McMurphy has a criminal past and has once again gotten himself into trouble and is sentenced by the court. To escape labor duties in prison, McMurphy pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Once here, McMurphy both endures and stands witness to the abuse and degradation of the oppressive Nurse Ratched, who gains superiority and power through the flaws of the other inmates. McMurphy and the other inmates band together to make a rebellious stance against the atrocious Nurse.Written by
Milos Forman had considered Shelley Duvall for the role of Candy. While screening Thieves Like Us (1974) to see if she was right for the role, he became interested in Louise Fletcher, who had a supporting role, and decided to cast her as Nurse Ratched. Duvall later enquired about playing the role of Rose, but was turned down. See more »
After Billy is caught with Candy in the room, he runs out stark naked chasing after Nurse Ratched while pulling his pants up, then slipping on the floor landing on his right hip. As his bare butt is exposed, we can see a red mark on his right hip from previous takes before he falls on the floor. See more »
A great order vs. chaos tale that everyone can relate to
Based on the amazing novel by Ken Kesey, Randall Patrick McMurphy is an antisocial and dangerous man no different than a petty criminal, placed in a mental ward to have his behavior studied. He makes friends with lunatics and starts his own circle of admiration within the hospital, much to the dismay of Nurse Ratched, the central authority figure in the story and one of the greatest movie villains ever.
The movie exists to show not only how corrupt and poorly-constructed society's approach to the "mentally unstable" is, but it creates characters that we have all met in life and shows how the McMurphy-like figure that we all wish we had fights for freedom of choice and basic human rights. In addition to the movie's great spirit, the acting is fantastic. Jack Nicholson is at his best and Danny DeVito can be seen in his very first acting role ( which he absolutely triumphs in ). And of course, there's the unforgettable Chief Bromden. The directing by Milos Forman is very well-done, as the camera-work is excellent and follows the pace of the movie perfectly in how it is used. What really impressed me was the editing, especially as far as the use of audio goes: some parts just made me go "...wow."
My only complaint is that I believe the movie could've been slightly more effective if it were based more closely on the novel at certain points, but the modified point of view of the film does make a great point; anyone who has ever hated their job, been accused of something, had some person so self-righteous and convinced of their own authority and dependency on order get in your way, or attended the American public school system at any point in their life should be able to identify with this movie.
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