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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old classic with significant improvements
I have always been an avid fan of this movie classic. Jack Nicholson's character portrayal of Randall P MacMurphy is fantasically steeped in character and humour. The blu-ray image is detailed and absorbing, and the cinematic lustre of the original film has been updated. A sane "Jack the lad" driven insane by the misdeeds of those in authority in a US mental institution...
Published on 23 Aug. 2009 by Mr. R. Laverick

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy in blu ray
No point. You are better off buying the normal one as the blu ray version doesn't bring that much added quality.
Published 10 months ago by K. Knight


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old classic with significant improvements, 23 Aug. 2009
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Mr. R. Laverick "Robert Laverick" (Sunderland/Durham Border) - See all my reviews
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I have always been an avid fan of this movie classic. Jack Nicholson's character portrayal of Randall P MacMurphy is fantasically steeped in character and humour. The blu-ray image is detailed and absorbing, and the cinematic lustre of the original film has been updated. A sane "Jack the lad" driven insane by the misdeeds of those in authority in a US mental institution. Number 1 movie, first class transfer.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. If you haven't got it, get it., 22 Jan. 2006
By A Customer
I'm not normally moved enough by a film to post my comments on Amazon, but last night this one just blew me away. I can't believe I hadn't seen it before now. All I can say is that everything everybody before me has said is right. It's a moving, shocking, scary, often laugh-out-loud funny emotional rollercoaster with some the greatest performances I've ever seen. I was completely bowled over and it took me about 10 minutes to recover from what I'd just seen.
What an unbelievably brilliant piece of work.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT..., 9 May 2005
This 1975 adaptation of Ken Kasey's groundbreaking novel is a true masterpiece of film history. It incorporates, witty comedy, bone breaking tension and heart warming drama that means it stuns anybody who has the pleasure of seeing it.
The stage is set in a mental hospital of which Randall P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson, in his finest role) is admitted to, as a volunteer. Yet his rambunctious ways and rather short temper mean that from the second he walks into the place he is on a collision cause with the cold-hearted authoritarian Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) who insists on keeping order. Something that Randall is not at liberty to adhere with.
With Randall using his over the top views to influence the other loonies he establishes a lot of trust between the inmates and himself, and even forms an unlikely friendship between himself and a huge, supposedly mute indian chief. But eventually the it all ends in dilemma as Randall ends up the victim of the cold, prison like institution's system, of which Nurse Ratched is happy to see.
This film is slow, often cheerful but overall the tender moments between the chief and Randall, and the classic scenes in which Randall relates with his fellow nutters are priceless.
With an unbeatable cast of Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Christopher Lloyd and even Danny DeVito. The director Milos Forman (who seems to add subtleness to a film that would look a whole lot different, and may have been ruined if someone else had made it) uses the actors to great effect and has earned a bag full of oscars and the respect he so rightly deserves - Everybody seems to agree that five stars is justifiable. Yet I think it deserves more than that, as it is one of the best films of the 70's.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously funny, grim as hell, total masterpiece, 18 Dec. 2007
By 
Directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, this is a 5-oscar-winning masterpiece and deservedly so. I first saw this picture in '76 and have watched it more times than is decent since, so much so I almost know the script by heart. Based on the novel by Ken Kesey and set in an Oregon mental institute, this tragicomedy is the single most profound drama I have ever seen and with a denouement so powerful and unforgettable I feel my life has been changed and enriched by the privilege of witnessing it. Whatever you think of Jack Nicholson, his performance here as R P McMurphy - a prison-dodging, sane-as-can-be sex offender confined for psychiatric assessment - is mesmerizing. As too are the performances of Louise Fletcher (Head Nurse Ratched) and a supporting ensemble of actors including Danny deVito, Christopher Lloyd, Will Sampson, William Redfield and Brad Dourif, all playing utterly convincing roles, indistinguishable - as I'm sure any psychiatric worker would vouch - from real-life mental patients.

It is the ebullient McMurphy's disruption of the tranquility of the hospital ward that brings him into conflict with Ratched's stone-hearted, authoritarian matron. She runs a tight ship convinced it's for the benefit of the patients. Her idea of therapy is to have everyone sitting in a circle, ostensibly to benefit from discussion and to air their mundane issues, but with the main agenda of maintaining and reinforcing a despiriting regime of rigid conformity. These sessions often start morosely and silently but invariably end with raucous and hilarious shouting matches which are so perfectly and authentically played by the ensemble cast that you feel as though you're watching a documentary, but a riveting one at that. Here also we are introduced to some of the more vocal patients who though quirky and laden with issues, are generally more articulate and intelligent than those beyond the asylum. Outside of these lively discourses, the patients are kept subdued by daily dosages of drugs. Any hint of insurrection is quelled by fear of Ratched's excoriating disapproval and her arsenal of truncheon-wielding orderlies, disposed on her say-so to remove a patient by force to another ward where electroconvulsive therapy is meted out to the specially deserving.

R P McMurphy lands onto this lugubrious, ordered world like a fun-loving Martian. He is a boisterous, big-hearted, roguish extrovert and, once settled in, wins the confidence and in turn the admiration and hero worship of his fellow inmates. Excepting the "chronics", McMurphy can scarcely distinguish (and neither can we) between the patients and "the average a**hole walking about out there on the street". But the trouble begins when he bets with his fellow patients that he can, within a week, "stick a bug so far up Nurse Ratched's a** she won't know whether to s**t or wind her wrist-watch." This sets the scene for psychological warfare with, on the one side, McMurphy leading a bunch of fired up, newly assertive patients, and on the other, the system, or the "Combine", fronted by Nurse Ratched. The conflict comes to a head when McMurphy arranges a wild party for the patients to liven up their otherwise monotonous and colourless existences. However, it will be seen in the devastating and brutal consequences that the system deems itself having more to lose than those who would dare to confront it. Catering for individual aspirations and for patient happiness it seems were very far beyond the remit of the mental healthcare system as it was. With undertones of Spartacus - possibly explaining Kirk Douglas' interest, whose son Michael brought the novel to the screen - this story brings into searing focus the cruelty and inhumanity of sectors of mental healthcare in sixties US.

Now to say further would be to give too much away. But believe me, this is a genuinely funny, bitterly tragic, remarkable, compelling, totally absorbing, emotionally draining and brilliant picture, so rightly deserving of its stature as one of the best films of all time - in this reviewer's opinion, the very best.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BAD HAIR, GREAT FILM, 9 Feb. 2004
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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It has taken me nearly 30 years to get round to watching this film, and I genuinely think I appreciate it more for being that much older. It has had accolades for everything -- plot, direction, filming, casting, acting. It deserves them all. It is nothing short of compulsive. The bad guy who has not lost his soul (much less his spirit) is pitted against the embodiment of sanctimonious righteousness who never had a soul to lose.
I wonder whether Nicholson has even yet had full recognition for the truly great actor he is (how many people have even seen The King of Marvin Gardens, for instance?) His screen presence is enormous, magnetic and menacing. He combines outsize testosteronic individuality with the ability to get inside a character, and an electric sense of threat with a real power to tug at the heart-strings. Bad he may be, but unsympathetic never. He is a very big little guy, but he is still the little guy against the system. It must be impossible, surely, to upstage that?
Incredibly, no. The ultimate star in a film that has no shortage of up-and-coming luminaries as well as Nicholson (D de Vito for one) is Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched. I am never going to forget that mask-like expressionless face and that ever-rational, implacable, ever-modulated voice mouthing those soulless, uncomprehending, the-system-is-right banalities. Above all, I am never going to forget that hair. Among the many touches of genius in this production, that hairstyle is the ultimate. I simply could not take my eyes off it. The name is effective too, and I shall continue to believe until someone proves me wrong that it was an inspired borrowing from Jane Eyre -- the dreadful and sadistic Miss Skatcherd brought up to date and given a 20th-century twist.
This film is never going to become dated as long as these polarities continue to repel each other. I saw it at all only because my son showed it to me. It is relevant to my generation, it is relevant to his, and I can't foresee when it is not going to be relevant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McMurphy v Psychiatry.., 22 May 2010
By 
Peter Buckley "peter15115" (Dyfed, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This 1975 classic portrayal of how the routine of an American psychiatric asylum turns upside down by one man, a disruptive, rebellious prisoner feigning madness, Randall P McMurphy, was unforgettably portrayed by Jack Nicholson. It is a deceptively simple story, set within a stiflingly small world, the ward ruled by Nurse Ratched.

With the potential to fail miserably, considering the bleak setting, it is in turn dramatic, frightening, funny, moving and uplifting. It is based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey, a psychiatric nurse with a serious point well made, the lack of humanity in such institutions of the time. We may well feel we are on familiar ground here, since so many films, novels and TV series have similarly explored the dehumanising aspects of large institutions, hospitals, prisons, schools and military establishments, for example, all having received attention. Needless to say, if not the first, `One flew over the cuckoo's nest' is a definite front runner.

The novel is told through the eye of the narrator, a mute Native American, Chief Bromden. It can take a while to follow him, as he explores the idea that the patients were the only sane, truly human people within a closed society forced into compliance by a powerful, machine-like, autocracy, using drugs and electro-convulsive treatment on the patients, and more subtle means on the lesser staff. The film opted for a more objective, conventional narrative, which reportedly infuriated Ken Kesey. The rumour is that he would never watch the film.

The supporting actors are great, but there is no doubt, however, that it is Jack Nicholson's portrayal of McMurphy that sets the film apart. Reminding me of Paul Newman in `Cool Hand Luke', `Mac' has led a tough life, has beaten people and has been beaten, imprisoned and accused of rape, but he is the epitome of human, we are completely sympathetic with him, as he retains his identity in the face of the system. He is one of those fantastic free spirits that we all would like to be, a couldn't care less about your petty rules and regulations, always the right bit of humour to expose the farce of the system, nothing to lose, and nobody to please. It is in this way we really see how institutionalised the `chronics' and the `acutes', as the patients are anonymously segregated, have become.

One of the fascinating things about how the film was conceived lies in its semi-documentary style. Filmed inside a real residential psychiatric hospital, it featured real patients in some scenes, and the role of Doctor Spivey, the boss whose task it is to evaluate McMurphy's `madness' was played by Dr Dean Brooks, the real head of the institution. Many professionals have noted the film got that depressing, stifling atmosphere just right, down to the sounds in the background, even the depressing colour of the paint on the corridor walls.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, humourous and compelling at the same time, 30 July 2007
This film DOES have a comedy element in it. I fail to see how the wise-cracking, witty quips of R.P.McMurphy, along with his rebellious antics, could be regarded as anything but comedic. Having said that, there is also a lot of sadness.

R.P.McMurphy (Randall), has faked insanity in order to avoid a stretch in prison. He is a free-spirited convict who is unruly and anarchic, yet good-hearted and affable at the same time. Once in the mental institution, he sets about befriending various patients with varying degress of psychiatric problems, and then proceeds to shake things up and try to lead a revolt against the spiteful and tyrannical Nurse Ratched, played superbly by Louise Fletcher.

This film is a thought-provoking and often disturbing look at the treatment of people with psycholgical problems, and heavily hints that the methods used in mental institutions are inhumane at best, sickening at worst. Furthermore, it also shows the dynamics of society, and society's intolerance of free spirits in the same mould as Randall P. McMurpphy. The slow oppression of Randall and the gradual disintegration of any wilful rebellion or even humanity in the patients is sad and disconcerting to watch. Jack Nicholson is all at once charismatic, hilarious, rebellious and magnetic, whilst Fletcher is terrifying. Both actors won the coveted acting awards at the Oscars, and the film won Best Picture.

Watch this fascinating film and find out why.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC..., 26 April 2005
By A Customer
This 1975 piece of film genius is a tribute to the supreme acting talents of Jack Nicholson as he plays Randall P. McMurphy an arrogant, roguish thug assigned to a mental institute for being a bit violent. As he settles in it seems to him that the demercations of control and freedom are to thin and so sets himself on a head on collision with the stern authoritarians of the hospital, including a stern, merciless nurse played by Louise Fletcher. It ends with a dramatic climax between Randall and a huge (apparently silent) indian who has given him a sense of salvation in what is really a prison in all respects.
Milos Forman directs with flair and the acting is brilliant, it is a multi-oscar winning gem and to all people and film fans alike, it must be watched and recognized as one of the best films of all time.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the 7th day God created One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest!!, 28 Dec. 2000
By 
I bought this DVD from Amazon a few weeks ago as a Christmas present to myself. I had heard rumours about it and seen the book on various shop shelves. I knew that I had to see this film as everyone kept saying to me "I can't believe you've not seen it, it's a classic". Well I finally sat down to watch it on Christmas night and was left absolutely speechless at how very, very good it is. I honestly can't sing this films praises enough. All the cast deliver outstanding performances in particular, Fletcher, Nicholson, Dourif, DeVito and Lloyd. I am not going to give anything away about the plot all I will say is I can't believe you've not seen it, it's a classic. Buy this film now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of its rating, 9 Nov. 2007
By 
This has been buzzing around my ears among my friends and without a doubt; it is one of the best films of all time. Mixing mental health with humor is a tough brand to sell; come to fine out it took several years for this movie to be made. Kirk Douglas had bought the rights hoping to star in it himself, but struggled to find a studio who would produce it; his son Michael eventually did it, but had the foresight to stay off the screen. When you watch it, it's not hard to work out why no-one would touch it - it's subject matter was just too quirky and controversial for Hollywood in the 60s. The film was ideal for representing a burgeoning discontent with society during the post-Vietnam malaise; its audience, like its characters, was feeling enormous dissatisfaction with rules, authority, government and the stupefying way it was treating its people. No wonder that it struck such a chord with cinema-goers.

Many liberties that we take for granted are explored within the narrative of the film: communication (in therapy sessions, where the nurse leads the discussion) freedom (during the 'escape') alcohol (during the party) sex (Billy's turn with the hooker McMurphy imports). The reactions of Nurse Ratched and the orderlies symbolize the reactions of authority when we digress from its designated path; the response of the inmates is to return to the routines and drudgery they entail. The analogy with the restrictive nature of society is glaring.

Enter Randle McMurphy, no respecter of rules or routines, a man who is riotous but also unselfish. Brilliantly played by Jack Nicholson (a masterly piece of casting) McMurphy challenges the established norms and routines of the hospital in pursuit of fun, which irks and then aggravates Nurse Ratched. The positive impact on the other patients is clear and noticeable; it suggests that there is value in breaking away from social expectations, in being spontaneous, in occasionally pursuing personal pleasure or individual goals beyond those authority grants to you. The conclusion suggests that those in authority will do anything to silence those who challenge the social order, but that freedom *is* ultimately accessible, whether by death (McMurphy) or escape (Chief Bromden).

Social analysis aside, the movie is great fun: there are a lot of laughs, a lot of thought-provoking moments, and a few tears. It's certainly one of the finest moments in cinematic history - it came at a time when it was drastically needed by the viewing public, but its content and themes are no less relevant and interesting to us today.
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [1975] [Region Free]
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