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Merry Prankster and author, Ken Kesey, experienced immediate success when his iconic novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was published in 1962. While the film rights to Cuckoo’s Nest were purchased before the novel was even published, it would take over a decade for Hollywood to finally adapt the postmodern classic into a film. With a kooky cast, a Czech director, and a real-life mental health hospital, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest went on to make history and bring to life Kesey’s adored novel.

1. Ken Kesey Hated the Movie

Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was very unhappy about how his classic novel was being translated into film. He said the producers were “butchering” his work, and vowed to never view the completed movie because the film did not tell the story from the perspective of Chief Bromden. Many years after the fact, Kesey said he was channel surfing and came across the movie, not knowing what he was watching. After a few minutes, he figured out what the movie was and turned it off.


2. Cuckoo’s Nest was Filmed at Oregon State Hospital

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, the film was shot on location at the Oregon State Hospital Historic District in Salem, Oregon. When the hospital was originally built in 1883, it was called the Oregon State Insane Asylum. To add an extra element of authenticity to the film, director Milos Forman used extras that were actual mental patients. In fact, when filming a scene on the second floor of the hospital, a patient fell through a window and injured himself.


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