We all love Ethan Hawke, and the actor has starred in some of the best movies of the past few decades (The Northman, Boyhood, and Training Day, to name just a few). When the best actors of all time give their opinions on cinema, we sit up and listen.
As it turns out, Ethan Hawke did just that in a conversation with Rotten Tomatoes back in 2018. Asked to name his favourite films, the actor reserved the most praise for an absolute classic from Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Hawke started by saying the movie had, “probably the defining Jack Nicholson character, if you had to pick one”.
Justifying his choice, Hawke said, “It’s actually the first film I ever saw. I don’t remember it, but I was a little baby and my mom took me. It’s one of those movies I’ll watch whenever I’m feeling lost or alone in the universe. Something about McMurphy and the Chief throwing the sink through the window makes life worth living.
“Part of it has to do with the level of supporting acting. He creates a full world. Christopher Lloyd and Danny DeVito and Louise Fletcher and Brad Dourif — it’s just such an incredible cast. The world feels so real,” notes Hawke. “That’s what so many epic movies get wrong. They feel important in the way that it’s in italics. They just feel like they’re about the director, and not about the characters.”
The film is not just one of the best thriller movies but undoubtedly one of the greatest films of all time, and would go on to earn Jack Nicholson his first Oscar.
So, not a bad pick then from Ethan Hawke. Other movies he similarly praised were Apocalypse Now, A Woman Under the Influence, Reds, and The Bridge on the River Kwai. Great taste, but that’s no surprise.