Jack Nicholson’s energetic, funny and ultimately touching performance as Randall P. McMurphy is the force that drives this classic film, an adaptation of Ken Kesey’s bestselling 1962 novel. McMurphy is a petty criminal who fakes insanity to serve his time in a mental ward instead of a work farm. Louise Fletcher’s Nurse Ratched controls her patients with soothing tones and an iron will that threatens to break McMurphy, and now ranks among American film’s greatest villains. The film was the first to win each of the top five Academy Awards since It Happened One Night in 1934. —AFI
Forman grew up in a small town near Prague. Orphaned when his parents, a Jewish professor and a Protestant housewife, died in Nazi concentration camps, he was reared by two uncles and family friends. In the mid-1950s Forman studied at the film school of the University of Prague. Upon graduating he wrote two screenplays, the first of which, Nechte to na mn (“Leave It to Me”), was filmed in 1955 by noted Czech director Martin Fri. Forman in 1957 was himself an assistant director on the second of these screenplays, a situation comedy entitled Stenata (“The Puppies”).
Throughout the late 1950s and early ‘60s Forman acted as either writer or assistant director on other films. He directed his first major productions in 1963: Cerný Petr (Black Peter) and Konkurs (Talent Competition). These films had great success both domestically and on the international festival circuit, and Forman was hailed as a major talent of the Czech New Wave. His early films… read more
A "performance movie". A cast of soon to be stars leads this film about the harsh realities of a mental institution and its patients. A film well carried out.
Clips and appreciations marking Jack Nicholson’s 75th birthday.
Before I discuss this exceptional film, I need to point out that there is a lot of truth to this film if you are looking for what it was like in psychiatric hospitals in the 1950s and into the 60s… read review
In 1961 Kirk Douglas acquired the rights to Ken Kesey’s novel and had it adapted into a play by Dale Wasserman which he took to Broadway, with him playing the central character R P McMurphy and with… read review
I can’t remember the first time I saw it but it was a while back, and I loved it then– a helluva movie.
I just caught it on tv by accident, I was late to it but hadn’t missed too much. I ended… read review