Film: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Opened: November 19, 1975

Directed by: Miloš Forman

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Sydney Lassick, Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Dean Brooks, William Duell, Vincent Schiavelli, Michael Berryman, Alonzo Brown, Mwako Cumbaka, Nathan George, Marya Small & Scatman Crothers

A masterful film due to the brilliant execution of all of its parts, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest manages to be a faithful adaptation of Ken Kesey’s timeless novel.

Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) runs her ward in a mental hospital perfectly until new patient Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) shows up. Constantly trying to outsmart her, McMurphy makes an enemy of the nurse but gains the respect of his fellow inmates, including the deaf-mute Chief Bromden (Will Sampson).

While Nicholson and Fletcher are the obvious standouts of the film and it’s their drama that drives the story, the actors playing the other patients in the ward should also be commended. They all fully give into their characters’ states and you’ll see fantastic early performances from Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd.

Final say: A riveting drama filled with stellar performances. ★★★★★

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