Hi everyone, Bryan here….
Was Randle McMurphy a hero or an anti-hero. It’s a fine line for sure, but I’d like to think R.P. McMurphy was a good guy deep down, even though he was a bit off-kilter. In fact, it’s been stated and written down many times before that his arch rival Nurse Ratched is one of the most horrific villains in movie history. McMurphy, played by a 30-something Jack Nicholson is an amazing character. He’s passionate, creative, fun, spontaneous, and has no filter with what he thinks or says. Some would say he is a genius in this regard. Hell, he did convince a ton of people that himself and the rest of the psychiatric patients were indeed famous professors and doctors to the townsfolk as they stole a boat and went sailing.
On the other hand, Nurse Ratched is calm, cool, collected, but wholly evil, as she never strays from the rules, only adheres to discipline, and pretends to care and be your friend, but is quick to stab you in the back for her own sick excitement. It’s a fascinating story of two opposite personalities and how a hospital dictatorship can ruin lives. Made by Milos Forman and produced by Michael Douglas (yes Basic Instinct Michael Douglas), One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest certainly struck a chord with audiences. Its a fantastic, funny, and tragic movie, which is based off of Ken Kesey’s novel of the same name. The film went on to win numerous Oscars and is still regarded as one of Nicholson’s best performances.
This particular scene is a magnificent work of art and shows both the horrible Nurse Ratched’s personality and evil motives as well as McMurphy’s innocent request. The scene is set inside the psychiatric ward where the patients are attending group therapy. The subject of the big baseball game comes about, where McMurphy asks if they can turn on the game on the one television in the big room. Thinking that it will upset some people, Nurse Ratched calls a vote, which is rigged in Ratched’s favor, although at the last minute the big Indian Chief raises his hand to seal the win for McMurphy to watch the game. Ratched, being the evil bitch she is, doesn’t allow for the television to be turned on, which has McMurphy act out for a split second.
Then, he has an epiphany of sorts, and even though the television is a blank black screen, he starts commentating the baseball game as if he were watching it live, describing the players, the beautiful field, the plays, the strikes, and even the ballpark food. This incites the rest of the patients to cheer for the game as if they’re watching it too, leaving Nurse Ratched trying to maintain order and get her way. It’s a fantastic scene that will always stick with me.
MCMURPHY Hoo-wee! Man, all I need me now is a can of beer and a red-hot. Cheswick gets up and starts across when -- BIG NURSE Sit down, Mister Cheswick. Cheswick stops and stands there, helpless to move. CHESWICK Mack... McMurphy is deep into the game. INSERT - TV SCREEN On the screen a great play is taking place, and at the breathtaking moment the TV picture swirls into a little eye of light -- then nothing. BACK TO SCENE The Acutes are left with their mouths hanging open. BIG NURSE (V.O.) (over loudspeaker) I want you men to return to your proper places. The group meeting is not over! McMurphy continues looking at the blank TV screen as the Acutes look from McMurphy to Big Nurse, not knowing what to do next when -- MCMURPHY (jumping up and shouting at the blank TV screen) A hit! It's a hit! He's rounding first, heading for second. Here comes the throw. He's sliding... and... he's safe! He's safe! (McMurphy whistles and claps his hands) Hoo-wee! Whatta game! Whatta game! Come on, Koufax! Strike 'em out! The Acutes are stunned at McMurphy's outburst. BIG NURSE (V.O.) (over loudspeaker) Mister McMurphy, you are deliberately violating the rules!... MCMURPHY He's into his wind-up. Here comes the pitch. Strike on the inside corner! Sefelt, Fredrickson, Billy and Taber get up and cross toward the TV. Harding is the only one who doesn't join them. BIG NURSE (V.O.) (over loudspeaker) You men remain seated! MCMURPHY (focusing in on TV screen) He's into his wind-up. Here's the next pitch... and it's a hit! It's a hit! MARTINI (jumping up and down) I saw thum! I saw thum! SCANLON Me, too! Me, too! SEFELT Yes, I see it! I see it! MCMURPHY (on his feet, shouting) Ya-hoo, let's'play ball! The other Acutes pick up on McMurphy and start shouting at the blank TV screen. ACUTES Ya-hoo! It's a hit! A triple! It's a home run! A double! He's out! Whadaya blind? He's safe by a mile! (AD LIB) BIG NURSE (V.O.) (over loudspeaker) You boys, stop this and go to your assignments! Mister McMurphy, I want you to set an example... MCMURPHY 'Kay, it's two outs, bases loaded as Koufax steps up to the mound... Checks the runners... goes into his wind-up... Here comes the three-two pitch... And it's a fly ball into deep center. Mantle is going back. He's going back! Back! His back is up against the wall... and... he catches it! He catches it! The Acutes are shouting, cheering, stomping and dancing in each other's arms. BIG NURSE'S VOICE (over loudspeaker) You men stop this! Mister Washington! Miller! Warren! Big Nurse's last words overload the intercom and the system peaks out. Big Nurse's mouth continues to work in frantic circles as Washington, Miller and Warren rush to quell the uproar.