One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

(On VHS, September 2000) The problem with classics is that they’re almost inevitably copied everywhere. It’s even worse with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest because it’s set in such the immediately outlandish milieu of psychiatric hospitals. Seeing it again today brings involuntary memories of pretty much all asylum movies since then, most notably Girl Interrupted and Patch Adams. It should be acknowledged that One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest hasn’t really aged a lot since 1975 –especially in comparison with its contemporaries. Jack Nicholson is still as good as the protagonist, and the the supporting characters are all developed with a surprising amount of depth. On the other hand, it’s not a pleasant film; I didn’t want to be there most of the time, and the film kept adding one unrelated vignette after another. Keep watching, however, as this is a film that’s redeemed by a few cheap dramatics at the end. Manipulative as it is, it’s still effective.

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