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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Special Edition

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is not only one of the best films of the 1970s, it is one of the most socially significant movies yet made about the late-20th century counterculture movement. Based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey, Milos Forman's 1975 picture stars Jack Nicholson as R.P. McMurphy, an erratic sociopath transferred from a prison work detail to a state mental hospital for evaluation of his behavioral health. In the ward, McMurphy's confidence and charisma immediately enchant his timid and unstable fellow patients, but his careless nonconformism also butts him up against the iron will of Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), who rigidly controls the happenings in her wing and doesn't take to challenges of her authority. Nicholson is in peak form, never offering a better display of his versatile, vulgar charms, and Fletcher also does well not to overplay Ratched's unflinching command. Fleshing out Forman's vivid and realistic film is an excellent supporting cast of previously unknown performers filling the hospital's cots, including Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, and, most affecting, Brad Dourif and Will Sampson. Warner's two-disc release of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest — replacing their earlier one-disc version — offers a strong anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) from an almost-flawless source-print and terrific remastered 5.1 Dolby Digital audio on Disc One. A commentary track features Forman along with producers Saul Zaentz and Michael Douglas. The 48-min. Making Of documentary on Disc Two, consisting of cast and crew interviews (sans Nicholson) is wonderful. Also included on Disc Two are eight deleted scenes and the trailer. Dual-DVD digipak with paperboard slipcase.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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