Milos Forman’s 1975 film adaption of Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST is regarded as one of the greatest American films of all time, and a personal favourite of mine. It won the ‘Big Five Academy Awards’, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, it centres on the rebellious and free-spirited con-man, Randle McMurphy, who is transferred from a prison work farm. Louise Fletcher collected the Oscar for her portrayal of his nemesis, the tyrannical and stereotypical ‘battle-axe’ head nurse Ratched. In her acceptance speech she thanked her deaf parents in sign language.
Nurse Ratched was named as the fifth greatest villain in film history and the second greatest villainess behind the Wicked Witch of the West in THE WIZARD OF OZ by the American Film Institute. In an interview Louise said that Ratched’s 1940’s hairstyle was “a symbol that life stopped for her a long time ago.” Louise also won the BAFTA and a Golden Globe Award.
I sent Louise this sketch to her Los Angeles agency, which she kindly signed and posted back last week.