One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Directed by Miloš Forman
United Artists, November 19, 1975 (US)
Screenplay: Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman, based on the novel by Ken Kesey
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito, Will Sampson, Brad Dourif, William Redfiel, Peter Brocco, Josip Elic, Delos V. Smith Jr., Sydney Lassick, Scatman Crothers, and Christopher Lloyd
Randall P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson): What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin’? Well you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walkin’ around on the streets, and that’s it.
See you next Tuesday, Nurse Ratched.
In speaking of the actress, Louise Fletcher, it is still tunnel vision for me. That’s how good her performance was, how real her character is. Defining. The things that this monster does to Randall P. McMurphy and the inmates in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest make my skin crawl.
Overzealous in authority, protected by the machine, and creaming over petty power trips. The Nurse Ratcheds of the world are are ready to pounce, ready to show you your place. They live to micromanage, manipulate, ultimately squash. Maybe it’s from an utter lack of control in their own lives. It lures them to the dark side, seeking validation through relentless demonstrations of authority.
Mercifully, there is a way out. Whether or not you let Ratched expose your weakness is entirely up to you. Not that it’s an easy game to play. Everyone has buttons. The best you can do is to recognize your own weaknesses so that you can guard them before they are exposed and used against you. When Ratched finally realizes that no matter what she does she can no longer touch you, a porcelain sink will be literally ripped from the wall and go crashing through the very bars that kept you locked inside for far too long. Nothing before or after will ever be as magnificent as the first step into freedom. Bye bye, Nurse Ratched. Bye bye.