One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Director: Miloš Forman Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler, Bill Butler
 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) on IMDb

Based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey, the film follows Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a petty criminal serving a short sentence for statutory rape, who is transferred to a mental institution after faking insanity to avoid prison hard labour. Brought to life by an outstanding ensemble cast, led by an energized Nicholson (who improvised throughout) and Louise Fletcher’s notable turn as his nemesis, the domineering nurse Ratched, the film provides a powerful portrait of the oppressive nature of such institutions. It’s maybe dated from a moral point of view and treads a fine line between comedy and tragedy, but the film remains one of the strongest examples of New American cinema and was only the second film to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay).

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