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#029 Milos Forman: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest vs. Goya's Ghosts

Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Milos Forman's best and worst rated films, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Goya's Ghosts (2006), respectively. Nate thinks Javier Bardem's voice should be higher, Austin discovers Milos Forman is an animal murderer, and they both are still waiting for some semblance of a payoff after Goya's Ghosts. Check back next on Sunday, September 4th at 7pm PST where we will compare David Fincher's Fight Club (1999) and Alien 3 (1992), his best and worst rated films. This will be our milestone 30th episode.
Also check out this behind the scenes footage from the making of Goya's Ghosts:

Goya's Ghosts Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: Painter Francisco Goya faces a scandal involving his muse, who is labeled a heretic by a monk.
  • Ratings: IMDb 6.9 | RT 30% C / 57% A
  • Released: 2006
  • Director: Milos Forman (Man on the Moon, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Amadeus)
  • Writer(s): Milos Forman & Jean-Claude Carriere
  • Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler
  • Notable actors: Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Randy Quaid, Jose Luis Gomez, Michael Lonsdale
  • Budget: N/A
  • Box office: $9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • When asked why a film about such a quintessentially Spanish artist was made in English, the director replied "I don't speak Spanish."
    • Milos Forman cast Natalie Portman after noticing her likeness to the girl in Goya's painting "Milkmaid of Bordeaux".
    • Near the end, when the king appears in the balcony at the execution scene, some people yell "Vivan las cadenas!" (Long live the chains!). This salute was coined in 1814 by Spanish monarchists when Fernando VII was restored to the throne with absolute powers, thus abolishing the Constitution of Cadiz, which was established by Napoleonic authorities.
    • Milos Forman cast Randy Quaid as the King of Spain after seeing his work as Tom Parker in Elvis (2005) by phoning him and saying, "You are a great actor. You must be my King or I must repaint Goya". Randy accepted.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.7 | RT 95% C / 96% A
  • Released: 1975
  • Director: Milos Forman (Man on the Moon, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Amadeus)
  • Writer(s): Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman (screenplay), Ken Kesey (novel)
  • Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler
  • Notable actors: Jack Nicholson, Michael Berryman, Scatman Crothers, Danny DeVito, Louise Fletcher, Sydney Lassick, Christopher Lloyd, Vincent Schiavelli
  • Budget: $3 million
  • Box office: $109 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Louise Fletcher was so upset with the fact that the other actors could laugh and be happy while she had to be so cold and heartless that near the end of production she removed her dress and stood in only her panties to prove to the actors she was not "a cold-hearted monster".
    • Many extras were authentic mental patients.
    • Author Ken Kesey was so bitter about the way the filmmakers were "butchering" his story that he vowed never to watch the completed film and even sued the movie's producers because it wasn't shown from Chief Bromden's perspective (as the novel is). Years later, he claimed to be lying in bed flipping through TV channels when he settled onto a late-night movie that looked sort of interesting, only to realize after a few minutes that it was this film. He then changed channels.
    • Will Sampson, who plays Chief Bromden, was a park ranger in Oregon in a park near where the movie was filmed. He was selected for the part because he was the only Native American the Casting Department could find who matched the character's incredible size.
    • During filming, a crew member running cables left a second story window open at the Oregon State Mental Hospital and an actual patient climbed through the bars and fell to the ground, injuring himself. The next day The Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon reported the incident with the headline on the front page "One flew OUT of the cuckoo's nest".
    • Second of only three films to win every major Academy Award, including Best Picture.
    • Director Milos Forman relied heavily on reaction shots to pull more characters into scenes. In some group therapy scenes, there were ten minutes of Jack Nicholson's reactions filmed even if he had very little dialogue. The shot of Louise Fletcher looking icily at Nicholson after he returns from shock therapy was actually her irritated reaction to a piece of direction from Forman.
    • Louise Fletcher was signed a week before filming began, after auditioning repeatedly over six months; director Milos Forman had told her each time that she just wasn't approaching the part correctly, but kept calling her back.

  Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0  

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