For a student of psychoanalysis, it was the latent content bubbling beneath the struggle between Nurse Ratched and Randal Patrick McMurphy that sparked this new look at an old favourite. Fresh from my struggles with the elusive wisdom of Lacanian thought, which take Freudian theories on castration, disavowal and all the rest on symbolic, imaginary voyages of real confusion and furrow-browed enlightenment to places their still vital originator would have no doubt foreseen had the two ever met, and eventually fallen out, I could see all sorts of interesting takes on the film. But I came to see that a few themes developed well would be far more rewarding for me than getting swept up in the initial flurry of ideas, each glittering furiously like magpie tinsel. So, I will start, in chapter one, by looking at the very apparatus that shaped(s) my attitudes towards the film in ways I had never consciously thought of: the cinematic apparatus. That is me as spectator. From there, I will look at the unconscious undertow swirling beneath the surface antagonism of the two main characters in the film and attempt to draw some illuminating conclusions.