Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher),
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
(1975) Nurse Mildred Ratched (played with superb, understated
iciness by Oscar winner Louise Fletcher) might be one of the most horrifying
ladies on this list because she could have quite possibly existed (and ... morestill
exist) in real life -- and worse -- in a job where she's supposed to help
people. Dressed to starched perfection in her crisp, white nurse getup, piping
the supposedly soothing Muzak through her mental ward, and running her ship with
a soft-voiced yet domineering determinism that's all about organization, she's
the institutional mother figure from hell. Even her name sounds horrifying.
She's certainly more than the free-spirit screwup R.P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson, need we remind you) can handle -- even if he
swears he can "put a bug so far up her ass, she don't know whether to shit or
wind her wristwatch." Well, it's not so easy with Ms. Ratched, and he learns the
hard way after the blue-eyed terror scares poor Billy Bibbit (a heartbreaking Brad Dourif) and sends him off for a lobotomy. You know
you're a bad nurse when a pillow-smothering by the stoic Native American inmate
represents a more humane bedside manner. (Everett