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According to the film critic Roger Ebert ‘The movie’s simplistic approach to mental illness is not really a fault of the movie, because it has no interest in being about insanity. It is about a free spirit in a closed system’. But when Forman-Saentz team who gave us Amadeus have had dealt with Ken Kesey’s book of the same title(1962) the film became a top hit. The movie was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, Screenplay) since It Happened One Night in 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991, by The Silence of the Lambs.
The movie was filmed at Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Oregon, which was the setting of the novel.

Plot

Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a recidivist criminal serving a short prison term on a work farm for statutory rape, is transferred to a mental institution little does he know what is in store for him there. He had manipulated the system for such a transfer where he’ll now be able to serve out the rest of his sentence in relative comfort and ease.

His ward in the mental institution is run by Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), a nasty villain whom you love to hate.( Nurse Ratched is currently rated #7 on the Internet Movie Database list of 50 Greatest Villains).
She doesn’t lashout or whip whom she wishes to bring to heel. Mostly her patients are “voluntary” patients anyway,- who are there by choice. While McMurphy initially has little respect for his fellow patients, his antiauthoritarian nature is aroused. What began as a little fun, to bring down her a peg or two,- strictly for laughs is gradually ratcheted into a fullblown fight on his part for the hearts and minds of the patients. She could take him on calmly since she represents authority: when he finds out only later that Ratched has the power to keep him there indefinitely we begin to see beyond his criminal record and learn to sympathizea little with him. He represents like you and me an individual and not a depersonalized number bristling at the unfair way she has stacked all the chips in her favour. Rather than have him transferred, Ratched sees his behavior as a personal affront and becomes obsessed with winning this contest.

McMurphy gradually forms deep friendships in the ward with a group of men which includes Billy Bibbit (Brad Dourif), a suicidal, stuttering and helpless young man whom Ratched has humiliated and dominated, and “Chief” Bromden (Will Sampson), a 6’ 5” muscular Native American. Believed by the patients to be deaf and unable to speak, Chief is mostly ignored and he becomes his only real confidant, as they both see their struggles against authority in similar terms.

McMurphy at first uses the chief as an advantage (for example, in playing basketball). Later, they and patient Charlie Cheswick (Sydney Lassick) are detained for being involved in a fight with the ward attendants. Cheswick undergoes electroshock therapy, while McMurphy and Chief wait their turn on a bench. While they wait, McMurphy offers Chief a piece of Juicy Fruit gum, and Bromden verbally thanks him. A surprised McMurphy discovers that Chief uses his’debility’ as a weapon against the authority. He rebels as McMurphy but in a different way. McMurphy hatches a plan that will allow himself and Bromden to escape. Following his “therapy,” McMurphy jokingly feigns catatonia before assuring his cohorts and Nurse Ratched that the attempt to subdue him didn’t work.

One night McMurphy sneaks into the nurse’s station and calls his girlfriend, Candy, and tells her to bring booze. He also takes Billy along. Another woman tags along and both enter the ward after McMurphy bribes the night watchman, Mr. Turkle (Scatman Crothers). They are found out probably because of the extant neuroleptic drugs (Thorazine, etc.) in their systems.

When Nurse Ratched arrives the next morning she commands the attendants to clean up the patients and conduct a head count. Billy is found in a room sleeping with Candy. When he announces that he is not ashamed with what he done, Nurse Ratched then threatens that she will tell his mother about it. Billy breaks down, and after being carried into the doctor’s office, kills himself by slitting his throat. McMurphy, furious tries to strangle her. McMurphy is subdued and taken away again.

A few days later, the patients are seen playing cards as usual. Nurse Ratched, her vocal cords damaged by McMurphy’s previous attack, is forced to speak through a microphone for the patients to hear her, and finds that she is now no longer able to intimidate them. Later that night, Chief Bromden sees McMurphy being returned to his bed. When the Chief approaches him, he finds to his horror that he has been given a lobotomy. Unwilling to leave McMurphy behind, the Chief suffocates his neurologically disabled friend with a pillow. He follows Randle’s plan for escape by heroically hoisting a very heavy hydrotherapy control panel (which McMurphy had tried to lift earlier) and hurling it through a barred window. He is last seen fleeing the institution.

Casting

Kirk Douglas originated the role of McMurphy in a stage production, and then bought the film rights, hoping to play McMurphy on the screen. He passed the production rights to his son, Michael Douglas, who decided his father was too old for the role. Kirk was reportedly angry at his son for a time afterwards because of this. Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman were considered to play the lead.

The role of domineering Nurse Ratched was turned down by six actresses, Anne Bancroft, Colleen Dewhurst, Geraldine Page, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, and Angela Lansbury, until Louise Fletcher accepted casting only a week before filming began.
Actor     Role
Jack Nicholson     Randle Patrick McMurphy
Louise Fletcher     Nurse Mildred “Big Nurse” Ratched
William Redfield     Dale Harding
Dean R. Brooks     Dr. John Spivey
Scatman Crothers     Orderly Turkle
Danny DeVito     Martini
William Duell     Jim Sefelt
Brad Dourif     Billy Bibbit
Christopher Lloyd     Jim Taber
Will Sampson     Chief Bromden
Vincent Schiavelli     Frederickson
Nathan George     Attendant Washington
Sydney Lassick     Charlie Cheswick
Louisa Moritz     Rose

The film marked the film debuts of Sampson, Dourif and Lloyd. It was one of the first films for DeVito. (DeVito and Lloyd co-starred several years later on the television series Taxi.)
Directed by     Miloš Forman
Produced by     Michael Douglas
Saul Zaentz
Written by     screenplay by Lawrence Hauben
Bo Goldman
based on the novel by Ken Kesey
Music by     Jack Nitzsche
Cinematography     Haskell Wexler
Editing by     Sheldon Kahn
Lynzee Klingman
Running time     133 min.
Country     United States
Language     English
Budget     $4,400,000
Gross revenue     $112,000,000

Title interpretation

The title is derived from an American children’s folk rhyme.

Wire, briar, limber-lock
Three geese in a flock
One flew east, one flew west
And one flew over the cuckoo’s nest
.

It loses a bit of the significance it has in the novel, where it is part of a rhyme Chief Bromden remembers from his childhood. This detail was not included in the film.
Memorable Quotes:
McMurphy: Which one of you nuts has got any guts?
—-
McMurphy: That’s right, Mr. Martini. There is an Easter Bunny.
—-
Chief Bromden: My pop was real big. He did like he pleased. That’s why everybody worked on him. The last time I seen my father, he was blind and diseased from drinking. And every time he put the bottle to his mouth, he don’t suck out of it, it sucks out of him until he shrunk so wrinkled and yellow even the dogs didn’t know him.
McMurphy: Killed him, huh?
Chief Bromden: I’m not saying they killed him. They just worked on him. The way they’re working on you.
—-
McMurphy: I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this.
—-
McMurphy: I’m a goddamn marvel of modern science.
—-
Taber: Jack Dumpey’s full of shit!
—-
[McMurphy is pretending to watch the World Series on TV]
McMurphy: Someone get me a fucking wiener before I die.
—-
Nurse Ratched: Aren’t you ashamed?
Billy: No, I’m not.
[Applause from friends]
Nurse Ratched: You know Billy, what worries me is how your mother is going to take this.
Billy: Um, um, well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don’t have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: I don’t have to tell her? Your mother and I are old friends. You know that.
Billy: P-p-p-please d-d-don’t tell my m-m-m-mother.
—-
McMurphy: A little dab’ll do ya.
—-
McMurphy: What are you doin’ here? You oughta be out in a convertible bird-doggin’ chicks and bangin’ beaver.
—-
McMurphy: Is that crazy enough for ya’? Want me to take a shit on the floor?
—-
McMurphy: [about shock treatments] They was giving me ten thousand watts a day, you know, and I’m hot to trot! The next woman takes me on’s gonna light up like a pinball machine and pay off in silver dollars!
—-
McMurphy: She was fifteen years old, going on thirty-five, Doc, and she told me she was eighteen, she was very willing, I practically had to take to sewing my pants shut. Between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of you, I don’t think it’s crazy at all and I don’t think you do either. No man alive could resist that, and that’s why I got into jail to begin with. And now they’re telling me I’m crazy over here because I don’t sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don’t make a bit of sense to me. If that’s what being crazy is, then I’m senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that’s it.
—-
Candy: [innocently] You all crazy?
—-
McMurphy: In one week, I can put a bug so far up her ass, she don’t know whether to shit or wind her wristwatch.
—-
McMurphy: I’m here to cooperate with you a hundred percent. A hundred percent. I’ll be just right down the line with ya’. You watch.
—-
[the inmates are playing cards and betting with cigarettes]
Martini: [rips a cigarette in half] I bet a nickel.
McMurphy: Dime’s the limit, Martini.
Martini: I bet a dime.
[Puts the two halves onto the table]
McMurphy: This is not a dime, Martini. This is a dime.
[shows a whole cigarette]
McMurphy: If you break it in half, you don’t get two nickels, you get shit. Try and smoke it. You understand?
Martini: Yes.
McMurphy: You don’t understand.
—-
McMurphy: What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin’? Well you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walkin’ around on the streets and that’s it.
—-
McMurphy: Why don’t ya shut your goddamn mouth and play some music.
—-
[McMurphy, getting Chief into the basketball game]
McMurphy: Hit me, Chief, I got the moves!
—-
Nurse Ratched: If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don’t think that he would like it.
[McMurphy turns around to see Harding smiling at him]
McMurphy: Heh, YOU’D like it, wouldn’t you?
[to Harding, regarding the pills]
McMurphy: Here, give it to me
—-.
Cheswick: Rules? PISS ON YOUR FUCKING RULES!
—-
Chief Bromden: Mmmmmm, Juicy Fruit.
[about Nurse Ratched]
McMurphy: Well I don’t wanna break up the meeting or nothin’, but she’s somethin’ of a cunt, ain’t she Doc?
—-
Dr. Spivey: Well, the real reason that you’ve been sent over here is because they wanted you to be evaluated… to determine whether or not you are mentally ill. This is the real reason. Why do you think they might think that?
McMurphy: Well, as near as I can figure out, it’s ’cause I, uh, fight and fuck too much.
—-
McMurphy: Get out of my way son, you’re usin’ my oxygen.
—-
McMurphy: Nurse Ratched, Nurse Ratched! The Chief voted! Now will you please turn on the television set?
Nurse Ratched: [she opens the glass window] Mr. McMurphy, the meeting was adjourned and the vote was closed.
McMurphy: But the vote was 10 to 8. The Chief, he’s got his hand up! Look!
Nurse Ratched: No, Mr. McMurphy. When the meeting was adjourned, the vote was 9 to 9.
McMurphy: [exasperated] Aw come on, you’re not gonna say that now! You’re not gonna say that now! You’re gonna pull that hen house shit? Now when the vote… the Chief just voted – it was 10 to 9. Now I want that television set turned on *right now*!
[Nurse Ratched closes the glass window]
—-
McMurphy: You’re not an idiot. Huh! You’re not a goddamn looney now, boy. You’re a fisherman!
—-
Nurse Pilbow: Don’t get upset, Mr. McMurphy.
McMurphy: I’m not getting upset, Nurse Pilbow. I just don’t want anyone to slip me salt peter!
—-
[telling McMurphy about Chief]
Billy: He-he-he can’t hear you. He’s a d-d-deaf and d-d-dumb Indian.
—-
McMurphy: [pointing to naked woman on playing card] Where do you suppose she lives?
—-
McMurphy: We’re just having a little party.
Orderly Turkle: Party my ass, this ain’t no nightclub!
—-
Night Nurse: Mr. Turkle?
McMurphy: Where the fuck is he, why doesn’t he answer her?
Taber: He’s jerkin’ off somewhere.
Orderly Turkle: Ain’t no one jerkin’ off nowhere muthafucker!
McMurphy: Turkle what the fuck are you doing in here? Go out and talk to her.
Orderly Turkle: I’m doin’ the same fuckin’ thing your doin’- hidin’!
—-
[last lines]
Chief Bromden: Mac… they said you escaped. I knew you wouldn’t leave without me. I was waiting for you. Now we can make it, Mac; I feel big as a damn mountain.
[he suddenly sees the lobotomy scars]
Chief Bromden: Oh, no…
Chief Bromden: [embracing McMurphy] I’m not goin’ without you, Mac. I wouldn’t leave you this way… You’re coming with me.
Chief Bromden: [laying him down] Let’s go.
—-
McMurphy: But I tried, didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least I did that.
—-
McMurphy: Who’s the head bull-goose loony around here?
—-
Orderly Turkle: Oh shit, the supervisor!
—-
Nurse Ratched: Your hand is staining my window.
—-
McMurphy: Jesus Christ! D’you nuts wanna play cards or do ya wanna fuckin’ jerk off?
—-
McMurphy: Koufax looks down! He’s looking at the great Mickey Mantle now! Here comes the pitch! Mantle swings! It’s a fucking home run!
[loud cheering from the patients]
—-
Young Psychiatrist: Have you ever heard of the old saying “a rolling stone gathers no moss?”
McMurphy: Yeah.
Young Psychiatrist: Does that mean something to you?
McMurphy: Uh… tt’s the same as “don’t wash your dirty underwear in public.”
Young Psychiatrist: I’m not sure I understand what you mean.
McMurphy: [smiling] I’m smarter than him, ain’t I?
[laughs]
McMurphy: Well, that sort of has always meant, is, uh, it’s hard for something to grow on something that’s moving.
—-
Psychiatrist: Dr. Sanji?
Dr. Sanji: I don’t think he’s overly psychotic, but, I still think he’s quite sick.
Psychiatrist: You think he’s dangerous?
Dr. Sanji: Absolutely so.
—-
McMurphy: [pretending to watch the World Series on TV] Koufax… Koufax kicks. He delivers. It’s up the middle! It’s a base hit! Richardson is rounding first. He’s going for second. The ball’s into deep right center. Davis cuts the ball off! Here comes the throw. He throws it to second! He slides! He’s in there! He’s safe! It’s a double.! Richardson’s on second base!
[McMurphy gets up as the other patients come to see what he’s doing]
McMurphy: Koufax is in big fucking trouble! Big trouble, baby! All right. Tresh is the next batter. Tresh looks in. Koufax… Koufax gets a sign from Roseboro. He kicks once. He pumps. He fires. It’s a strike! Koufax’s curve ball is snapping off like a fucking firecracker! All right, here he comes with the next pitch. Tresh swings. It’s a long fly ball to deep left center!
[patients cheer]
McMurphy: It’s going! It’s gone! Let’s hear it! One way!
—-
Harding: I’m not just talking about my wife, I’m talking about my LIFE, I can’t seem to get that through to you. I’m not just talking about one person, I’m talking about everybody. I’m talking about form. I’m talking about content. I’m talking about interrelationships. I’m talking about God, the devil, Hell, Heaven. Do you understand… FINALLY?
—-
McMurphy: What are we doing in here, Chief? Huh? What’s us two guys doing in this fucking place? Let’s get out of here. Out.
Chief Bromden: Canada?
McMurphy: Canada. We’ll be there before these sonofabitches know what hit ’em. Listen to Randall on this one.
—-
McMurphy: When we get to Canada…
—-
McMurphy: I can’t take it no more. I gotta get outta here.
Chief Bromden: I can’t. I just can’t.
McMurphy: It’s easier than you think, Chief.
Chief Bromden: For you, maybe. You’re a lot bigger than me.
—-
Taber: [Taber is picking on Harding as he plays Monopoly with Martini]
[pushing his back]
Taber: Come on, Harding. Play the game. Play it!
Harding: I am playing the game! Stop bothering me! I can’t concentrate!
Taber: [pushing him again] Play the game, Harding. Come on!
Harding: [shouting] You keep your hands off me, YOU SON OF A BITCH!
—-
[first lines]
Attendant Warren: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Attendant Washington: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Mr. Washington.
Miller: Morning.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Nurse Pilbow: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Attendant Washington: Morning, Bancini.
Bancini: Morning.
Attendant Washington: How do you feel?
Bancini: Rested.
Nurse Pilbow: Medication time. Medication time.

Trivia:
*  The role of McMurphy (played by Jack Nicholson) among others was offered to James Caan.

* Many extras were authentic mental patients.

* 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.

* Danny DeVito reprised his performance from a 1971 off-Broadway revival.

* The cast and crew had to become accustomed to working with extras and supporting crew members who were inmates at the Oregon State Mental Hospital; each member of the professional cast and crew inevitably worked closely with at least two or three mental patients.

* Most of Jack Nicholson’s scene with Dean R. Brooks upon arriving at the hospital was improvised – including his slamming a stapler, asking about a fishing photo, and discussing his rape conviction; Brooks’s reactions were authentic.

* Before shooting began, director Milos Forman screened the film Titicut Follies (1967) for the cast to help them get a feel for life in a mental institution.

* Mel Lambert, who played the harbor master, was a local businessman rather than an actor; he had a strong relationship with Native Americans throughout the area, and it was he who suggested Will Sampson for the role of Chief Bromden.

* With the exception of the fishing segment (which was filmed last), the film was shot in sequence.

* 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.

* The script called for McMurphy to leap on a guard and kiss him when first arriving at the hospital. During filming, director Milos Forman decided that the guard’s reaction wasn’t strong enough and told Nicholson to jump on the other guard instead. This surprised the actor playing the second guard greatly, and in some versions he can be seen punching Nicholson.

* Ken Kesey, who wrote the original novel, said he would never watch the movie version and even sued the movie’s producers because it wasn’t shown from Chief Bromden’s perspective (as the novel is).

* Cameo: [Saul Zaentz] [- the film’s producer appears as a man at the inmates’ bus outing.]

* Cameo: [Anjelica Huston] Jack Nicholson’s one-time girlfriend appears as one of the crowd on the pier as the fishing excursion returns.

* Louise Fletcher only realized that the part of Nurse Ratched was a hotly contested role among all the leading actresses of the day when a reporter visiting the set happened to casually mention it.

* This story was based on author Ken Kesey’s experiences while working at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

* The fishing trip sequence was filmed at Depoe Bay, Oregon – the smallest harbor in the world.

* In order to produce the film, Michael Douglas quit the show “The Streets of San Francisco” (1972).

* Though veteran cinematographer Haskell Wexler is credited here as DP, he was actually replaced by Bill Butler early in the shoot due to various creative differences with producer Michael Douglas.

* During most of the film’s shooting, William Redfield was ill. He died several months after the film was completed.

* According to Michael Douglas, director Milos Forman had his heart set on Burt Reynolds to play the part of McMurphy.

* The musical theme by Jack Nitzsche played during the opening and closing was based on the chord structure of the song “Please Release Me”.

* Lily Tomlin wanted to play Nurse Ratched, but was committed at the time to Nashville (1975).

* In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #33 Greatest Movie of All Time.

* 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”.

* During production, Nicholson and Forman spoke to each other through the cinematographer, but faked a friendly relationship when the media and studio personnel would show up to the set.

* Milos Forman had considered Shelley Duvall for the role of Candy. While screening Thieves Like Us (1974) to see if she was right for the role, he became interested in Louise Fletcher, who had a supporting role, and decided to cast her as Nurse Ratched.

* 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”.

* 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.

* Kirk Douglas starred in the 1963 Broadway production after buying the film rights prior to publication. Kirk had met Milos Forman in Prague while on a State Department tour and promised to send him the book after deciding he would be a good director for the film; the book never arrived, probably confiscated by censors of the Czech government, which was Communist at the time. Ken Kesey wrote a screenplay for the production, but Forman rejected it because Kesey insisted on keeping Chief Bromden’s first-person narration.

* During the ECT scene, McMurphy says “A little dab will do ya” as the nurse is putting conductor gel on the side of his head. This phrase, not in the original script, is a reference to the advertising jingle of Brylcreem hair cream, which was a popular hair care product for men in the 1960s and 1970s.

Reception
The film went on to win a total of five Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Jack Nicholson (who played McMurphy), Best Actress for Louise Fletcher (who played Nurse Ratched), Best Direction for Miloš Forman, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Laurence Hauben and Bo Goldman.

Today, the film is considered to be one of the greatest American films and is ranked at number 33 on the American Film Institute’s list of AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies.
( Ack:imdb,filmsite,wikipedia)

check out Loves of a blonde, another Forman film cinebuff.wordpress.com
Compiler:benny

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It’s tough, on the waterfront. Filmed on location in Hoboken, New jersey it is violent, with strong language – telling a priest to “go to hell”? Shocking stuff in 1954. Director Elia Kazan, the cast, and Boris Kaufmann, who took the pictures, all come out of this gritty drama covered in glory. Which is more than can be said for the characters in the story.

New York dock workers struggle to eke a living but they are in the grip of the corrupt unions. Of course, it is not true that labor unions were, or are, always corrupt, but hey, it’s a story. Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), his boxing career behind him, hangs around his brother Charley (Rod Steiger) who is lawyer to union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee Cobb). Neither Charley or Johnny are as nice or as honest as they ought to be. We know Terry is nice because he looks after his pigeons on the rooftop and he once showed promise as a boxer. He could have been a contender.

At Johnny’s request, Terry asks a union worker to meet him on the roof. When Johnny’s henchmen push him off Terry is shocked:

Terry: I figured the worst they was gonna do was lean on him a little bit…
Truck: A canary. Maybe he could sing but he couldn’t fly.

Terry starts to feel guilty when he meets the victim’s sister, Edie (Eva Marie Saint). No wonder, she’s the sweet sort of dame who would make any red blooded young man feel guilty about something. Through her he meets Father Barry (Karl Malden) who persuades Terry to give the information that will finish the racketeering on the docks.

Method acting triumphs in On the Waterfront.
All this acclaim, plus the box office success, was well deserved. The dialogue is tight and simple, the brooding tenements and docks are starkly and realistically portrayed. The drama unfolds with menace. The actors are all convincing, even the smaller parts for thugs. Cobb and Steiger make truly villainous villains. For Steiger in particular this is perhaps his finest performance.

Brando’s performance as the inarticulate former pug whose inherent decency forces him, reluctantly, to take on the hoodlums is magnificent. And yet, in the much-parodied car scene in which he delivers the ‘contender’ speech, he is almost acted off the screen by Steiger.
Barry Norman, 100 Best Films of the Century

The memorable scene is where Terry climbs into the back of the car with his brother Steiger who wants to do him a favour. He wants him to get the chip off his shoulder and hang out with the thugs as before.
Certainly, Terry does not feel he owes his brother anything:
Marlon Brando

Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and you said, “Kid, this ain’t your night. We’re going for the price on Wilson.” You remember that? “This ain’t your night”! My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors on the ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn’t have to take them dives for the short-end money …. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.

Director: Elia Kazan
Terry Malloy: Marlon Brando
Charley Malloy: Rod Steiger
Johnny Friendly: Lee J. Cobb
Edie Doyle: Eva Marie Saint
Glover: Leif Erickson
Truck: Tony Galento
Kayo Dugan: Pat Henning
Writer: Budd Schulberg
Score: Leonard Bernstein
Academy Awards
Nominated (12)

Won (8)

* Best Picture
* Best Actor (Brando)
* Best Supporting Actress (Saint)
* Best Director
* Best Story and Screenplay
* Best Cinematography
* Best Art Direction – Set Decoration
* Best Editing

compiler: benny

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CITIZEN KANE– 1941

Running Time: 119 minutes, USA , Black and white

Citizen Kane was the astounding directorial debut of Orson Welles, made when he was just 25. It tops the AFI 100 best films list and is widely considered to be the greatest movie of all time. More than 60 years after it was first made it is still revered as the classic American film.

Citizen Kane opens with a brooding exterior shot focusing in on the letter ‘K’, wrought into the ironwork atop the gates of Xanadu, a rich man’s castle in Florida. We see, through fog, the grounds of this vast pleasure palace with exotic animals in a private zoo, empty gondolas moored on a private lake, an Egyptian cat statue guarding a raised drawbridge over a moat. There are signs of neglect everywhere. Successive shots draw us into a castle window where a light is extinguished and a figure can be seen on the bed in the dimly lit interior. Snowflakes fill the screen and we zoom out to reveal a snow covered house in a glass ball in the hand of the old man on the bed. His lips pronounce a dying utterance:

Rosebud...

The dead hand releases the globe and it shatters on the marble floor.

Citizen Kane tells the life story of super-rich press baron, Charles Foster Kane. Kane is a fictitious character but bears so many similarities to the real life William Randolph Hearst that his newspapers boycotted the film. In fact, the Kane character was a composite of many arrogant and powerful media magnates and unlike the real Hurst, was born in relative poverty. He was arrogant and not always right.

A reporter (William Alland) is assigned to uncover the mystery of Kane’s dying word. He hears Kane’s story from five different points of view and we also see mock newsreel footage of moments from the great man’s life.
By the end of the film, the Rosebud mystery has not been solved. We return to Xanadu to see a panorama of crates and junk, the debris of the multi-millionaires acquisitive life. A workman selects an old child’s sled and slings it into the furnace. The camera zooms as the flames blister the paint and the word ‘Rosebud’ is burned away. We recognize this as the sled Kane was playing with when his parents sent him away as a child. Kane’s childhood memories curl into the smoke that billows out of the chimney. The camera pulls back and we end with the same wrought iron gates with which we began.
Kane wanted love at his terms and lost. Chalk it to his vanity and ambitions that came with his position in life; With all the wealth and its glory at his reach he lost all that he really cared for: a carefree childhood ( represented by his sled).
Trivia:By the way ‘Rosebud’ as Hollywood gossip would have it referred to the private part of Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davis.

Quotes:
I’ve talked with the responsible leaders of the Great Powers – England, France, Germany and Italy. They’re too intelligent to embark on a project, which would mean the end of civilization as we now know it. You can take my word from it; there’ll be no war!
~Kane (Welles) in newsreel from 1935
“- a picture that was not only more innovative than any since The Battleship Potemkin, but one that matures with age and speaks afresh to each succeeding generation.”
~ Barry Norman, 100 Best Films of the Century
Additional background info:

In 1938, Welles had made a sensational radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, a story by science fiction pioneer and near namesake, H. G. Wells. The broadcast was taken for genuine news by some and people were driven onto the streets in panic. This made him such a hot-property that his contract with RKO allowed him a freedom in production that Hollywood was never to grant him again.

Welles brought his Mercury Theater group to the film but also had the sense to surround himself with some of the industry’s most talented. Notably, he recruited cinematographer Greg Toland, who had worked on The Grapes of Wrath, to his team. Together with co-writer Herman Mankiewicz, Welles created the script – originally to be called “The American”.

Toland’s deep focus photography is legendary in this movie, as were the sets that included real ceilings. Welles had holes dug in the studio floor so that the camera could be mounted low enough to get the low angled point of view, used so effectively in the succession of breakfast scenes that milestone the breakdown of Kane’s first marriage. Orson Welles’ own performance skillfully followed the young Kane into old age. He directed other actors to a splendid ensemble performance. He tore up a few rules, appropriated a few revolutionary screen techniques and created a masterpiece.

benny

CITIZEN KANE (1941)
Director: Orson Welles
Charles Foster Kane: Orson Welles
Jedediah Leland: Joseph Cotten
Susan Alexander: Dorothy Comingore
Mr. Bernstein: Everett Sloane
Mary Kane: Agnes Mooreheaed
Walter Parks Thatcher : George Coulouris
Boss J.W. “Big Jim” Gettys: Ray Collins
Jerry Thompson: William Alland
Raymond: Paul Stewart
Kane aged 8: Buddy Swann
Signor Matiste: Fortunia Bonanova
Academy Awards
Won (1) * Best Original Screenplay (Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles)
Nominated (9)
* Best Picture
* Best Original Screenplay
* Best Director
* Best Actor (Orson Welles)
* Best Cinematography
* Best Art Direction
* Best Music
* Best Sound Recording
* Best Film Editing

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