A young Jack Nicholson was bristling and joyful last night, and always with his touch of the wolf, in the film of the Ken Kesey novel we have not read here- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. All the issues of male freedom and anger, and the possible threat of the feminine too, were on show in a story all about the wounding of the mind, and the freedom of the spirit. The Nurse Ratchett horror of too much social ‘normality‘, or just about disappearing through the cracks. But of course it is about an age that believed in lobotomising ‘enemies of society’, or the hurt or disfunctional. When one of the sanest characters of them all, The Chief, smothers Nicholson with a pillow, now his hero’s mind and spirit have been destroyed, then tears out the sink to smash it through the window and escape into nature, it’s one of the most moving moments in all film. It was only the second to win all five major academy awards, repeated in a film that should not have – The Silence of The Lambs. Can you hear them screaming, Clasrisssse?!

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