Fans of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest— whether it’s Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel or the Oscar-winning 1975 film starring Jack Nicholson — know that the sadistic, tyrannical nurse Ratched is a pivotal antagonist who tells the story of a rebellious prisoner in a mental hospital. directs. Now she’s getting her own backstory in the form of a new prequel series, Ratched† Netflix released the first trailer for the series yesterday.
(Spoilers for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest book and movie below.)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is set in a mental hospital in Salem, Oregon, where Randle Patrick McMurphy is sent after feigning insanity to escape prison on the ranch. Nurse Ratched (aka Big Nurse) rules the place with an iron fist and systematically abuses the inmates in her care. She maintains order by withholding basic necessities, medicines or patient privileges, but McMurphy’s rebellious nature challenges her authority even when faced with shock therapy.
Their conflict soon escalates into all-out war after she leads another patient to commit suicide. McMurphy nearly strangles her to death in revenge and is given a lobotomy for his trouble. But Nurse Ratched’s hold on the inmates is broken, most of whom check out or escape. One of the inmates, Chief, discovers McMurphy in his now vegetative state and suffocates him with a pillow to end his suffering.
Kesey never revealed much about Nurse Ratched’s background, except that she was deeply scarred by her time as an Army nurse during World War II. So there was plenty of room for series creator Evan Romansky to creatively fill the gaps. A recent graduate of film school, Romanksy wrote the pilot script to spec, and it soon found its way to Emmy-winning producer Ryan Murphy, who managed to secure the character rights and screen rights to the Milos Forman-directed film. set. movie. Sarah Paulson (American horror story franchise) signed on for the title role. The impressive cast also includes Cynthia Nixon, Sharon Stone, Judy Davis, Amanda Plummer, Vincent D’Onofrio and Rosanna Arquette.
According to the official premise:
Ratched is an exciting drama series that tells the origin story of asylum nurse Mildred Ratched. In 1947, Mildred arrives in Northern California to look for work at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and disturbing experiments on the human mind have begun. On a clandestine mission, Mildred presents herself as the perfect picture of what a committed nurse should be, but the wheels are always spinning and as she begins to infiltrate the mental health system and those within it, Mildred’s stylish exterior belies a growing darkness that has long been smoldering inside, revealing that real monsters are made, not born.
The trailer opens with Paulson’s Ratched being questioned by a young gas station attendant about why she’s on her way to her destination. “That seems like a rather personal question,” Ratched replies, before advising him to bathe more often. “Your fingernails are filthy.” Additional props for using “Hey Big Spender” (from the Bob Fosse musical sweet charity) as music upon Ratched’s arrival at her new workplace.
We get a brief glimpse of her life during the war. ‘We had a saying in the force’, we hear her say. ‘Save one life and you’re a hero. Save a hundred lives, well, then you’re a nurse.’ The brightly colored palette on display here effectively depicts the horror scenes of life in this facility, from swallowing pills, restraining difficult patients, to administering bizarre “therapies.” There is some evidence that Ratched has homicidal tendencies disguised as mercy. “You’ve already suffered enough pain,” she says in a voiceover. “You deserve someone to show you mercy. How different I would be if someone had done that.’
The best trailer moment is when she confronts another nurse, Betty Bucket (Judy Davis), for eating the peach from Ratched’s lunch. “I don’t see your name on it,” Bucket retorted, daring Ratched to do something about it. Ratched stares at her calmly.
“What, are you deaf?” Bucket booing.
“No,” Ratched replies. “Just thinking about all the things I’m going to do about it.” I don’t like Bucket’s chances in this showdown.
Ratched will premiere on Netflix on September 18, 2020.
List image by Netflix