E-mail: lee AT geistlinger.com
I was again fortunate enough to enjoy this in the proper order - movie (excellent!) first, and then the book (better!).
This is actually a close call; the movie comes very close to matching the quality of the book - and that's high praise.
The movie stars Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine and Melvin Douglas; the book is by Jerzy Kosinski. Both are stunning - the movie much in the vein of the Robert Redford vehicle "The Candidate"; the book is much more suble yet more scathing in its indictment of politics and personality.
Both are "odd" and "quiet" pieces of art. I remember both vividly years after reading/viewing same. Take that!
I experienced the book and movie in the correct order: I saw the movie first.
I remember talking with my then-boss about the movie, and she said the book was even better. I commented that I didn't know how that was possible, as the movie was so powerful (and can you image anyone but Jack Nicholson playing R.P. McMurphy?).
However, I read the book - and it is better. Way better. And told from the Chief's point of view (!) - that was a surprise. But it worked.
An outstanding book, the movie - which is actually based on several books, including the title book - is a damn fine movie in its own right.
I saw this movie on the big screen (which is rare for me), and it's one that really benefits from this experience. The hills of Africa (I kept thinking about Hemingway) and the scenes where the narrator flys over the savanna and over the lake and disturbs the huge flock of flamingos wading below...just watch and enjoy.