Chinatown: 5 Reasons It’s Jack Nicholson’s Best Role (& 5 It’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest)

Chinatown: 5 Reasons It’s Jack Nicholson’s Best Role (& 5 It’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest)
Jack Nicholson is one of the most recognizable and epochal names in Hollywood. He came of age during the New Hollywood movement in the '60s and '70s, where directors like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Hal Ashby, and Robert Altman redefined American cinema. Influenced by Asian and European films, these directors veered away from the conventional narrative style, wherein everything is resolved with a happy ending, and instead sought to tell complicated, gritty stories about morally questionable people.

Related: 10 Incredible Jack Nicholson Character Quotes

Two standout films from this era, 1974's Chinatown and 1975's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, have Nicholson at their helms. The first is a neo-noir tale about water rights corruption in 1937 Los Angeles, and the second is an adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel about life in a men's mental institution. Nicholson received endless praise and multiple awards for these back-to-back performances. While
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