Finite Focus: “Someone get me a fucking wiener before I die!” (One Flew Over The Cukoo’s Nest)

In this age of 3D glasses, product placement, and an abundance of needless special effects, I sometimes forget what it is that has always made me love movies so much. For me, I’m reminded during those rare moments when the actors completely take over a scene, where everyone and everything just clicks, and I become so engrossed in the moment that I am no longer aware that I am sitting on the couch in my living room in podunk Pennsylvania munching on reheated pizza. It’s those times when my analytical eye goes blind, when I forget that I’m watching people act, where I’m no longer examining the camerawork and mentally tearing apart the story for inconsistencies, and imagining the directors orchestrating the scene during production.

There are some scenes (and entire movies) that are just so perfect, that when I watch them or think about them, my mind pulsates with elation to the point where I think that one of these days when I watch it, my brain very well may explode from an overload of sheer awesomeness. This is one of those scenes. This is one of those movies. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is not a movie that is a stranger to critical and commercial praise – it won five Oscars after all, including Best Picture – but sometimes the praise it has received makes me take for granted how great of a movie it really is. It is a showcase of brilliant acting, a “how-to” for any aspiring young actor out there, and a delicious treat for anyone who, like myself, watches films first and foremost for interesting characters and deeply layered performances.

This scene should be viewed in all Acting 101 classes.

p.s. Does anyone else find Brad Dourif grossly underrated as an actor?

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David Brook
Admin

Here here on all accounts! Cuckoo's Nest is pure perfection. It is harder to get lost in a film like that these days though, especially when I know I'm going to be doing a write up on the film that I'm watching, but when it happens it's glorious.

And Brad Dourif is definitely grossly underrated. Deadwood reminded me of his talents most recently, he's great in that.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

As per usual, Brad Dourif is f'n KING. See also Wise Blood, Dune, Deadwood, Bad Lieutenant: New Orleans, Child's Play, etc. etc. etc.

Oh, and a previous FF on Mr. Dourif – http://www.rowthree.com/2009/10/22/finite-focus-n

murph
Guest

this could be my favorite movie. i mean, everyone agrees that jack nicholson is great, but it performances like this and FIVE EASY PIECES and CHINATOWN and THE LAST DETAIL that put him on a complete different level of actors.

and yes, brad dourif is awesome and the second best part about DEADWOOD.

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