One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest vs. Dog Day Afternoon

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  • OnTheAisle
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    #105221

    I recently viewed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest again and was surprised how the film has not aged well, in spite of its sweep of the top Oscar categories in the mid-1970s.

    I think present perspectives are not so accommodating to the premise of Randall Patrick McMurphy being incarcerated for a statutory rape of a fifteen year old girl. I never found myself feeling any warmth toward the character.

    The acting seems over the top. Best Actress Louise Fletcher is competent at best. I’ve read that the part was declined by many leading women if the time including Angela Lansbury, Colleen Dewhurst, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn and Geraldine Page. All would have been fascinating in the role. 

    Reportedly, both then recent Oscar winners Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman have been offered the lead before Best Actor Jack Nicholson. That seems hard to believe with Nicholson dominance over the field in that era. Yet, rewatching the film I noted how much of the performance is trademark Nicholson mannerisms with minimal conviction.   

    In hindsight, I think the brilliant Dog Day Afternoon, which was left in the dust then, is now the timeless and lasting piece of art from that year. 

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    Scottferguson
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    #105223

    Barry Lyndon blew the rest of the 1975 nominees away for me. It should have won best picture.

    Dog Day Afternoon I didn’t  much care for, particularly Pacino’s eye-bulging, histrionic performance which started him on his multi-decade career of overacting after superior earlier performances But my memory is a bit dim, since I haven’t seen it in 38 years (although it’s a Sidney Lumet film, and most of them have similar issues of bombast and overwrought performances.)

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    seabel
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    #105224

    This needs a poll.

    DOG DAY AFTERNOON gets my vote.

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    Beau S.
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    #105225

    Cuckoo’s Nest has not aged well at all. It’s a good film, and the performances still stand as great acting performances, but the film’s subject matter and the events that occur within the film are outdated and unrealistic to today’s audiences (i.e. there is no way with today’s security measures that R.P. McMurphy could have gotten out of the ward and stolen a boat, or have snuck two prostitutes into the ward).

    Dog Day Afternoon is a much better overall film. Pacino’s performance is not in the slightest bit overacted. He’s playing a mentally troubled Vietnam vet who is questioning his sexuality and represents the anti-establishment generation (similar to McMurphy). Lumet, though, should have his Picture/Director win for Network and I agree with Scottferguson that Barry Lyndon should have won Picture/Director (Kubrick’s second P/D win, after Dr. Strangelove). Pacino should have two consecutive Best Actor Oscars for Godfather Part II and Dog Day (giveing Denzel Washington his earned win for Malcolm X). Nicholson should have his big Oscar of the 70’s for The Last Detail – his best performance to date IMO.

    Amadeus is a much better Forman film that has stood the test of time far better than Cuckoo’s Nest. Well deserved Picture/Director win and corresponding sweep.

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    Anthony
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    #105226

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a movie I respected but didn’t love it. I honestly need to see it again.

    I am fine with Nicholson and Fletcher winning but I think that Dog Day Afternoon and Barry Lyndon were both more deserving to win the Oscar.

    I think Pacino’s stretch of Godfather, Serpico, Godfather Part II, and Dog Day Afternoon is unbelievably impressive and had he won two or three Oscars for any of the four movies, I would be extremely happy.

    It is just amazing how movies age and how others stand the test of time.     

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    Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)
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    #105227

    Why isn’t this a poll?

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    Sab227
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    #105228

    I must disagree One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest is a timeless classic the acting is spot on and Jack Nicholson brought such a reality to crazy people like his character, and Louise Fletcher was FLAWLESS. She stole every single scene she was in as the manipulating Nurse Mildred Ratched and both have become iconic characters. The directing was astounding and the writing was absolutley brilliant, and it deserved every award it won and I think it should have won more! And the movie was so much better than the book. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest is a classic that will be remembered and loved for generations.

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    allabout oscars
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    #105229

    CUCKOO’S NEST- timeless classic….brilliantly acted .directed and written.
    BARRY LYNDON- kubrick masterpiece of elegance and story telling.
    NASHVILLE- altmans most brilliant film…mesmerizing and jolting.
    JAWS-  spielberg’s classic horror story that created the blockbuster genre..

    DOG DAY AFTERNOON….not in the same category with the 4 before
         A wonderful performance by pacino…ive seen this film more times
         than the others and each viewing i notice more and more annoying
         things…a true story about bank robbers, hostages, sexual reassignment,
         should not have been that funny….the fault of the screenplay and direction.
         At best, a weak entry for LUMET..
        

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    Pieman1994
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    #105230

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has been one of my favorite films ever since I saw it years ago. It doesn’t get worse when I watch it, but I don’t see it as positively, in the sense that I don’t root for characters. I see it as a domesticated battle of the id and the superego. Both characters (McMurphy and Ratched) are manipulative, self-righteous villains. They’re both politicians too consumed with their preferences to be interested in the needs of others, but it becomes clear by the end, that there’s more than a ward with rogues and tyrants. As Chief demonstrates, there’s a whole world to be found, and that no one should be shifting sails but you. 

    So yeah. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for sure. 

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    keithw
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    #105231

    Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is my favourite performance by a male actor in any film of all time.  Whenever this movie is on tv, I can’t help but watch.  (My favourite female performance is Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment).  As for the best picture Oscar that year, I would have voted for Nashville which I rank as my second all time favourite movie (American Graffiti is first).  Nashville contains my favourite scene in any movie ever when Keith Carradine sings “I’m Easy” to Lily Tomlin’s character in the bar.  I love the way the camera works moving around and in closeup especially of the other three women who think the song is for them.  Especially good is when they each realize he is singing it to someone else.

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    Emmys2011
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    #105232

    Cuckoo´s Nest all the way, one of my favorite films ever. The ages well or not is a non argument in my eyes (in general, bad bad so-called argument), every time I watch it I fall in love all over again.

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    JayDF
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    #105233

    Also Anne Bancroft turned Ratched down as well.  Lily Tomlin wanted to play the role and was talked to about it, but she didn’t want to give up her spot in NASHVILLE to do so.

    I think Fletcher does a good job but when I think about any of these other ladies – FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!  Bancroft, Burstyn, Page, Lansbury, Fonda, Tomlin, Dewhurst!!! Any one of them would have been so incredible!!!

    Anyway, I would vote DOG DAY AFTERNOON by a hair over OFOTCN…  JAWS was my fav of the year though!

    The acting seems over the top. Best Actress Louise Fletcher is competent at best. I’ve read that the part was declined by many leading women if the time including Angela Lansbury, Colleen Dewhurst, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn and Geraldine Page. All would have been fascinating in the role. 

    Reportedly, both then recent Oscar winners Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman have been offered the lead before Best Actor Jack Nicholson. That seems hard to believe with Nicholson dominance over the field in that era. Yet, rewatching the film I noted how much of the performance is trademark Nicholson mannerisms with minimal conviction.   
     

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    Atypical
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    #105234

    “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is one of my all-time favorite films, and I think that it’s aged just fine. That doesn’t take anything away from “Dog Day Afternoon” for me. Al Pacino’s 70s run was incredible, and his scenes opposite John Cazale were amazing. I still think about that “Attica! Attica!” sequence today. But if I had to vote between the two films, I’d have no problems picking “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

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    marcelo
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    #105235

    One flew… one of the most beautiful film ever

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