One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest | 1975

Directed by: Milos Forman

One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest Poster

Main Plot

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" follows the story of Randle McMurphy, a charismatic criminal who feigns insanity to avoid prison and is sent to a mental institution. There, he challenges the oppressive rule of Nurse Ratched, who maintains control over the patients through fear and manipulation. McMurphy's rebellious spirit inspires the other patients to reclaim their individuality and question the system. The film explores themes of freedom, authority, and the power of the human spirit, as McMurphy's actions have both liberating and tragic consequences within the institution.


  • Jack Nicholson plays Randle McMurphy, a charismatic and rebellious patient in a mental institution who challenges the oppressive authority of Nurse Ratched.
  • Louise Fletcher's character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is Nurse Ratched, the authoritarian and manipulative head nurse at a mental institution.
  • Michael Berryman's character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is Ellis, a patient in the mental institution who appears in various scenes throughout the film.

Ending Explained

In the ending of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, McMurphy's rebellious actions against the oppressive Nurse Ratched reach their climax. He organizes a wild party for the patients, which leads to chaos and freedom for a brief moment. However, Nurse Ratched retaliates by having McMurphy lobotomized. Realizing that McMurphy is no longer the same, Chief Bromden, a silent and seemingly deaf patient, suffocates McMurphy with a pillow to end his suffering. In a final act of defiance, Chief escapes the institution by lifting the hydrotherapy control panel and throwing it through the window, symbolizing his liberation from the oppressive system. He then flees into the night, embracing his newfound freedom.

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Milos Forman Jack Nicholson Louise Fletcher Michael Berryman