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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

One Flew over2.jpg

Everyone Gets Drunk and Tired

By Amir Faress • 12/25/19

A chain is as strong as its weakest link, and a movie as its weakest sequence. In the case of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a flawed sequence towards the end greatly undermines an otherwise extraordinary movie.


McMurphy, a prisoner committed to a mental hospital for the purposes of evaluation, arranges for his escape upon finding out he could be held there indefinitely. He devises a scheme to divert the nightguard’s attention by means of booze and two lady friends, then make a run for it.


What follows makes no sense at all.


Multiple people – all oblivious to the urgency of the moment – black out or fall asleep independently of one another within a very short time.


Caught by the shift supervisor in company of one of McMurphy’s free-spirited lady friends, the nightguard, now overwhelmed with anxiety, drinks to a point of passing out, evidently undisturbed by the great commotion in the adjacent rooms.     


Meanwhile, as McMurphy is about to escape, he decides to grant the wishes of Billy, a virgin mental patient, by asking the second lady friend to spend some intimate time with him. She agrees. The two lovebirds then fall asleep, staying in the room for the rest of the night.

Most surprisingly, McMurphy, the one person most keenly aware of the urgency of the situation and the stakes involved, also falls asleep at the most consequential moment of his life.


McMurphy’s other lady friend (the one caught with the nightguard) also falls asleep independently of everyone else. This makes five people.


We are also to assume that the mental patients – normally an unruly crowd even without alcohol – either remained quiet or that their disturbance did not rise to a level that would wake up anyone who was asleep.


Give me a break!


It is such a shame that a movie of this caliber is seriously compromised by this single sequence.

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