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  • Joshua Buck

One flew over the cuckoo's next (1975) Review

A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.




That is the simple premise of 1975’s One flew over the cuckoo’s nest. An unknown cast that delivers a great performance but subverts from your traditionally Hollywood narrative that you’d expect but the nature of the story and the character arcs that are set out to be completed that makes it really satisfying watch that I was gripped and wanted to see completed. This film also creates a great degree of enigma in whether it is the question of R.P. McMurphy’s sanity or why Chief is mute makes it so interesting. It is this the audience watching being one step ahead and knowing what will happen and being unsure at the same time that creates a great sense of dramatic irony and leads to a really satisfying story.





The performances of Jack Nicholson and co. are absolutely amazing. The nurse provides a sternness to her performance that you really do believe that her character thinks that she is doing right by her patients and as an audience you are unsure whether to believe her or not. Jack Nicholson’s performance is over the top but also juxtaposes it as well with his performance that can also be very serious and can create great empathy for the audience that watches on. Simple performances that really took me away was the other patients for example I thought Martini was amazing and I didn’t even realise it was Danny DeVito until afterwards when I was researching the movie.


This movie knows when to cut scenes as well and that is a great credit to the editing of this movie as it knows what to show the audience and when to stop showing the audience what the director wants.





In terms of the cinematography it really creates a great sense of the location as it shows how empty the ward is and this perhaps signifies that there is room for something in the characters mind to be filled. Whether that is a long stretch or not I will let you decide for yourself.


All in all, this film is truly amazing and you see why it is still spoken about today. It is a film that people who want to be directors or actors should watch because this film is truly astounding with its performances. It also shows how a normal story can subvert from the ‘normal’ Hollywood narrative and how longs if the characters arcs are completed and the basics of story are there then it doesn’t need to be done page by page.


Overall, I rate this movie 5/5.

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