Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Movie - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

This movie stars Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher.  Nicholson needs no introduction.  Louise Fletcher has worked constantly in both movies and TV since winning the Oscar, but she never again had a role like this one.  Trekkies/Trekkers will recognize her as Kai Winn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

It was directed by Milos Forman, who went on to do Amadeus.  It was adapted by Lawrence Hauben, who never wrote another movie, and Bo Goldman, who went on to write Scent of a Woman.

The premise is that a convict (Nicholson) has convinced people that he is insane in order to get sent to a mental hospital instead of prison.  He thinks it will be easier there.  He didn’t count on meeting Nurse Ratched (Fletcher), who runs the place with an iron fist. 

Fletcher plays her role of a dictatorial, manipulative, heartless, control-freak so well that to this day I still have a negative reaction when I see her in anything else.  Others may have had the same reaction since she seemed to get typecast after this movie.  She generally plays characters who are nice at first, but that try to ensure that things are just the way she wants them.

This movie is a drama, but for me it was actually a horror movie.  There were several scenes in this movie that just pushed my buttons.  For this reason, I do not have it rated as highly as most people who have seen the movie.

Look for Danny Devito, Christopher Lloyd, and Brad Dourif in small roles as mental patients. 

One piece of trivia – Robert Parish, the great Boston Celtics center of the 1980s, was nicknamed “Chief” after the giant Chief Bromden character in this movie.  Like the movie character, Parish was stoic, quiet, and was the biggest man on the basketball court.

Chip's Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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1 comment:

  1. Haven't seen it recently, but still remember the awe of such a movie being made. It was unfathomable that humans were treated that way, but the gist was, were we protecting them or protecting us?