815 user 151 critic

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | | Drama | 19 November 1975 (USA)
2:35 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
500 ( 28)
Top Rated Movies #16 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
Forrest Gump (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise
Goodfellas (1990)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson
Se7en (1995)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
The Shining (1980)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
The Godfather (1972)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.

Director: Frank Darabont
Stars: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soapmaker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.

Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean R. Brooks ...
Alonzo Brown ...
William Duell ...
Josip Elic ...
Lan Fendors ...
Nurse Itsu
Ken Kenny ...
Beans Garfield
Mel Lambert ...
Harbor Master


McMurphy has a criminal past and has once again gotten himself into trouble and is sentenced by the court. To escape labor duties in prison, McMurphy pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Once here, McMurphy both endures and stands witness to the abuse and degradation of the oppressive Nurse Ratched, who gains superiority and power through the flaws of the other inmates. McMurphy and the other inmates band together to make a rebellious stance against the atrocious Nurse. Written by Jacob Oberfrank

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If he's crazy, what does that make you?




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 November 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atrapado sin salida  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$4,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$99,761, 23 November 1975, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was shown in Swedish cinemas between 1975 and 1987, which was, and still is, a record. See more »


In the card playing scene before the music dispute, McMurphy's hair alternates between unkempt 'bed head' and groomed. See more »


[first lines]
Attendant Warren: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Attendant Washington: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Mr. Washington.
Miller: Morning.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Nurse Pilbow: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Attendant Washington: Morning, Bancini.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The cast is credited in alphabetical order in the end credits, except for Brad Dourif, who is listed last as follows: "and introducing / Brad Dourif as Billy Bibbit". See more »


Referenced in Private Practice: Let It Go (2008) See more »


(1926) (uncredited)
Music by Lew Pollack and Erno Rapee
Played on a record
Reprised in the score near the end
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Both uplifting and disheartening, sometimes both at once
14 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

I went into this film with the knowledge that it had been the second film in history to win the 'top five' Oscars (for Best Picture, Best actor, Best actress, Best director and best screenplay) and has been praised as "one of Jack Nicholson's finest roles" and "one of the classics of the 70's". Naturally, after hearing all this, I had high expectations for One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. But nonetheless, I was surprised at how easily the film surpassed my expectations and easily led me to understand how it merited all that praise.

Based on the novel by Ken Kesey, the story follows Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), who, in an attempt to get out of spending more time in prison, pleads insanity for his crime, and is therefore sentenced to time in a mental institution. This was McMurphy's intention, as he believes the conditions in a "crazy house" will be significantly easier to contend with than another harsh stay in prison. However, he quickly finds out that surviving the institution with it's desolate patients (including Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Vincent Schiavelli and an absolutely brilliant Brad Dourif as the stuttering Billy Bibbit) and the monstrously repressive Nurse Ratchet (Louise Fletcher, in a career defining role) is considerably harder than he imagined. McMurphy plays pranks, horseplay, and is generally defiant to the rules of the institution in an attempt to raise spirits. His constant optimism and reckless defiance to the out of date rules in the institution can be very uplifting, and often quite funny as well, but much of the movie can be very depressing - the generally decrepit state of the institution is a consistently (and intentionally) bleak background to a superb story with a truly bittersweet ending.

Jack Nicholson is at his best here, head and shoulders above other excellent performances such as in 'Chinatown' or 'As Good as it Gets'. McMurphy is an apparently unquenchable optimist, refusing to succumb to the defeated spirit of all the other patients. His livewire antics, inspiring the patients are generally uplifting, and when his indomitable spirit is finally broken, we really feel for him and his fellow patients. Nicholson conveys the essence of McMurphy to perfection, demonstrating his excellent understanding and interpretation of the character. When McMurphy announces that he is going to lift a huge stone fountain and hurl it through the window to escape, the other patients are so caught up in his intoxicating spirit of freedom that they honestly believe he can do it, despite the fact it would be impossible for a man much stronger than him. When McMurphy finally discovers that despite his best efforts, he cannot lift the fountain, he is so openly crushed that we can't help but feel for him. Beneath the frequent profanities and livewire antics, there are real human emotions, which come across as truly touching.

What can be said about One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest which hasn't already been said? It has an excellent storyline, top notch acting, painfully bleak visuals, perfectly setting the tone for the movie, and alternates between being truly uplifting to devastatingly depressing. It features perhaps the most memorable film ending ever, next to a man on his horse riding off into the sunset, and leaves the viewer beaten down by the conflicting emotions, unaware what to think of the picture next to reveling in it's glorious entirety. It's hard to produce a final outcome any better than this.


421 of 462 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 815 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Zach Braff tackles acting and directing on his new show "Alex, Inc.," and we take a look at the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time.

Watch the show