One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Top 63 Marathon, part 56 (#8)

Title: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Year: 1975
Length: 133 minutes
Director: Milos Forman
Writers: Lawrence Hauben & Bo Goldman; play by Dale Wasserman; based on the novel by Ken Kesey
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Will Sampson
Music: Jack Nitzsche (and non-original music)
Distinctions: Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (Nicholson) and Best Actress (Fletcher); Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Dourif), Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Editing; currently #9 on the IMDb’s Top 250

My reaction
Synopsis: an apparently sane convict is transferred to a mental hospital
How I saw it: on video many times, most recently yesterday (rented from Netflix)
Concept: Great.
Story: Good.
Characters: Good.
Dialog: Great.
Pacing: Great.
Cinematography: Indifferent.
Special effects/design: Great.
Acting: Great.
Music: Indifferent. Kind of a schizophrenic soundtrack (no pun intended).
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great). One of my biggest movie pet-peeves is the Nurse Ratched character: the unrelatable villain who exists for the sole purpose of committing gross injustices against innocent characters, thereby uniting the easily manipulated members of the audience with the protagonist in their common hatred of something absurdly easy to hate – the Nazi Commanders or the Wicked Step Mothers of the fictional world. It’s really a testament to how great this movie is that even though it’s the quintessential example of that type of character device, it still works, and I don’t roll my eyes even a little.
Objective Rating: 3.4/4 (Very good).


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