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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A very disturbing yet incredible movie going experience

Author: Dave (freaky_dave) from United States
11 March 2007

One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest had a deep impact on me, especially the ending which of course I will not reveal.

Randall Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) pretends to be crazy in order to get out of prison and work. He is sent to a mental institution instead, and this is where we meet the other patients in the ward. This movie had a lot of actors that would go onto long careers in film. Danny Devito, Christopher Lloyd, and Brad Dourif were all a part of this phenomenal movie, and they all gave incredible performances.

McMurphy soon becomes a hero of sorts for the patients and helps them to improve their psychological well being. Of course soft spoken Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) doesn't like this as it starts to affect her domineering control over the patients. She is truly one of the most evil villains of all time and deserved her Oscar just as much as Nicholson deserved his.

This movie was well directed and well acted. I don't think any other movie actors could've made it even half as good. The movie's pacing was excellent, and it also contained some funny moments, but the one thing I didn't like about the movie was that it was one sided towards the patients. With the exception of Scatman Crothers as the night orderly, all the workers, doctors, and nurses seemed inhuman and hateful in this film. We never got any other sort of view of them. Maybe that was the point of the movie, but it still left me a little uncomfortable. After seeing this movie, I don't think I would ever want to be committed to a mental institution ever. So I'll give it a solid 9 out of 10.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The true meaning of the cuckoo' s nest!

Author: Francesco Giannini from Montreal, Canada
26 February 2007

Excellent film in all aspects. as a viewer, i felt that i was a patient myself. it was interesting to see how the patients became all self conscious about who they were.jack being able to persuade them to change their routine schedule was proof that not all patients need the sort of therapy mental institutes provide.If not in some cases mental institutes help patients worsen their condition due to over medication and irrelevant conversations initiated by the nurses. it was interesting to see for every opportunity the patients had to escape, something always retained them to stay. for most of them, the institute was their home. they would not be able to function in society and may face rejection by others due to their stigmas. their fear of rejection is what kept them isolated in the hospital, not the barbed fence and secured windows. their only family was the ones inside the institute. Jack brought awareness to each individual in the hospital and made them realize they had a voice. when he died, a part of them died with him!the native Chief represents an important factor in this film. natives are the most discriminated people of our history.we see that he to is afraid to escape into the real world because of the racism. when he observes what is done to Jack in the end of the film, he knows he is better off out in the real world. He takes the risk so he can go to Canada where most of the reserves for natives are held. there he will be accepted. Billy killing himself expresses how the doctors and nurses had power to fear and control the patients using their weaknesses in character and personality. it is a sort of brainwash and manipulation tactic hospitals use to overpower their patients. taking away their freedom of speech, will to live is was really makes the patients ill. taking away their self- consciousness and alienating them of their existence. one normal man awakens the ones who are asleep and shows them they have freedom of speech and a chance for change. when his actions begin to work, the doctors fear him, so they shock him until he is a vegetable.this is a great metaphor on how the government has control over the citizens using tactics to manipulate us. making us believe everything we see even if it is not the truth. we as humans live in high secure society, but don't realize it.more and more are political systems are taking control of our freedom to live in order to have complete control our way of thinking and living. this resembles the metaphor behind this film. a good example is president Jfk who was assassinated because he wanted change and good for the society. Same with jack, he is assassinated from his essence as a great human being,to be left with no more identity and self awareness of easier for the government to stuff patients with pills so they don't interfere with the ideal society they are trying to construct with perfect flawless people.this film expresses how sometimes for some people, illness is socially constructed and not biological related. pressures from the ideal society is what makes them sick. two thumbs up for the written script and performances in this epic film!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I Wish I Could Give This Film 20 Stars!

Author: jbartelone from United States
7 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is the essential landmark triumph of all cinema. It is the standard by which other movies are judged. Nothing will ever surpass this film for its acting, directing, plot development, and the best landmark scenes in any film, period! My own family when acting dysfunctional often quotes scenes and phrases from this film!!!! Who doesn't know this story? Randle P. MacMurphy fakes mental illness to get out of a work farm jail sentence for statutory rape. He is sent to an asylum for a psychiatric evaluation. Being the fun rebel that he is, he sets out to challenge the hospital's no-nonsense rules and regulations overseen by the cold-hearted, controlling head nurse Mildred Ratched. (Or "Nurse Rat-Sh*t" as I like to call her!) Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher deliver some of the greatest lines and scenes in movie history. MacMurphy inspires the other patients to instill confidence in themselves, and to rebel against Nurse Ratsh*t so that they can try to get some of their freedoms and dignity back. But she continues to demand that her authority and rules are never to be questioned, constantly belittling her patients with negativity by making them feel uncomfortable in HER "therapy" sessions.

MacMurphy leads a revolt against the system in several brilliant scenes. The gem is trying to persuade Nurse Ratsh*t to allow the schedule to be changed so that the patients can watch the World Series! (Hysterical comedy here, as well as throughout the movie.) But some scenes are painful to watch, such as a patient's suicide and Nurse Ratsh*t's vindictive cold remarks that the patients should just ignore it as if nothing happened and "go on with the day." This callus comment prompts MacMurphy to attack Nurse Ratsh*t in a scene that will leave you cheering! But as punishment, MacMurphy gets lobotomized in a heartbreaking conclusion that you will remember for the rest of your life.

This movie was filmed at a real psychiatric hospital in Oregon. Most of the extras were authentic mental patients. The actor who played the Admissions Doctor, Dr. John Spivey was a real doctor, and head director at the hospital where the movie was filmed. Several of the admissions interview lines with Nicholson were improvised.

This is the movie experience of a lifetime! Probably several lifetimes!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I'd Give it an Eleven or Twelve if possible!

Author: Richard O'Donnell from United States
7 November 2006

Just in case any audience I may be attracting at least suspects, by now, that someone ought to be preparing a looney bin for me, please try to have, as well, if you will but consider being nearly so very kind in the process, not only some good, old-fashioned "teas," and plenty of Beethoven, but also Jack Nicholson, and the Chief, plus Billy and the gang, including, of course, sweet little Candy—and the great Scatman Crothers! . . . But Nurse Ratched? Perhaps, on second thought, there may just be some real use for some Thorazine!—Although that mindlessly air-headed bimbo who assisted her probably doesn't need any! But that much-too-typical kind of aberration, who couldn't answer Randle Patrick McMurphy's question about the dirty laundry, may be still another issue entirely! . . . He's about the same kind of being who called me the Devil, and tossed me out callously on my ear, from a fundamentalist denomination, one barren night, six years ago, when I'd felt desperate enough to turn even to the "likes" of their kind, again; and all that, simply because he couldn't handle the truth—that I Corinthians 9 does speak, among other related things, about—money! . . . Good Lord, it's "almost" enough to drive even me back to the Mother of my Roots, despite an "allergy" about as "violent" as Damien's! And I suppose that, given how completely so many things have been symbolically, ever-mystifyingly, and just as cleverly turned back over, entirely on their heads, including the world itself (Acts 17:6), you by now have all the "real evidence" you need, right there alone, against me! . . . But, then, just check it out yourselves, if you don't know it already—for at least the one is openly calling the other "The Devil," too; which would alone serve to "embarrassingly" necessitate, and, thus, all-the-more-solidly reinforce the most basically mutual feelings here!—Which is all-the-more warranted, even by the likes of these two, against one-another, "merely" quite symbolically due to how "highly doubtful," to say the very least, it is that either of these two "Judas Goats" (and they both ought to know!) shall soon be burying Billy on Holy Ground, while the Chief is being hunted down like a dog, by the dogs, with shoot-on-sight-to-kill orders, no questions asked! . . . On the other hand, though, Tony Curtis did one of the cleverest Public Service Announcements I've ever been told about, many years ago, at least for as long as it had been permitted to remain on the air. He simply said, with that little pause, in the middle, and an accompanying "twinkle" in his eye, "I don't smoke—cigarettes—that is!" It's a real wonder they haven't gone witch-hunting, by now, after cigars and pipes, too!—Or, have they, after-all?—For, again, after-all, at least which one, if not both, could possibly have been meant? . . . By the way, I don't require any behavior modification; that is, unless, of course, your real intent is, after-all, to turn me into what Malcolm McDowell had originally been, and finally become, once again!—About as radically as such a procedure would have to be accomplished at all in my case! And I'm only beginning to "touch up" this particular painting, along with the last one, and so many others!--Unless somebody is at least nice enough to even--let me—let-alone tell me—perhaps even the way they did Barry Champlain--once he'd so eloquently and unbearably unmasked all of them completely--to flake off! . . . In the Spirit of Elijah (although you can just as easily call me Constantine, too, violent cough and all, in the very middle of this Religiously All-Encompassing Matrix!--At least until you soon have the closest thing to a Bruce Almighty on your hands!--Never-mind even the Incredibly Indestructible Hulk!), Richard O'Donnell

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the most effectively human films ever made

Author: TheMarquisDeSuave from Worcester, MA
1 November 2006

"One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest" is one of the most grandly entertaining films of the decade. Few movies have managed to be such an emotionally powerful and yet uplifting experience. Even fewer movies have managed to capture the human spirit so well. In other words, this is a masterpiece. I wish people would stop comparing it to the book. It is very different from the book, but it also makes for a more crowd pleasing and ultimately better film. They made the changes simply to make it more cinematic.

The screenplay is what makes it so powerful. Bo Goldman and the actors flesh each character out to be three dimensional. Randle McMurphy is flawed, likable, and in the end a hero you end up rooting for. Even the villain, Nurse Ratched, is drawn out to be a more complex individual, not just an evil authority figure for Randle to rile against. The entire supporting cast (while not an accurate depiction of the mentally disabled) is fantastic also at creating memorable characters. Its interesting to see Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, and Brad Douriff so early in their careers (they all look very different from nowadays).

As I said above, this is one of the most effectively human films ever made. Just about anyone who watches this film will be able to relate to Randle in one way or another. (10/10)

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

No words to say

Author: Torgo_Approves from El Paso!
25 October 2006


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was the first "favourite film" I ever had. While it is a pretty low-key film and definitely not what you'd call a blockbuster, it was so loved in Sweden that it stayed in cinemas for over 10 years! So why was this film considered so great? Well, for starters, this is Jack Nicholson at his very best, and that says a lot. Throughout his long and successful career, this might still be Jack's best performance (although I'd argue that his scorching scenery-chewing in "The Shining" is even more entertaining). The movie is worth seeing for Mr. Nicholson alone. His high energy, quietly sardonic delivery and trademark leer is pure comic gold and McMurphy is a movie legend.

The supporting cast is excellent, as well: the petrifying Louise Fletcher, whose demanding screen presence almost steals the scene from Nicholson himself; Brad Dourif in the role of a life-time as the troubled teen Billy Bibbit; Danny DeVito and Scatman Crothers as one of the inmates and the warden, respectively; and even Christopher Lloyd in his smashing debut role. One-hit-wonder Will Sampson makes a great Chief Bromden, and Sydney Lassick, one of my favourite "no-name" actors, is hilarious as poor Cheswick who just wants his cigarettes.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is such a massive success because it balances between emotions so perfectly. To keep it simple: the movie is hilarious, sweet, touching and ultimately shattering. The climax is fantastic and will stick in your memory for a long time. Since the movie's basic plot is very simple (wrongfully institutionalized man teaches suppressed inmates at a mental hospital how to have fun) director Milos Forman can effectively play on our emotions without either manipulating or condescending us. There are no musical or visual cues that tell us what to feel, there are no wailing violins when something bad happens. Instead, the performances and story are more than enough to affect us.

Milos Forman, who also cranked out several other of my favourite movies (including "Amadeus", "Hair" and "The People vs. Larry Flynt") is probably the one to thank for making this movie as impressionable as it is. There are no unnecessary scenes, no pointless fluff, no cringe-worthy moments in the film. Every scene is needed to move the plot along, to make us laugh, to make us cry. No scene feels like it could have been left on the editing room floor because every part of the film is just so damn good. Forman is one of today's most under-appreciated directors in my opinion. The guy's a genius, and this is by far his best movie.

Having read the book which the film was based on, I understand why fans were disappointed by some of the changes Forman made. The novel is a brilliant masterpiece and one of the most affecting books I have ever read. Still, I don't think the differences between the book and the movie somehow make the latter worse. The most obvious change in the film version is, of course, the fact that we no longer see the story from Chief Bromden's perspective, as we do in the novel. I don't think this change was unnecessary at all and it works very well. It even adds a slight plot twist to the story for someone who hasn't read the book, but let's not say too much about that. I know how much it sucks when someone ruins the plot twist for you. *cough*The Sixth Sense*cough* :(

Anyway, where was I? Despite some changes in the story, any film fan will see that this is an excellent piece of work, a perfect film to just sit back and enjoy. The script is brilliantly written and the delivery from the cast could not have been better. Overall, a great film if you want to laugh, cry, gasp in horror and just become ensnared in a simple and extremely powerful story.

Is Jack's character crazy or not? In my opinion, definitely not. Well, no crazier than "the average a**hole walking around on the street". He just got sent to the mental hospital, as he put it himself, because he "fights and f**ks too much". Still it's interesting to see how far a man like McMurphy will go to get away from work, and how the other inmates - the true "psychos" - react to his extrovert and completely over-the-top persona. The inmates' transformation from quietly respectful and pathetically obedient patients to real people is brilliant. Louise Fletcher remains the same vile, quietly life-destroying nurse throughout, and in the end we cheer for McMurphy when he finally takes the law into his own hands. Fletcher is frighteningly great in her role and handing her the Best Leading Actress Oscar was one of the few smart things that the Academy ever did. A total class act and one of cinema's most memorable character studies. It's a shame her career didn't go the same way as Nicholson's - perhaps she was so overshadowed by the latter's manic performance, no one truly saw how amazing her work here really was.

Simply one of the greatest movies ever made. Very few movies can touch this one. -10/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Watch it!

Author: Bing5253 from United Kingdom
4 October 2006

This movie is brilliant! It stars Jack Nicholson as McMurphy, a man that pretends to be crazy to get out of going to prison. He gets sent to a mental institution and finds out about Nurse Ratched, a strict dictator of the patients in the institution. She however, is not so happy about his new look on how things should be. McMurphy makes new friends and goes on many exciting touching, hilarious and downright amazing adventures.

This movie is a classic and will make you laugh, make you cry and keep you gripped until the very end. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has some great acting performances from Jack Nicholson, Danny De Vito, Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd and Louise Fletcher.


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Majestic and moving cinema masterpiece

Author: grantmalf from Australia
13 September 2006

While there is an abundance of personal reviews and comments for this film, I truly feel the need to add my own opinion that is so similar to just about all the others.

I first saw this film when I was about 14 and was moved even then by its powerful and sensitive drama, the wonderful characters and particularly the hero R P McMurphy.

I've seen One Flew many times since and am constantly surprised by its depth, complexity, and emotive power. It is a film that will live on forever as its themes are universal and unending. Most of all the film will continue to live on on the back of the flabbergasting performances by the actors and particularly the amazing and superb Jack Nicholson.

If you haven't seen this movie, watch it and from then on life is just slightly different. And after you've watched it it again.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One flew over the cuckoos's nest

Author: August_Burns_Red from Norway
31 August 2006

Awesome movie! I like Danny Devito in this film. He's so funny! And Jack Nicholson does a great job as Randle Patrick McMurphy. One flew over the cuckoos's nest is probably one of the greatest American films of all time. And i'm agree with that.

The film dares to be a tragedy on the human level. Life is often not pretty. Neither is this story. It is moving - deeply. But it never panders or moralizes, it just stands as a warning against the Nurse Ratcheds of the world and as an example of how wonderful good writing well-acted can be to behold.It is a Tragi-comedy/Psychological Drama. And Milos Foreman does a great job too. 10/10.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Amazing, humorous and shocking.

Author: baz_trinity from Ireland
29 August 2006

I watched this movie for the very first time yesterday and I have to say, it blew me away and is definitely one of my all-time favorites. This tells the story of Mcmurphy (Played by the incredible Jack Nicholson) who gets put into mental institution after a number of incidents. From there on in, you are captivated by the witty cast of the institution (Including Christopher Lloyd) who produce some hilarious and entertaining scenes in the ward. But the plot thickens and you begin to realize the shocking tales that occur and the story twists and turns. You are literally holding your breath from start to finish and it is also one of the most thought-provoking ends to a movie.

The nurse Ratched, played by an excellent Louise Fletcher, is ice cold in her attitude and you really grow to hate her. In fact, every character in the movie is absorbed into your mind and you really get to know them. You feel for the characters like you would feel for people that aren't acting, and provokes the question, why are those that inhabit a mental institution so ignored and turned away from society?

In a nutshell, this is an amazing, humorous and shocking piece of movie-making that everyone should watch, you won't be disappointed.

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