One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Will Sampson, Danny DeVito, Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, Sydney Lassick Director: Milos Forman The film: Made in 1975, Cuckoo's Nest represents the high-water mark of Hollywood's flirtation with European directors, for on the horizon loomed the 'nerd wave' headed by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas that would swamp the business once and for all. The dedication to realism of Czech director Milos Forman (The People Vs Larry Flynt , Man In The Moon ) creates an unsettling mood and draws career-defining performances from a cast of at-the-time unknowns (Jack Nicholson notwithstanding). Reworked for the screen from the best-selling novel by Ken Kesey, it follows petty crim Randall P McMurphy's (Nicholson, below) transfer from prison farm to state mental hospital. McMurphy thinks he's duped the system and will stroll through the remainder of his sentence. But there is no room for free spirits in this routine-driven world, setting McMurphy on a collision course with the passive-aggressive Nurse Ratched, played with cool sadism by Louise Fletcher. Forman had just one choice for the lead. And what a choice. It is that 'Nicholsonian' wildness, the crazed cackle in all of us, the character that flips the finger to the world, that is central to the piece. We become McMurphy. He represents the world we know; the Everyman entering an alien environment. The decision to cast no-name actors in supporting roles must have heightened the sense of alienation in the year of its release. But that's not to say the message or the film's power have faded with time. Adding to the creeping sense of isolation is the fact 90 per cent of the film was shot on location, in a functioning mental institution in Oregon, in the middle of winter. The extras: Disc two carries the obligatory 'making of' documentary - a cut-down version of Charles Kiselyak's Completely Cuckoo - including fairly recent interviews with Forman, producers Saul Zaentz and Michael Douglas, and most of the cast, with the notable exception of Nicholson. The interview with Kesey has been unceremoniously chopped from the original. It details the method acting employed and offers some great anecdotes about the production itself, which Douglas took on after his father Kirk had bought the rights to the book (which he'd read in galley form in the summer of 1961). Kirk Douglas had starred in the original stage version, but had little luck getting the film off the ground. The audio has been remastered in Dolby digital 5.1 from the original mono soundtrack, raising the ire of some purists. They will, however, be satisfied with the superb quality of the image which has been digitally transferred from restored elements. The verdict: It was the first film since 1934's It Happened One Night to lift all five major Academy Awards - best picture (produced by Zaentz and Douglas), best actor (Nicholson), best actress (Fletcher), best director (Forman) and best adapted screenplay (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman) - and one of the few to deserve the honour. Still crazy after all these years, indeed. A certified classic.