Saturday, September 19, 2015

591. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Directed by Milos Forman

I might step on some toes when I say this (or possibly stomp on some feet) but I was never that impressed with this movie.  Perhaps it is because it has been hyped up so much, but I was actually a bit disappointed when I sat down and watched this.

Randle McMurphy is a criminal serving a sentence for the statutory rape of a 15 year old girl.  Yay, anti-establishment.  Anyway, he is sent to a mental hospital for evaluation.  It doesn't seem like he is crazy, but simply wants to avoid hard labor.  He predictably meets an eccentric cast of characters and quickly becomes their leader.  Most of the film centers on his battles with the cold Nurse Ratched.

I think the biggest problem that I have with this film is that I didn't understand what the audience's relationship was supposed to be with the main character.  Certainly, we can't be expected to like him.  He is a sexist bully who doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with sleeping with a child.  But I kept feeling like the film wanted us to root for him and cohorts.  I honestly felt bad for Nurse Ratched.  Of course, psychologists are always portrayed as inhumane and crazier than their patients.  And electric shock therapy is seen as basically torture.  But I still felt bad for her.  If she had gotten me out of watching the World Series, I would have thanked her.

Still an entertaining, if unsettling, movie that is worth a watch.  But I am not going to join the ranks saying this is the greatest film of all time.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

One of only three movies to win the Big Five (Best Actor, Actress, Screenplay, Director, and Picture).

The author of the book this movie is based on was so upset with how the director handled this that he refused to watch the film.

Audrey Hepburn turned down the role of Nurse Ratched.


  1. OK, after a disagree over RHPS, back to an agree,
    And a strong one as well. Perhaps it was the times when rebellion was expected against any form of authority or law. So if the law says you don't have sex with minors, well, heck, let's shove it to the man and molest young girls. Mc Murphy, I totally agree is a loutish bully, and I resent how we are supposed to see him as a respecter and defender of personal liberty. Heck, in real life I bet he has a room full of assault rifles and demands his right to blast away anyone he decides is limiting his freedom. And, horror of horrors for our hero, authority is a woman.. shudder.

    Seriously? Someone offered Audrey Hepburn the role? The mind is boggling somewhat.

    1. 100% agree with you. I can't believe we are expected to rally behind this guy. Maybe I should read the book. I noticed Andrew disagrees with us on this one...might have to make a visit to his blog!