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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R  |   |  Drama  |  21 November 1975 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 619,297 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 720 user | 143 critic | 7 from

Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Top 250 Movies #15 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 31 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Brocco ...
Dean R. Brooks ...
Alonzo Brown ...
William Duell ...
Josip Elic ...
Lan Fendors ...
Nathan George ...
Ken Kenny ...
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:

21 November 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atrapado sin salida  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,400,000 (estimated)


$112,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kirk Douglas starred in the 1963 Broadway production after buying the film rights prior to publication; he later passed the film rights to his son Michael Douglas, but kept a percentage of the profits. Every major studio had declined to make the film during the period he was trying to star in it. Kirk had met Milos Forman in Prague while on a State Department tour and promised to send him the book after deciding he would be a good director for the film; the book never arrived, probably confiscated by censors of the Czech government, which was Communist at the time. Ken Kesey wrote a screenplay for the production, but Forman rejected it because Kesey insisted on keeping Chief Bromden's first-person narration. See more »


During the basketball game, McMurphy runs to the edge of the court, the camera follows and, for a moment, reveals an assortment of film production equipment including lighting stands, C-stands, lighting gels and even a crew member. Only visible in the wide screen version. 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 Twice in a Lifetime: Second Service (1999) See more »


Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Played on a record
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One Flew Over One of the Best Movies Ever Made!!! (And that person was me)
19 March 1999 | by (here) – See all my reviews

First thing's first, while I watched this movie, I found myself stunned. This movie so entertained the viewer, as it did fascinate, and inform. A chilling, disturbing, and revealing look into the mental institutions as seen through the eyes of a con. Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito, and Christopher Lloyd, round out the excellent, and very well casted cast.

Jack Nicholson brilliantly plays Randall Patrick McMurphy, an ex-con, who fakes being mentally insane, to enter the institution. As he goes to the hospital, he doesn't realize, that the people, and the atmosphere there is so out there. The patients are really psycho, and creepy. Randall, must try and survive these days, before he has to go to Jail. He has to entertain himself while at the same time, find good in this place of craziness.

Lousie Fletcher plays Nurse Ratched, a soft; but strong willed nurse, who will not take anything from anyone, or put up with misbehavior. She watches Randall, and notices something different about him, he's not as psycho as the others, but he is a little out there. Her job is tough indeed, having to put up with all these men, who don't listen, some go crazy and throw fits, and others just sit there and don't do anything.

Randall meets many new friends in this place, Brad Dourif who plays Billy Bibbit, is a mentally unstable, but voluntarily institutionalized person. Danny DeVito plays Martini, a slow but charming and sweet man, who means know harm in what he does or say. Christopher Lloyd plays Taber, a man, who also voluntarily institutionalized himself. He also meets Chief, a big 'dumb, and deaf' Indian, who happens to like to play basketball. Randall must try and survive these days with his new friends, and the hospital, as well as an everlasting war as to which they can watch the world series on TV. Put up with Nurse Ratched, and the other patients, doctors, vistors, and nurses. Ultimately leading up to a dramatic finale, that makes you want to stand up and cheer.

I think what was best about this film was the realism. I had no problem believing that this was happening. Almost like a documentary, it was striking and powerful, making the viewer not want to stop watching till the end. Some of the sequences are memorable as the basketball game, and the fishing trip. Jack Nicholson, who as always plays his character absolutely excellent, and makes the viewer want to hand him an Oscar himself.

The supporting cast, Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, and Brad Dourif also give terrific performances. Danny, Christopher, and Brad's careers all were made with this superb movie. It's all sentimental, funny, dramatic, intense, chilling, disturbing, diverting, and tragic. The finale leaves the viewer stunned and sitting there thinking about what he just saw. See this film, and believe it. I think you will find, its one of the BEST ever.

The second film to win all five major Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Actress (Fletcher), Director, and Screenplay. And it deserved all of them.

Rated R for language, violence, sexual content, and brief nudity.

157 of 261 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Can't believe some of you guys really defend Nurse Ratched Samsuini
I feel this is more of a 7/10 than an 8.8/10 YourDecision11
One of the worst endings I have seen easyloadfree
Nurse was doing her job and Jack got what he deserved. fishmarauder
What I find truly monstrous about this film yourlastwarning
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Elimination Game LucyInTheSkyWithDiamondz
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