I read the book a couple years ago, and I loved it. Even though I knew many people regard the film version as a great movie, I am always wary of watching a film interpretation of a book I love (seeing the latest version of The Count of Monte Cristo taught me that). But I finally decided it was time to sit down ad watch it. I am so so so so glad I did.
I loved this movie. It was so enjoyable and heart warming at some moments, and other moments I was crying. The electric shock therapy scene was as disturbing as Plath’s portrayal in The Bell Jar (which is saying a lot). I don’t think I can express in words how amazing this movie is. It comes down to a couple of specific things. First, great writing. This movie has some of the best dialogue I have heard in a film. And then the characters. They are all so vivid. After only a few minutes you know who everyone is: Harding is the smart jackass. Billy is the stuttering timid boy. Chief is the seemingly silent lurker observing everything. Nurse Ratched is a control freak bitch. These characters are all so clear because of the great performance of everyone. Two deserve to be mentioned. Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched. She was just as icy, just as manipulative and calculating as I envisioned her. I am now considering putting her in my post: Top Ten Actors Who Are So Good at Being So Bad. And then of course, I have to mention Jack Nicholson as McMurphy. He made this movie. His liveliness, his challenging demeanor, his exuberance, all perfect. Definitely my new favorite role Jack Nicholson has ever played. Which really confuses me. How did he play such an amazing role in the 70’s and end up in Anger Management next to Adam Sandler? It’s like Margaret Atwood going to Nora Roberts and saying “Hey, I think we should write a book together.” Heart breaking in so many ways.
But I digress. This movie surprised me in quite a few ways. 1. Jack Nicholson was quite the looker back in the day. Number 2. Danny Devito ever had a full head of hair. Even trying to envision him as a child, he’s bald. Number 3. Doc. from Back to the Future actually had an acting career outside the 80’s sci fi franchise. He was a great character too. Has some of the biggest eyes and ca stare like no other.
I am shocking myself by saying twice in one week that I have happened upon another perfect movie. Wait, someone check, is Cher still alive, because surely something cataclysmic is occurring. For one of the best movies I have ever seen, I give One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest a 10 and urge anyone who has never seen it to do so.