ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST (1975 U.S.) D: MILOS FORMAN W: LAWRENCE HAUBEN/BO GOLDMAN P: MICHAEL DOUGLAS/SAUL ZAENTZ
Jack Nicolson stars as McMurphy, a new patient committed to a mental hospital (in Oregon) who disrupts the lives of the inmates and staff by bucking the system in this major Oscar-winning adaptation of Ken Kesey`s (more surreal) 1962 novel (and Dale Wasserman`s stage play, in which Douglas` father Kirk had played McMurphy). Kesey reportedly hated the end result, primarily because the focus had shifted from the novel`s narrator, a big Native American character, here played by Will Sampson (who was previously not a trained actor). But i think they did a fine job condensing the novel and retaining it`s key moments without compromising the impact. It`s also a pretty fascinating look at future character actor staples in their youth, including Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Vincent Schiavelli and Michael Berryman. With Scatman Crothers, Sydney Lassick, William Redfield, Peter Brocco, Louisa Moritz, real inmates as extras and of course Louise Fletcher, who really is brilliantly subtle in the difficult role of Nurse Ratched. Apparently Anjelica Huston (Nicholson`s then-girlfriend) can be spotted in a crowd scene. Haskell Wexler is credited as cinematographer, but actually left the production prior to most of it being shot by Bill Butler. Jack Nitzche provides a nice thermin score. Not Czech Director Forman`s American debut, but pretty much the hit that cemented him as a major Hollywood player. He made HAIR next.

BACK TO MAIN LIST

BACK TO GENKAN