One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a 1975 American psychological comedy-drama film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey.
The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a new patient at a mental institution, and features a supporting cast of Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Danny DeVito, Sydney Lassick, William Redfield, as well as Christopher Lloyd and Brad Dourif in their film debuts.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is No. 33 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list.
The film was the second to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay) following It Happened One Night in 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991 with The Silence of the Lambs.
In Oregon in 1963, 38-year old Randle Patrick McMurphy is in prison for multiple cases of assault, and statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl. He gets himself transferred to a mental institution to avoid hard labour. The ward is dominated by head nurse Mildred Ratched, a cold, passive-aggressive tyrant who intimidates her patients, who include anxious, stuttering 21-year-old Billy Bibbit; Charlie Cheswick, who is prone to temper tantrums; delusional, child-like Martini; the articulate, neurotic, closeted homosexual Dale Harding; belligerent and profane Max Taber; epileptics Jim Sefelt and Bruce Fredrickson; quiet but violent-minded Scanlon; tall, deaf-mute Native American “Chief” Bromden; and several others with chronic conditions.