One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest movie review - Aussieboyreviews


The film stars Jack Nicholson as a prisoner who pleads insanity and positively stirs up the people at the mental institution. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is entertaining, poignant and triumphant.


To avoid penal labour, a prisoner fakes insanity and is admitted to a mental institution. But he stirs up the patients as he stands up against a harsh nurse who dominates the ward by intimidating her patients.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Miloš Forman
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Christopher Lloyd, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito, Sydney Lassick, Scatman Crothers
Writer: Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman
Release Date (Australia): 1 April 1976
Runtime: 133 minutes/2h 13m
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

The film centres on themes relating to mental illness, murder, suicide and references to sexual assault. There are also depictions of a man receiving electroconvulsive therapy and the aftermath of a suicide.

Violence (M)

The film contains scenes of violence, including people having fist-fights and strangling each other, the aftermath of a suicide, and a man killing another man by smothering him with a pillow.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film features frequent and occasionally aggressive uses of the words “f**k”, “s**t” and “bitch”, as well as one use of “c**t” language.

Nudity (PG)

The film contains single depictions each of a man’s buttocks and the side of a woman’s breast.

Sex (M)

There are crude verbal and visual references to sex and masturbation throughout the film. The film also contains implied sex scenes.

mpaa rating

R (for an unknown reasoning)

Aussie boy's thoughts

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is both deeply poignant and wonderfully poignant at the same time. Throughout the film, there’s always a certain selection of tones ranging from mentally insane, dramatic, guilty, rebellious, and even very hopeful and humorous. Miloš Forman does an excellent job in directing a 1960s-set story set in a mental institution, starring Jack Nicholson as a prisoner who pleads insanity and is sent to this ward, resulting in him changing the lives and outlooks of the other patients.

The first 20 or so minutes of the film for some can really be rough to completely engage in, especially since it’s obviously the first act where we get to know the characters, a little bit of their backstories and the events taking place in the film. But once it gives you the time to really make acquaintance, that’s when it’s super rebellious and never really becomes boring or slow-moving. But to people who’ll watch this movie without knowing too much about it, it’ll absolutely surprise them with the sense of triumph and incredible sadness by the end of the film.

Taking place in a ward, the actors who play each of the patients are truly talented, even if they’re not the lead character always on the screen. Nicholson may not be as insane as he was in The Shining, but he’s also perfect in this movie. The sort-of-an-antagonist happens to be one of the nurses in the facility played by Louise Fletcher, who is honestly kind of difficult to call the monstrous villain, because her character is really doing her job, although she can be quite harsh.

The portrayal of the inside of this mental institution is also very real and worth its own conversation, with the patients’ schedules being designed very carefully, very therapeutic and purposeful. Every element you can see, hear and point out in this movie is all near-perfect, which results in it being a staggering classic. It will leave you with the feelings it delivers at the end, very successfully, and it’s truly worth watching.

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