Amazing film: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

Just watched Jack Nicholson's opus One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and I'm moved by how big this "little" film was. Nicholson playes R.P McMurphy ("Murph"), a petty con-man who talked his way from a chain gang into the insane asylum. The supporting cast is a who's-who of character actors: Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, etc.

On a level, it's the same plot as "Cool Hand Luke": Wiseguy gets into trouble, imprisoned by some sadist, and yet he finds a way to separate himself and enjoy his incarceration, all the while plotting his escape. It's the same anti-establishment, anti-hero role, and it has the same tragic denoument. Also like "Luke", this film's hero is not the protagonist, because ultimately he's the same static character, the catalyst for the other actors.

Example: In the opening scene, we find the other patients meekly in line before the Sadistic Nurse Ratched in various states of catatonia. After Murph's arrival, we learn that most of them aren't even forced to remain at the asylum; they've chosen to stay there to hide from their own demons. Led by Murph's manic con-speak, they transform, ultimately challenging authority and growing beyond their own demons, reveling in the broader world beyond.


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