture battered by the chaotic rebellions of the late 1960s/early 1970s, and the serial failures of institutional authority culminating in Watergate and the fall of Saigon, Cuckoo's Nest's resigned yet hopeful portrayal of spirited non-conformity touched a nerve, turning it into one of the most popular films of 1975. The independently produced film became only the second film in history to sweep all five top Academy Awards, winning Best Picture for producers Saul Zaentz and 31-year-old Michael Douglas, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay for Lawrence Hauben's and Bo Goldman's adaptation of the Kesey novel. Shrewdly combining roustabout fervor and humor with an acknowledgement of society's different limits, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest effectively communicated the disillusionment of the waning counter-culture even as it optimistically asserted that one rebel could make a difference.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2010
UPC:
0883929062812
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
2:13:00
Sales rank:
14,297

Special Features

First time on Blu-ray - Completely Cuckoo, a comprehensive 87-minute retrospective in its full original length Michael Douglas, Milos Forman and Ken Kesey describe how a movie landmark was made with actors and patients lonlocation in a working mental hospital; ; Commentary by Director Milos Forman, Producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz providing scene-by-scene insight into the creative choices made in creating this timeless film; ; Revealing additional scenes and theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Nicholson Randle Patrick McMurphy
Louise Fletcher Nurse Mildred Ratched
William Redfield Harding
Dean R. Brooks Dr. John Spivey
Scatman Crothers Turkle Crothers
Danny DeVito Martini
William Duell Sefelt
Brad Dourif Billy Bibbit
Christopher Lloyd Taber
Will Sampson Chief Bromden
Vincent Schiavelli Frederickson
Delos V. Smith Scanlon
Marya Small Candy
Louisa Moritz Rose
Mimi Sarkisian Nurse Pilbow
Nathan George Attandant Washington
Alonzo Brown Miller
Phil Roth Woolsey
Michael Berryman Ellis
Peter Brocco Col. Matterson
Mwako Cumbuka Warren
Josip Elic Bancini
Lan Fendors Nurse Itsu
Sidney Lassick Charlie Cheswick
Dwight Marfield Ellsworth
Ted Markland Hap Arlich

Technical Credits
Milos Forman Director
Mark Berger Sound/Sound Designer
Bill Butler Cinematographer
Richard Chew Editor
Michael Douglas Producer
Jane Feinberg Casting
Mike Fenton Casting
Martin Fink Associate Producer
William A. Fraker Cinematographer
Bo Goldman Screenwriter
Lawrence Hauben Screenwriter
Lawrence O. Jost Sound/Sound Designer
Sheldon Kahn Editor
Lynzee Klingman Editor
Jack Nitzsche Score Composer
Edwin O'Donovan Art Director
Fred Phillips Makeup
Aggie Guerard Rodgers Costumes/Costume Designer
Irby Smith Asst. Director
Paul Sylbert Production Designer
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
Saul Zaentz Producer

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