40 years ago today, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo”s Nest” made its big screen debut.
Based on a 1962 novel of the same name, the mental hospital-set movie marked Jack Nicholson”s first Oscar win, and it also became the first film in four decades to win all five of the major Academy Award categories: Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher, who played Nurse Ratched), Best Director (Miloš Forman), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.
The next film to win the Big Five (and the last one to date) was “The Silence of the Lambs” (including an Oscar win for Jodie Foster – whose birthday is today!).
40 years later, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo”s Nest” remains hailed as one of the best cinematic achievements. On AFI”s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time list, it”s placed at No. 33.
Other notable November 19 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1959: “The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show,” then known as “Rocky & His Friends,” premiered on ABC.
• 1982: Led Zeppelin”s ninth and final studio album, “Coda,” was released. It was a collection of unused tracks from various sessions during the band”s 12-year career.
• 1993: Nirvana taped an all-acoustic show for “MTV Unplugged” at Sony Studios in New York.
• 1999: Tim Burton”s “Sleepy Hollow” and the James Bond movie “The World Is Not Enough” opened in U.S. theaters.
• 2006: The short-lived, critically panned Bob Dylan musical tribute “The Times They Are A-Changin”” closed on Broadway after just 28 performances and 35 previews.
• 2006: Nintendo released its Wii video game console in North America.
• 2007: At Caroline Kennedy's 50th birthday party, guest performer Neil Diamond revealed that his 1970 hit “Sweet Caroline” was actually written about her.
Birthdays: “The Silence of the Lambs” actress Jodie Foster (turns 53 today), “Girls” actor Adam Driver (32), “Juno” actress Allison Janney (56), “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” writer Charlie Kaufman (57), TV and radio host Larry King (82), Blood, Sweat & tears saxophonist Fred Lipsius (72), “Sleepless in Seattle” actress Meg Ryan (54)