One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest | Study Guide

Ken Kesey

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Course Hero. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 20 Sep. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, July 28). One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest/

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Course Hero. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed September 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest/.

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Course Hero, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed September 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest/.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest | 1975 Film Adaptation

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The 1975 film adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time—perhaps even more famous than the very book it's based on. Starring Jack Nicholson as protagonist Randle McMurphy, it became the second film in history to win the "Big Five" Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Director.

In 1993 the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, calling it "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." And in 1998 the American Film Institute named it one of the 100 greatest films of all time.

Author Ken Kesey, however, wasn't as impressed. Originally hired onto the production team, Kesey quit over creative differences. For one, producers decided not to have the film narrated by Chief Bromden (as the book was), nor did the director want to cast Kesey's choice of Gene Hackman in the role of McMurphy. Psychiatrists, too, were inflamed, claiming the film's abusive portrayal of electroshock therapy gave it the same reputation another film that year called Jaws did for sharks.

Years later, Kesey was reportedly flipping through channels when he inadvertently began watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Upon realizing what it was, he quickly changed the channel and claimed until his death that he never saw the film in its entirety.

"It has been the smartest thing I never did," he said.

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