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One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Special Edition DVD

One flew east, one flew west, and one flew over the cuckoo’s nest

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 133 minutes

UK Certificate: 18


The Oscars don’t lie. Well, actually, scrap that comment – they do. The Hours, for example, is rubbish. But, when the Academy gave ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ all four of the main gongs for 1975 (Best Actor, Actress, Director and Picture), they got it spot on. Only 1934’s ‘It Happened One Night’ had achieved such a clean sweep before, and only 1991’s ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ has managed it since. This film, for my money, is better than either of them. Working from the novel by Ken Kesey, Czech director Milos Forman perfectly handles this funny, poignant and dramatic tale of group dynamics behind the bare walls of a mental hospital. Jack Nicholson – as the cocky Randle McMurphy – rocks the boat (literally, at one point) when he arrives as the newest inmate, a misbehaving convict who the penal system seem to have given up trying to understand. Has he been faking madness to get out of his prison chores, or is he genuinely in need of help? Nicholson’s magnificent performance is supported by an impressive ensemble of loons, including then unknowns Danny De Vito and Christopher Lloyd (this was three years before ‘Taxi’). But it’s Louise Fletcher who perhaps looms largest in this reviewer’s memory, as the frighteningly steely Nurse Ratched, watching over the ward with expressionless conviction. ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ is quite simply a terrific film. If you haven’t seen it before, there’s really no excuse now that it’s been visually restored, digitally remastered and given the all-round Special Edition DVD treatment. Oh, and brace yourself for one of the most shocking and touching endings in movie history. You won’t forget it in a hurry.

It's Got: Medication time!

It Needs: A straitjacket

DVD Extras Audio commentary from Milos Forman, an hour-long ‘Making Of’ documentary, extra scenes, and a trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10


Jack Nicholson at his very best – a must-have DVD.