"They was giving me ten thousand watts a day, you know, and I'm hot to trot! The next woman takes me on's gonna light up like a pinball machine and pay off in silver dollars!"
Instead of prison, we get loonies. And the best cast of loonies you will ever see. 1975's Cuckoo's Nest is basically along the same lines as the last film on the list, except its not like it at all. Based on the novel by Ken Kesey, this film achieves greatness from its acting. This is by far has my favorite performance by a single actor. Jack Nicholson as the straight shooting, sort-of loony but not as loony as the rest R.P. Mc Murphy who gets out of a high security prison and transfered to a mental institution to see if he is, in fact, a loon. We all know he isn't a straight up lunatic, but he is, in fact, a dangerous man who should not be around just about anybody. He is sent to Nurse Ratchett's ward and immediately becomes the center of attention with the other men who are mostly in the ward voluntarily to be checked out. The rest of the film is about the relationships that build between McMurphy and the rest of the lot and how it changes his perspective on things.
The story is just as moving as any and the cast of characters you will meet are some of the best supporting roles I have seen. Danny DeVito as Martini, Christopher Lloyd as Taber, Vincent Schiavelli as Fredrickson and my personal favorite, Sydney Lassick as good ol' Charlie Cheswick. You can't help but get sucked into these in depth characters with their quirks and strange ways of seeing the world. Cheswick's view of the world is that of an 8 year old in a 40 something year old's body. Each member of the ward is unique. You can't help but loving them.
To all those who haven't seen this classic, do it soon. It's a wonderful film. Enriching, entertaining and awesome all around.