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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A+
Video/Audio/Extras: B/B+/A-

Directed by: Milos Forman
Written by: Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben
Based on the book by: Ken Kesey
Produced by: Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Dean R. Brooks
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it!

When one is asked what film they would consider to be the most powerful, there are many possibilities. Schindler's List should certainly be ranked up there. The Shawshank Redemption and The Godfather should also be considered. An incredibly powerful film that would certainly be my choice is Milos Forman's masterpiece One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. From the outside it doesn't look like something that would be impressive, but once this film is viewed, you will just be gripping your seat by the pure intensity of it.

Randle P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) has committed himself into a mental asylum to avoid prison work and attempts to fit himself right in. He meets his fellow inmates and a bond is immediately formed between him and them. However, he also gains an enemy from his ward's nurse Mildred Ratched (Louise Fletcher) as she shoots down every suggestion he makes. This results in a conflict between the two, especially when McMurphy starts to inspire the inmates and make them think for themselves.

Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher both won very well deserved Academy Awards for their performances and special praise should also be given to director Milos Forman. A Czech filmmaker, he entered the mainstream American mind with the incredible direction that he lays upon the scenes in Cuckoo's Nest. The screenplay by Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben is also worthy of praise as are the supporting performances from William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Sydney Lassick and Christopher Lloyd among others. The numerous extremely positive reviews that exist of this film have probably already persuaded you to view this classic, but I can assure you that it certainly worth watching, without a doubt.

Warner Brothers is the producer of quite possibly the best DVDs out there and along with a very good transfer of Cuckoo's Nest, they have also provided extras spread across two discs. Along with awards and cast lists, there is an audio commentary with Forman and the film's producers on the first disc. They provide some interesting insight into the production and how it came to be, which is a nice overview for people interested in the film's making. The documentary on Disc Two will also interest fans as it looks even more into the film like the choice of director and cast as well as the history and reaction of the project. Finally, the DVD ends with the original theatrical trailer and some deleted scenes.

With a lot of information on the making of a brilliant piece of work, it's hard for me not to recommend this classic of a film. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest holds up extremely well on multiple and any film enthusiast has got to own this set.

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