Classic cinema: “Caught with no way out”

“Caught with no way out” Or “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is the film that marked an actor who was later typified as the divine madman of the screen: Jack Nicholson. For this work he achieved a performance that earned him his first Oscar and the film is made up of a cast and a plot that led to the obtaining of five (5) important awards from the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The plot focuses on an individual who has been accused of rape on several occasions and who based on his “apparent mental imbalance” is evaluated to be admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital in order to want to escape prison. He thinks that it will be better to be in the hospital than in jail.

However, there is no worse prison than one where your ability to dream is limited. Randall McMurphy is the character played by Jack Nicholson and his infectious sense of anarchy will put the routine of the place at risk and give patients an air of hope or “freedom”.

This will lead to a confrontation with the nurse Ratched in charge of the ward who is masterfully played by the actress and Oscar winner for this film, Louise Fletcher.

During his stay McMurphy will be the cause of several episodes in which he will face the power established in the hospital.

The character played by Jack Nicholson can be seen as an individual who has an antisocial personality disorder, since it is difficult for him to adapt to social norms and he shows signs of aggressiveness. He frequently resorts to deception. It does not measure the consequences of its actions.

The work is a strong denunciation of the model of care for patients with mental illnesses; since they are trapped and cannot get out of the amount of drugs that are supplied, and if they are altered they are taken to the electroshock room as the only way to bend them.

It is for this reason that in the blog “Psychopathology and cinema” we are told the following: “I consider that the film is a call to reflection, since it shows us that human side of the” psychiatric patient “who, although he has problems, he continues to be a person, he continues to dream, he continues to live; Well, many times in the practice of medicine we forget this and we limit ourselves to treating diseases regardless of people’s well-being and what happiness for them is.

In addition, it invites us to remember that beyond the development of science, it is important to consider ethics and respect for human dignity, and to recognize the point from which we stop serving people to serve science, as has occurred in the history of Medicine, especially when it comes to procedures such as lobotomy. “

In short, the outcome of the struggle between the individual and the institution is decided in advance. The protagonist has been in different prisons; But the difference between a penitentiary and a psychiatric hospital is that in jail there is a release date while in a madhouse it will depend on the custodians who can argue whether or not he is healthy. Which perhaps could never happen.

Excellent film for people who like drama at the highest level.


1) Ken Kesey wrote the original novel based on his experiences at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, California. He wrote a first script himself that was rejected by the producer, Michael Douglas. Kesey was so disappointed that he didn’t even want to see the movie.

2) The main choices for the male lead role were Marlon Brando or Gene Hackman. Both rejected it and both regretted it after the tremendous success of the film.

3) For the nurse character Ratched, Anne Bancroft, Geraldine Page or Angela Lansbury were considered but they all rejected him.

4) The film was shot in a mental hospital in Oregon. Many of the patients that appear in the film were real patients who participated in it without knowing it. This situation gave rise to numerous anecdotes since, at lunch, dinner or going to bed, the orderlies did not distinguish the patients from the actors. One of the most affected was Vincent Schiavelli, whose peculiar physiognomy, coupled with an accurate characterization, led him to be mistaken more than once for one of the inmates.