Review – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)


one-flew-over-the-cuckoos-nest-58e2d3442ed14When it comes to older, classic films, those are the selected films I’ve seen the least of. I hold the belief that a lot of these films are classics just because at that time period, literally every movie that came out was original, so in a way, immediately loved for that reason. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a film I’ve heard many, many times about, but never gave in and checked it out. This was unfortunate on my end, as this movie truly earned its place in not only the classics portion of film history, but also each and every win the film received for that year’s Oscar Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, & Best Supporting).

Plot Summary:

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.

The Good:

There’s simply too many things to gather in one spot for this, but the main things that stick out for the things that make this film good are the performances, dialogue, and quite honestly, atmosphere. Even though I’ve seen Nicholson in too many films to mention, this is without a doubt his most impressive performance in a film that I’ve ever seen. It surprised me, as he is quite possibly the best actor to play a mental patient, yet he is the most normal person in the film. Instead, it’s the hospital that earns that “crazy” label, and the way they treat these people, turning them crazier just by their sheer cruelty is what makes this film so maddening in such a visceral, real way that’s hard to forget. This film is a beautiful arrangement of emotions throughout, from feeling happy and laughing out loud, to practically yelling at the screen for staying bold and real, reminding us the kind of impact we have on others in both a good and bad way.

The Bad:

There’s not much to mention here – except for one main thing: balance. This dives deep into the characters and minds of others, but it lacks a bit of true story direction. It really just follows around a group of characters as the atmosphere around them intensifies, which is great, but there’s not any clear idea of where things are going. Nobody has any real goals in the film. Nicholson sort of wants to escape, but that’s hardly a plot, as it focuses on characters so heavily. So, in essence, there’s not much of an inciting incident or multiple obstacles, either. That being said, the good overshadows the bad in almost every way that even mentioning this seems silly.


Total Breakdown:

Title One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Year 1975
Total Score 91
Watched 11-Jun-2018
Acting 2
Characters 2
Casting 2
Importance 1
Chemistry 2
Dialogue 2
Story 2
Originality 2
Interesting 2
Visuals 1
Directing 1
Editing 1
Advertisement 2
Music/Sound 2
Introduction 2
Inciting Incident 1
Obstacles 1
Climax 2
Falling Action 2
Rewatchable 2
Fun 2
Impulse/Buy 2
Impulse/Talk 1
Sucks You In 2
Specialty 1: Genres – Drama
Specialty 1 Note:
Specialty 1 Rating 10
Specialty 2: Concept – Actor Specific
Specialty 2 Note: Jack Nicholson
Specialty 2 Rating 10
Specialty 3: Concept – Concept
Specialty 3 Note:
Specialty 3 Rating 10
Specialty 4: Concept – Title Specific
Specialty 4 Note: classic
Specialty 4 Rating 10
Halfway Decent 10
Genre Drama
Possible Awards
Total Score 91
Review # 1475

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