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One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest Book to Movie

  • Date Submitted: 04/11/2012 04:48 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 74 
  • Words: 940
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By: Poop
A writer named Ken Kesey who worked as a security guard at a mental institution, was inspired to write a book about it. In 1961 Kurk Douglas received the book in galley form. The title read “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” He fell in love with the book and soon he bought the rights to it. He had no idea that this book would one day become one of the best films ever made. “Douglas was naïve enough to think that you could make a picture of any book you wanted to, you just got permission and you made it, you made the picture.”- Saul Zaentz (Producer) [Interview] There was a tremendous process in tranforming “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” into a film.
Douglas first had the book created into a theatrical play. The play was not a big success. People had violent reactions after observing the play and some even hated it. Many audience members felt the play made fun of the mentally insane. The play only ran for about six months. One day when Douglas took a trip to Czechoslovakia, he met a young director named Milos Forman. He asked Forman if he could send him a book, and if he would be interested in making a film out of the book. Just like that the film had a director. Micheal Douglas (Kurk Douglas’ son) soon jumped on board and contacted Saul Zaentz. Zaentz became the producer of the film. The time was 1971 and no major studio would finance the film, but Micheal and Zaentz would not give up on the film. They decided to make it as a very low budget picture. Bo Goldman was brought in through Forman’s agent to write a screenplay for the film. Goldman became the screenwriter.   After a year of Forman and Goldman working together, the film finally had a script. [That Theatre Site Show One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]
Next, was the casting of the characters. McMurphy was proposed to many actors who passed on the opportunity. The role landed on Jack Nicholson, but at the time Nicholson was working on another movie and if they wanted to cast him as McMurphy they...


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