Friday, June 20, 2008


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, August 21st]

*My grading scale is typical A through F, but with the very highest mark being an R, which is the equivalent of an A++. Why an R? Heck if I know. My Pa used to tell me that in high school he had a drafting teacher whose highest grade was an R. Pa never did learn what the R stood for, nor - sadly - did he ever achieve one.

Movie: “ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST” directed by Milos Forman; 1975.

Grade: R

INTERVIEWER: Hello, and welcome back to McCARTHY AT HOLLYWOOD AND VINE. We’re here today with Stephen T. McCarthy and discussing one of his very favorite films, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. Tell us, Stephen, when did you first see this highly acclaimed film?

McCARTHY: CUCKOO’S NEST was released in nineteen seventy-five, and I saw it numerous times at The Avco Cinema Center in Los Angeles. I and a group of friends – some who later went on to become police officers – sneaked into the theatre repeatedly during its initial run. To this day, it remains entrenched on my all-time Top Ten movie list.

INTERVIEWER: Stephen, you little criminal, we never would have thought it of you. I understand that you have a rather original perspective on this classic film. Want to share that with us?

McCARTHY: Well, back in seventy-five, I thought I was just viewing a magnificently crafted and masterfully acted film centered on the important theme of individualism, and finding and being true to one’s own voice. I had no way of knowing that the movie was actually remarkably prescient with regards to the American political situation that would manifest over thirty years later.

INTERVIEWER: Would you care to elaborate?

McCARTHY: To the viewer in nineteen seventy-five, this movie, which won five Academy Awards, appeared to tell the story of a man who feigns mental illness in order to avoid his prison work detail. While he is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, his rebellious, individualistic spirit “infects” the real “nut cases” who begin to assert themselves much to the resentment of the domineering head nurse at the mental institution. But here in aught six, we can see that the movie was actually foretelling the political situation that this country now finds itself in.

INTERVIEWER: To you, the characters in this movie represent something completely different, don’t they?

McCARTHY: Yes. Actually, CUCKOO’S NEST is about the 2008 Presidential Election. The mental institution itself symbolizes the United States – a loony bin if there ever was one. The domineering, manipulative, and vindictive head nurse, Mildred Ratched, represents Hillary Clinton – a power-hungry woman driven by her insatiable quest for control. It should be pointed out that Louise Fletcher won an Oscar for her remarkable portrayal of Ms. Clinton; capturing every aspect of the senator’s traits, she paints us as good a portrait of Clinton as Clinton herself could have done.

INTERVIEWER: But the senator’s road to The White House is not without obstacles, is it?

McCARTHY: No. Standing in her way is the rebellious underdog, Randle Patrick McMurphy, a man who seeks to bring the nuts around him back to their senses. McMurphy personifies the true American spirit opposed to the socialism and suffocating bureaucratic nature of Nurse Ratched. There is one scene in particular that forcefully illustrates this friction: McMurphy petitions to have the television in the community room turned on so that he and his fellow Americans – or “the mental defective league”, as he accurately refers to them - can watch the second game of the 1963 World Series. Baseball, being “America’s Pastime”, is naturally repugnant to the Leftist Nurse, and so she resorts to her unique brand of sophism in order to prevent genuinely American traditions from being broadcasted into the community (room).

INTERVIEWER: And Nurse Ratched is aided and abetted by-

McCARTHY: She is voted into power and protected by women and minorities. This is conveyed by her ever-present subordinate female nurse and by the mental institution’s watchful and protective orderlies. Ratched’s eventual success in quashing all sense of individualism and driving the country deeper into the pit of Socialism is “shockingly” revealed in the eventual castration of America’s spirit, that being R. P. McMurphy. The castration, however, is thinly veiled by the fact that the scalpel is actually wielded against his “Northern” hemisphere.

INTERVIEWER: Is there no happy ending here?

McCARTHY: No, I’m afraid not. With the true American spirit now impotent, Ms. Clinton occupies the ultimate position of power that she coveted, and the principles of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George Mason – those formerly enduring ideals NATIVE to America – “fly the coop”, or leave the cuckoo’s nest. This is represented by the “Native American”, Chief Bromden, who heads for the hills.

INTERVIEWER: And isn’t it true that-- Hey, wait, Stephen, where are you going?!

McCARTHY: To pack my bags! I’m afraid that Nurse Ratched really is going to win the 2008 election, and like Chief Bromden, I need to be ready to escape this insane country and “head for the hills.”

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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