Though Czechoslovakian filmmaker Miloš Forman, who passed away on April 13 at the age of 86, directed only 13 feature films, the two American films for which he received Academy Awards for Best Director (and which were also named Best Picture) cemented his legacy as an icon in the art of cinema. Join us as we present his 1975 masterpiece One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, often cited as one of the greatest American films of all time, and selected for preservation by the National Film Registry for its “cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance.”
Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a charismatic criminal with manic behavior, pleads insanity in court to avoid jail time. He is relocated to an insane asylum where he meets Nurse Ratchet (Louise Fletcher), who rules the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, and zero tolerance for the slightest sign of rebellious behavior. As Randall creates chaos for the Nurse with his fellow inmates, including Native American Chief Bromden (Will Sampson), Billy (Brad Dourif), Martini (Danny Devito), and Taber (Christopher Lloyd, in his acting debut), the film examines the themes of conformity and individuality that made author Ken Kesey’s source 1962 novel a staple of the counter-culture movement.
The second of only three films in history to win the “Big 5” sweep of Academy Awards – Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Screenplay (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman), Best Director (Miloš Forman), and Best Picture of the Year – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is an undeniable masterpiece elevated by extraordinary performances by the entire cast, and Forman’s extraordinary direction which manages to add levity and dark humor to the proceedings in a setting that is otherwise sparse, sterile, and seemingly devoid of hope and joy.
Sunday, May 6th – 4:30pm, 7:30pm
Monday, May 7th – 2pm, 5pm, 7:30pm
Tuesday, May 8th – 2pm, 5pm, 7:30pm