One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Byron Davel (A Toast) –

The movie that won Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Writing. You guys must be hooked now; surely that is the end of my review? 

From Director Milos Forman, who also directed Amadeus and The People vs. Larry Flynt, and who took on Cuckoo’s Nest knowing that it would unsettle the minds of all the puppets of society out there. With Jack Nicholson as R.P McMurphy and Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched the acting in this film was destined for perfection. The story follows McMurphy, who is a street smart troublemaker who has had enough run ins with the law, and is tried and found medically or psychological ill. He is sent to a mental hospital instead of the usual correctional facility. In here he meets all the regulars who are also being treated for the respective illnesses. McMurphy has to deal with Nurse Ratched, who is a big old bitch and the face of society, which in this film is the antagonist. Amongs the other characters we have a heart-broken youngster, some unstable forty something’s, and a silent giant.

McMurphy’s free spirit and adaptive mind allow him to bring out the best in the rest of the patients.  The most notable change comes from Chief (Will Sampson) who has the closest relationship with McMurphy. It has an ending that may yet to be viewed by you guys reading this, but take in every second of the movie properly so you understand the message being said when lives are lost; let me not give too much away. This movie is a reflection on real life social views and control and how individuals do have the power to make change. I like the fact that it is not in your face and does not ask for your sympathy. It is a drama, with dollops of comedy and also some of the finest method acting you have seen… ever.


A wonderful shot of the movie, showing MC Murphy hustling his new-found friends.  See what I mean about the natural beauty, bald heads, long beards, tatty clothes? …masterpiece.

A Toast

To the acting. For me it was the acting that gave this film all the Oscars. Besides the two sensational leads that I mentioned earlier, we have guys like Danny De Vito, Sydney Lassick, Christopher Lloyd, Vincent Schiavelli, and Brad Dourif. Each of these guys had to put themselves into complete archetypical shoes and create new people…..on screen of course. Also part of my toast: the feel of the movie. Every scene or shot we see in the mental hospital makes us feel like we are part of that scene or shot, executed through sound and beautiful and realistic cinematography.


Three of your friends pinning you down to a wheelchair, not so good for you. Just a couple of the lads having a good time, probably rushing to the computer to read the latest MovieBoozer reviews.



If you want to see a good movie about people fighting for what they believe in, then go see The Sandlot. If you want to see a breathtaking, heart breaking, brutally honest and awkwardly hilarious film about an unlikely hero who changes people’s minds by allowing them to think freely and say fuck the system, then watch One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Secondly, the lack of sensationalism; I love it. Most people think a movie made in the 70s wouldn’t be a victim of sensationalism, but it too often is.  This movie, however, was not and it didn’t add or take away anything, it was just made how it should be, plain and simple.


Drinking Game

Ok, so we first of all have to avoid beer when drinking this movie, keep it classy.

Do a Shot: of sours or tequila every time Nurse Ratched is being an unreasonable old hag (that should keep you busy).
Just in case Nurse Ratched isn’t being mean enough, have a jug of whatever margarita or cocktail you please and Take a Heavy Sip: whenever we see Mc Murphy using his street credentials to help out one of the patients or the group as a whole.
P.S. If you’re watching this movie in winter, Take a Sip: of Sherry or Gluhwein whenever you laugh at Jack Nicholson.

About Byron Davel

One comment

  1. Henry J. Fromage

    About as good a flick as you can ask for.

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