This file was generated 2004-02-08 05:01 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2003-02-02.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> April 1999 >> One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a difficult movie to classify. While it has many moments of comedy, the story feels like it should be a drama. The theatrical trailer on the laserdisc would almost convince you that you'd be watching something like Crazy People. There are funny moments, to be sure, but the real story is in the interaction between the patients and the staff. The staff are dehumanized for the audience by their dehumanization of the patients.
The award-winning performance by Jack Nicholson is definitely something special. The mischief is always visible in his eyes. The wheels are always turning, and waiting to see what they crank out next is a thrill. Louise Fletcher, also giving an award-winning performance, is great for the opposite reason. Her demeanor betrays so little that she comes off as mechanical. That astonishing composure is very impressive. I almost didn't recognize Danny DeVito right away. I thought I recognized Lance Henriksen on the laserdisc cover, and was surprised to find Christopher Lloyd instead.
Excepting a brief outing, the story takes place in a few small rooms, and it doesn't take long to feel very familiar with the facility. The combination of the bland surroundings and garb would be enough to drive anyone crazy. Throw in Nurse Ratched, and hope goes out the window. The location is quite convincing, and it gets very easy to sympathize with the patients.