One of the key movies of the 1970s, when exciting, groundbreaking, personal films were still being made in Hollywood, Milos Forman's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest emphasized the humanistic story at the heart of Ken Kesey's more hallucinogenic novel. Jack Nicholson was born to play the part of Randle Patrick McMurphy, the rebellious inmate of a psychiatric hospital who fights back against the authorities' cold attitudes of institutional superiority, as personified by Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). It's the classic antiestablishment tale of one man asserting his individuality in the face of a repressive, conformist system--and it works on every level. Forman populates his film with memorably eccentric faces, and gets such freshly detailed and spontaneous work from his ensemble that the picture sometimes feels like a documentary. Unlike a lot of films pitched at the "youth culture" of the 1970s, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest really hasn't dated a bit, because the qualities of human nature that Forman captures--playfulness, courage, inspiration, pride, stubbornness--are universal and timeless. The film swept the Academy Awards for 1976, winning in all the major categories (picture, director, actor, actress, screenplay) for the first time since Frank Capra's It Happened One Night in 1931. --Jim Emerson
My pop was real big. He did like he pleased. That's why everybody worked on him. The last time I seen my father, he was blind and diseased from drinking. And every time he put the bottle to his mouth, he don't suck out of it, it sucks out of him until he shrunk so wrinkled and yellow even the dogs didn't know him.
Killed him, huh?
I'm not saying they killed him. They just worked on him. The way they're working on you.
Aren't you ashamed?
No, I'm not.
You know Billy, what worries me is how your mother is going to take this.
Um, um, well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don't have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched.
I don't have to tell her? Your mother and I are old friends. You know that.
P-p-p-please d-d-don't tell my m-m-m-mother.
She was fifteen years old, going on thirty-five, Doc, and she told me she was eighteen, she was very willing, I practically had to take to sewing my pants shut. Between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of you, I don't think it's crazy at all and I don't think you do either. No man alive could resist that, and that's why I got into jail to begin with. And now they're telling me I'm crazy over here because I don't sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don't make a bit of sense to me. If that's what's being crazy is, then I'm senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that's it.
Where the fuck is he, why doesn't he answer her?
He's jerkin' off somewhere.
Ain't no one jerkin' off nowhere muthafucker!
Turkle what the fuck are you doing in here? Go out and talk to her.
I'm doin' the same fuckin' thing your doin'- hidin'!
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