One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

I know why the caged bird sings.

Playing a man pretending to be crazy, Jack Nicholson won the first of his three Oscars as Randle McMurphy, a prisoner who refuses to be held down by restraints — psychical, or of the mind.

The award was a nice makeup for being robbed the year before when his career-best work in Chinatown was nominated, but Art Carney won.

While that detective yarn is my personal all-time favorite, Cuckoo is more than worthy of all its accolades.

Perfectly mixing dark humor with pain, frustration, and, ultimately, existential horror, director Miloš Forman crafts a classic.


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