Welcome to our podcast dedicated to discussing well-known movies and TV shows that one of us has never seen. In this episode we’re talking about One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975, Rated R).
You can listen to the show by clicking here.
Here are the links to some of the things we discussed:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest IMDb page; “Lobotomy’s Back” article in Discover Magazine; “Lobotomy: Definition, Procedure, & History” article from Live Science; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 5; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine IMDb page; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest book by Ken Kesey; Bechdel test pass or fail; Harold and Maude IMDb page; Cosmic Potato Podcast Network.
Next time, we’ll be talking about Gaslight, so stay tuned!
Rough Transcript of Episode 70 below:
This program is part of the cosmic potato Podcast Network for more shows like this visit our website at CosmicPotatoNetwork.com
I, this is Shane and this is Virginia and this is weight. You’ve never seen a podcast dedicated to discussing well-known movies and TV shows that one of us has never seen.
They were beginning our messed up moving months by discussing.
Wait, you’ve never seen one. Flew Over The compose-ness and this movie was a lot sadder than I expect it sat that I remember.
So up front, we do have a few trigger warnings. Of course, we try never to arm chair diagnose anyone but the basic premise of this movie seems to be is “mcmurry crazy or not. Crazy. Does he belong in this institution there does he belong in prison?
So I think everything we’re gonna talk about is sort of through that lens, where we’re just sort of answering the question that the movie is asking.
It takes place in a psychiatric hospital in the early 1960s, so the treatment of patients isn’t the greatest. It’s pretty terrible that sometimes there were a couple of things that I had like actual visceral reactions to some of it’s hard to not… There was a close-up of an electric shock treatment Murphy towards the end of the movie, Assault Nurse, ratchet and tries to choke her to death, and when they reveal who I was gonna say spoiler, but I assume everybody listening has either watched or knows about the movie. When I realized they had lottery I think, I literally sat out loud like… Oh, no, yeah, so I’m surprised you didn’t sort of know that because that just seems to be like a… There’s been allusions to that sort of thing, in different movies and TV shows of…
I mean, I knew that sort of thing happened. I did not expect that drastic of a measure, even with all of his behavior. Well, we’ll get into that.
Yeah, I and then, when Chief suffocate Mike Murphy at the very end, I did not also see that coming ethics, he said, “Oh I’m not gonna, she says I’m not gonna leave you behind. You think he’s a big guy, he’s gonna throw them over his shoulder and get the hell out of there either that I thought he was gonna stay there with him, and take care of him, and protect him from the other terrible people I… But that didn’t happen either. Make Murphy hurls some racist insults at chief before they become BFF, and the reason make Murphy was in prison in the first place, was statutory rape, which she does not seem remorseful about in the lease as well as five assaults, as well as five results. Thank you, I forgot about that. So, oh, now that we’re all depressed. Okay, let’s move on, what three things did you expect from this movie?
Well, you sent me the poster to look at… And so with the COO, the fence with the Barbie on top and the red lock in the title to me says either they’re gonna be in a psychiatric hospital or the psychiatric ward of a prison.
So I also expected that nurse ratchet would be in this movie. I knew she was in… I knew Louise Fletcher had played nurse watched and I knew there was some movie about mental mental hospitals in the 70 so I just guessed I assure there was a connection.
That’s good, you get a…
Let’s see, what was my third thing? Oh, I’m really proud of this one. Jack Nelson’s character will somehow escape the hospital or present because it’s One Flew Over, so I’m like, “Oh he’s got a gain he’s gonna…
This goes… I tell it out of that joint as the kids say, they don’t say that, that’s a… Oh yeah, fly the coop.
Why the cop? Thank you, yes, I-E. A coup, I think were going… Or maybe looking for… So did you expect to like this movie or not?
I thought there would be some harmful stereotypes of people with mental illnesses, so I didn’t have the highs of expectations. I gave it two stars to start out with.
Okay, so what was your one sentence?
I am DB or shaking your head with your eyes close, this must be good.
So what is your one sentence? I MDP summary.
After killing someone with a Kuku clock it.
So Jack Nelson’s character code named Birdie is sentenced to life in prison, where he tries to convince his fellow mentally ill inmates. That escape is their only option I like… ’cause sometimes you just… You wanna… Sometimes I wanna just play it safe, but sometimes you go for it. Yeah, I like that.
So would you like to hear the actual end being… Yes, I would, please.
So Mary, so One Flew Over the cones came out in late 1975, rated 13 minutes. A drama. I think we just need to say right here, that it’s mules format. ’cause the director that was this fine picture.
It’s supposed to mean something to me. Well, no, not to you necessarily.
He’s just one of the greatest director of all time.
Okay, doesn’t always get his due.
I don’t think all apparently if I’ve never heard of that, I guess, not.
He didn’t really do a picture that was as that made as much money or is that… Or that was as critically acclaim as this one, I believe I went five Oscars anyway, which I like to have the summer right now.
Yes, a criminal please insanity. And is admitted to a mental institution where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up, the scared patients.
Yes, that happened it did. So how did this meet your expectations?
I think it was pretty close on all of them accept Jack Nicol son’s character didn’t escape he died. So which is in a way. And I gave, I mean, he entailed capes.
That’s true, it does momentarily escape. So psychiatric hospital or psychiatric ward of a prison check nurse ratchet check Janice sin’s character, will somehow scape “seyche in impressive it on to that say, especially since you weren’t exactly sure.
Well, and the thing was, was it Mike Murphy in prison, first because they talk about putting him on the work farm or whatever, so he was in prison and then me but it wasn’t Award of the prison. It was a separate hospital, correct?
So, after watching this have you changed your star rating?
Well, the second half of this movie was really hard to watch, it was really hard to watch it successfully conveyed the horrors of mental decision in the 1960s, so it was good in that way and it was good and the acting and direction, like you’re saying, I guess this guy is one of the best there ever was. So, I will bump it up to three because it was a good… But I would never watch this again. It was, it was too hard for me to watch who was pretty tough?
So can we talk about the opening and closing music and how it hurt my ears so much? I almost wanted to mute it.
Oh I’m sorry it was… So it wasn’t really scratchy it was like, it was high-pitched for sure.
It’s like if you put a string and maybe on a harpsichord or something and it sort of distorts for a minute ’cause maybe you move the thing.
Oh, at that residence? That happens, I now when it’s not exactly an Echo, but I don’t know, maybe I should just look it up right now so I can explain it to… The variance was so wide that when the notes would move everything was bleeding over into each other. Oh, I, I… We all so on. But the every note was doing well.
Have you not in the court, you’re covering your years at? I’ll stop.
I did not like it at all.
Well, it’s disturbing. So it’s like, when a movie starts off with a disturbing piece of music, you know, there might be dust. daring things to come.
Something else that I didn’t like, Okay, first of all, the west or players, the Louise Fletcher also plays Star Trek: Deep ace in a win and she’s sort of Villanova show too because she ends up at the end of the series having collaborated with one of her greatest enemies without knowing it, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, so the way she conducts the group therapy sessions, he makes me so mad.
That’s so not the way you’re supposed to do is like, “Here’s this humiliating experience you had Mr. patient.
Why don’t we expose that to the entire group, and then pick it apart piece by piece and discuss your insecurities and why you are the way you are and this is jumping ahead of it. But when I went, when she threatens Billy “Oh that poor Billy, she threatens bill with telling his mother, that he spent and he spent the evening with a lady when he wasn’t supposed to really stepping over the line and saying like, “Oh but I will because your mother and I have been friends for a really long time. That is… So it be one thing if it was like Well, it’s policy to let them know, bubble or whatever it is. I can’t imagine there’s a policy like that, but that’s not the way she goes right, he says, “Oh no, I won’t do that, blah, blah, blah horrifying.
And I wonder if the book… Because it is based on a book, right?
He can cast.
I wonder how much more detail it goes into the book, because I wanna know what Billy’s mother’s deal is like, “Why is he so terrified of her? He ends up committing suicide, which I should have mentioned in the trigger warnings, but I forgot, I’m very sorry. So many horrible things in this. So yeah, I kinda wanna know what her deal is. And there were some other patients there who… I wanna know more about their back story as well, so I… Because a lot of them will get to this too. A lot of them were there voluntarily, or allegedly voluntarily.
Something I like about Louise Fletcher is basically for the whole first half of the movie, she had the exact same expression on her face. Just passive stony face. Like I just take in what these men tell me and I issue proclamations in the same voice every time, and then as we get along in the movie starting from about the second half on you see her, you don’t really see her smile except maybe a couple of times but she gets angry, quite a few times when the troops get out of hand so to speak, so… So we talk about acting for a moment.
Yes, so the acting happens a lot in the eyes and there are certain things you can do with your eyes. I’ll either show obviously a wide variety of things, but what are the things that your eyes can do is show either a weakness or a strength-Power or lack of power and that person and if you want to maintain strength, what you do is you stare directly into someone’s eye. I am right now staring into Virginia left on and I have not blinked yet.
That’s true, you haven’t… So they call it switching eyes. I’m going to switch from your left die to your right eye.
Oh this is like a way if you’re trying to come off as a very strong person, nurse rather was trying to come off as powerful to the patients, you wouldn’t do that and you don’t see her switching eyes when she’s staring at someone right or I don’t move at all the straight ahead, and they’re half lit they’re neither wide open or totally relaxed thanks somewhere right in the middle.
There is a time to, though I E where she does with eyes and you do see her blank and that is when she is talking to the doctors and sort of weekly saying, “Oh well, he would be helped.
We shouldn’t pass off our problems to somebody else when they say I can. That mic Murphy, maybe should go back to prison, which would probably weirdly enough, probably. I obviously wait way. Becker for I.Well, they wouldn’t have performed a lobotomy most likely probably not, but… Yeah, that’s where she allows herself to come across. is weaker or not weak, so much is just like… Oh, so I do exactly… You guys all have the power, I don’t… Yeah, most of my staff actually falls under disability portrayal.
So I don’t know if we wanna kick that up into general discussion this time because that’s basically what the whole movie is about is mental illness and who who doesn’t… And the whole circumstances surrounding a psychiatric commitment.
It seems like “Make Murphy tries to treat the other men as normal people and it’s a refreshing change for them after all of the condescension, they get from the medical staff and the ventilation right? But then once he finds out that some of them could just leave whenever they want, to, they’re there voluntarily, then he gets mad.
That makes me question how many of the volunteer how many of the voluntary commitments are actually voluntary or if families are coercing them, into voluntarily committing themselves could they really get up and leave, or with her family, just bring them back the next day and say sign these papers, you’re going back.
No, I don’t think this is a real thing. One can present themselves to a mental institution and voluntarily walk in, but then you still need to be cleared by a doctor. I think it changes from state to state and what not, but I happened to know that you can’t just leave whenever you want. It’s not that simple.
I see, but yeah, the initial signing up for this, that’s it, that’s a real thing.
So I’m trying to figure out this guy Mike Murphy, as a… And he comes across as arrogant and self-serving, and obviously he’s just, he’s a con are he’s trying to play a game, he’s looking for it’s constantly looking for a way to beat the system. And so he’s a dick right? So I assume he’s being self-serving in, and obviously he is, I assume he’s being self-serving when he was running around, coursing people into voting for watching the World Series right and Nusrat it was like, “Oh okay, go ahead and take a vote. And, but her plan the whole time was that they’re never gonna do that, so she decided that she would include everyone on the ward even if they were non-verbal and everyone who was not knowing it was non-verbal voted essentially so she had that wrapped up so he doesn’t get to see the game but he does a plant child sits in front of the television and stairs of the blank screen. And all this again, seems like he’s a self-serving day. As we were pointing out, but then it turns into something beautiful. I think when he starts to call the game is always watching it and the other patients are like, “Well what’s going on here, and he’s they’ll come over and he’s making up this really exciting baseball game, and the patients are actually getting into it being excited and having so much entertainment that nurse Regina to shut that down because they’re all having way too much fun. Alright, he’s a dick but he also, she has a heart for these people at the same time he’s not all he’s not 100% jerk.
Yeah, he doesn’t, he does try to take advantage of them at times, but overall, I don’t think he tries to, like he tries to take advantage of him in a poker game or something, he doesn’t try to take advantage of them in a way that would actively harm them, right? So I don’t know, I don’t have a whole lot ’cause it… It was a… That it was tough to watch. We’ve talked about the lobotomy a couple of times. I don’t know if people since it isn’t as frequently used these days if people know this, I’m sorry it’s still used.
Well, I like in some cases, it is a world.
A lobotomy is a neuro-surgical operation that involves severing connections in the brain’s pre-frontal lobe according to Encyclopedia botanica. They’ve always been controversial, but were widely performed for more than two decades as treatment for schizophrenia, manic depression, and bipolar disorder, among other mental illnesses. When you hear people talk about sticking in ice pick up your nose, or through your eyeball and scrambling your brains around. That’s a lie, tomy. I mean, that’s not actually how they perform them, but in common parlance, that’s what it is, but I I basically… They used to think that if a bad behavior is caused by neurological connection in this part of your brain, then by damaging that part of the brain, you will then get rid of that bad behavior. Of course, they didn’t know a whole lot about how everything is connected in the brain at that time. So, the side effects of it weren’t known until of course after the fact and sometimes people would get a little better but not enough to outweigh the side effects of the at the procedure, so lobotomy is rarely if ever performed today, and if it is, it’s a much more elegant procedure you’re not gonna go in with an ice pick and start making around. Discover Magazine says The last lobotomy was performed in 1967, there was a very rare a very experimental version of brain surgery done to “orfor people with severe depression. They actually went in and did brain surgery on people. This is obviously different from all a bottom, but you just made me think of this. I remember hearing on NPR this is years ago, he only did it on about 20 people. Because find enough they couldn’t find very many people with acute enough depression that would make them say, “Okay this is your last hope anyway. Let’s go in and do brain surgery. You and I think it was 20 cases and in about 18 cases they revealed amazing results. They, with brain surgery, they used to keep you conscious enough to… So you can talk and interact with a doctor with the surgeon and when the surgeon would touch certain parts and asked a certain question on the patient list certain questions, they’d go. Oh, everything’s so much brighter now.
And I can see colors, better now.
And then when they took when the surgeon would take their hand away from that area, they would go… Oh okay, it’s back. It’s back to the way it always is now.
Like, anyway it’s very interesting. I actually poke around monkey around as you say, in someone’s brain.
So the reason I wasn’t expecting the bottom, as we mentioned a little bit earlier, I was aware that the bottoms were performed, especially in that era of mental illness, treatment, but it seems like we only saw one electric shock treatment. I assume there were many more that happened behind the scenes that they thankfully did not show us.
Yeah, but even with that, it seemed to me it seemed like a drastic step for the timeline, we were given, but that may also illustrate how terrible this hospital staff was that like, Okay, we gave him 10 electric shock treatments, and that didn’t help anything. So let’s get the old eyes pick out or whatever.
Yeah, I was just being, flipping there, so sorry A… But that was my surprise element. Not that lobotomy were performed just that it seemed to be performed so quickly in this movie.
So the book, one flow of the “Cooke’s Nest was at one time on the band book. Less who really… Yeah, the author can get the case or keep kept case. I think historic comes from his actual experience working the graveyard shift at mental ad a mental facility and Menlo Park cell where he saw certain things in the bureaucracy, and he talked to patients a lot as well.
I came out of that came out of that experience.
Well, that’s good that he… I’m sure there was some artistic license taken, but it’s good that he did just didn’t pull it out of the air, that he actually, he witnessed the thing.
I’m thinking when people, when men write for female characters, not knowing what they’re talking about, right? And when a neuro-typical person writes non-neuro-typical people it can come off. I don’t know what I’m trying to say.
I see where you’re going if you don’t have they say, first of all, they say you write what you know about, and if you don’t know about if you’re not a woman and you don’t identify as a woman, then your perception of what that means to be a woman is kind of a relevant and it’s going to be odd and probably rely on stereotypes, and preconceived notions, instead of real experience.
Exactly, see, you said it much better than I did, I kind of didn’t get right to the point though I… So, before I move on, I just wanna mention the observations that I made as I was watching the first time I watched this and probably the only time I don’t Chien, I was a teenager.
So now as I’m watching this at a 45, and as I’m watching it now I’m thinking of it and like, “Oh this might be, you could say this about anything, but I think this could be a religious allegory like a Christian allegory in a way, there’s lots of different things. I noticed in the very first scene where everyone was getting in the first scene where they were getting meds, it almost seemed like receiving communion in church, they were playing some pleasant music and everyone lined up. Everyone takes their medicine, one at a time, one person even receives it, like by hand directly into their mouth, like the old tiny way of receiving the Carus.
I was wondering if that guy had like if they were going to reveal that He had religious delusions like if he believed he was John the Baptist, and so he would only take his medicine if it was delivered to him in that way.
The state is a right, or his hands were involved in some way were neurologically was unable to… To physically take something from you like that, so nurse rates hair, I straight up devil horns at up devil horns. There’s no other reason to make care like that.
I actually hadn’t thought of that but yes, so picture of both. And if you don’t have the World-Wide Web, it your friend, your tips which you probably do picture of a font and then the curls are separated in the middle, so much so that there’s two points on top of our head. There’s other things you could say there was some self-sacrificing aspects to M Murphy. He was kind of a Christ figure in a way.
What about teaching his followers to fish literally teaching them ’cause not being fishers, of men. Yeah, that’s… Is it to our… He definitely has an interest in fish. He’s 38, not 33, Chris a. my favorite is the chief or I believe they also call Moran, the chief of the tall I think all guys make Murphy wants to escape when he first had the idea to escape, he wants to pull the enormous… What is it like? It’s with what looks like Marvel is very, very heavy thing inside the shower room that has all the water pipes and different ways to shoot at a lease on the one at… He wants to pull it out of the ground and throw it out of the window, that’s how he’s gonna escape and everyone’s like, “It’s ridiculous.
And that’s exactly how the chief escapes at the very end, and while he’s doing that, though, as he’s pulling it off, of course, all of these water pipes are now shooting up, and he’s getting wet, so at His baptism, “This is putting you into the life of being a Christian and the act of doing that of pulling that big giant piece of marble of the shower room floor and thrown through the window. He was putting himself into a new life as from being on the run from killing a man and breaking out of a mental facility.
I was surprised that Murphy didn’t… When they had that initial encounter in the time where he says, “I’m gonna move it and throw it through the window that he didn’t try to make the chief move it for him.
Yeah, I really did surprise me, especially when he walked over to him and I’m like, “Oh yeah, he’s definitely gonna ask the dude to do it for him because he saw much bigger, so then when he did it later I was like, Man. We kind have avoided all of this if they would have just escaped at the very beginning.
Well, I mean you don’t think the chief stay is escaped, he is they’re gonna catch him, right?
You mean after the movie? Yeah, do you think… What do you think happens to… Where are they? Oregon Oregon.
I kind of in a rural area, you can see the mountains and stuff right out the… Yeah, I wasn’t sure if it was like Montana or something, I sure in A… So I could probably make it through Washington up to Canada. I think you might be able to do it. You know what though, he could maybe get it for a coat and just be like, Oh we was topic foot, I think I… That’s a big foot country out there. Are we gonna have the whole big foot conversation again about how nobody’s ever found a carcass? And there’s not enough wildlife to support a colony of big feet, as the portal. Plural, is known, of course, I believe the POA the floral as big feeds we can move on.
So bacillus what do you think?
Does nurse ratchet say anything to that other nurse when she is when they’re in taking “mcmurry she goes the other arnot. Sure, what the other nurse’s name and hers… Pilot that’s a terrible name, nurse Bilbo she says things like, one sock and this and that, and it goes over, but they’re inventory-ing his clothes.
So now, it does not pass. We actually have five female named characters that I counted which would be Rosen candy, the ladies who came to party in the ward nurse ratchet of course, which I was that… Was it a nurse ratchet not nurse wretched.
Yeah, that’s a weird name in an interaction. “maltreate you can make them read who works.
And then the other nurse in the electric shock room was nurse. It’s so I think ESO… Oh, that wasn’t a pill, but no nurse eats was an Asian nurse and nurse Bilbo was the white nurse who was in there with their ratchet.
Oh, I tattoo. I didn’t notice that ’cause I don’t see race, that’s why I don’t know.
And I cut up in that anyway.
So has your opinion changed since… Well, you said you just saw it probably once.
Yeah, as a teenager and as a teenage boy, if you show him something disturbing, it’s exciting and interesting and always in this a fascinating thing.
And I, technicals in has a terrible potty mouth, and isn’t that entertaining, it’s just so much more heartbreaking now.
And the performance of actor… Sydney LASIK he plays case, that’s just a istitut.
I almost cried a couple of times just by his reactions and just the way he just seemed so tortured.
I think in the book they imply he might have drowned himself in the book. I don’t think it’s in the… We don’t see him in that final and the final scenes.
Yeah, I think, I mean they have a leaded him when they… Right before they did the electric shock on mcmurry.
Yeah, and I don’t think we see him after that, so I assumed he was still heavily sedated somewhere.
Yeah, so it’s just there are some brighter moments, in this movie. He Murphy. It’s not just all it’s not all terrible things. I don’t think he does try to bring some liveliness to everyone’s life, you know, but yeah, I… There is that Christmas when they have a, they’re a little impromptu party and they have the ladies bring alcohol.
It’s Christmas time, ’cause I like A decorations and stuff. Yeah, so this might actually be a “Sater Christmas movie than matters. jug man. Oh, my persona with my next to you. So if you can call it a Christmas role.
Yeah, I have as a satire I would say.
So, there’s really only one culture reference that I now understand. In the Golden Girls, there’s an episode where Sophia has had some maybe she had a surgery or she had a spell where she just need to… She needs a nurse to take care of her during the day, time, because Dorothy has to work.
It is a… But Dorothy has been taking care of her and has been real. Take your medicine at this time.
I do that and at one point, Sophie is like, Okay, nurse ratchet and like, “Oh I see that, ’cause I think that’s where I got narrated from. I knew that was a person, but I didn’t know anything else about her. I assumed from the context clues that she was a terrible person.
Yeah, and she has a terrible person. So yeah, that’s what I get, yeah. Even if you don’t know who nurse ratchet is that that’s a… You get who that person is, is just by that name.
I think as for how would the mode be? Different with today’s technology?
I hope and pray, we have better mental illness treatment options available now. I mean, I know, as we discussed a little earlier, that atoms are no longer performed accepted very cases. But just like therapy and the state of mental ’cause nobody really… A lot of times in those days, people didn’t even really the staff didn’t even really bother to make sure everything was clean and sanitary, which is something I would hope we would do now. So that’s really my only thing about that is just I hope there’s better treatment for mental illness, as a day.
Yeah, do you have anything else you’d like to talk about?
One more thing, okay.
The actor Bud court who plays Harold and Harold and low okay, he was, he was 20, he was playing 18 and that moving so he was a young, a young man, a young but court, I am a… He started to get typecast after that movie because he plays a mentally disturbed person basically a young man who keeps taking his own suicide over… Over a… No, that’s right, I forgot about that.
Yeah, so he’s kind of a weirdo, and so he kept getting typecast as a weirdo, so he turned down the role of Billy Bob in Oh really, our Billy visit the lead bit. IIT yeah. And I took his estate, he… Because the irony is he didn’t want to be thought of as this crazy person. And instead, so you have Jack Nicholson in that movie who basically plays a crazy person for the rest of his career and becomes an enormous star being a big weirdo. The very thing that… But court was trying not to come across that is big, weird of… Was this before or after the shining the shining what I think was in 1980, get 1980, the movie was in 1980.So yeah, the joke, he also plays the joker or he also plays a… As good as it gets, what is it? I forget his name in that, but yeah, yeah, but he was a obsessive compulsive, and jerk. There’s also another way that Jack Nielson was type cast.
Oh yeah, this is a big car.
Oh, I thought you were saying there was a movie jerk, and I’m like, “I don’t know this maybe.
Well, there is the man is it that your eyes… Not with Jack Nica and though… So, that about wraps it up.
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You can find a lot of other great shows there. So, check those out, we’re gonna be starting to cover the card on the landing party. So, you know what I say, what I think it’s so… Oh, I should have seen that cause I Okay, as for us, just go to weight. You’ve never seen dot com to find like social media and contact information, leave us some feedback, and Linus know if you have any suggestions for movies or TV shows we should watch. That’s our show for today. Next time we’ll be watching gas lines. Or have you already watched just sadly shaking in it?
Thanks for listening.
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