One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. In 1963 Oregon, recidivist criminal Randle McMurphy is moved to a mental institution after serving a short sentence on a prison farm for statutory rape of a 15-year-old.
Upon arriving at the hospital, he finds the ward run by the steely, strict Nurse Ratched, who subtly suppresses the actions of her patients through a passive-aggressive routine, intimidating the patients.
The other patients include anxious, stuttering Billy Bibbit; Charlie Cheswick, who is prone to childish tantrums; delusional Martini; the well-educated, paranoid Dale Harding; belligerent Max Taber; epileptic Jim Sefelt; and “Chief” Bromden, a tall Native American believed to be deaf and mute.
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Ratched soon sees McMurphy’s lively, rebellious presence to be a threat to her authority, confiscating the patients’ cigarettes and rationing them.
During his time in the ward, McMurphy gets into a battle of wits with Ratched.
He steals a hospital bus, escaping with several patients to go on a fishing trip, encouraging his friends to become more self-confident.
McMurphy learns his sentence may become indefinite, and he makes plans to escape, exhorting Chief to throw a hydrotherapy cart through a window.
He, Chief, and Cheswick get into a fight with the orderlies after the latter becomes agitated over his stolen cigarettes.
Ratched sends them to the “shock shop,” and McMurphy discovers Chief can actually speak, feigning illness to avoid engaging with anyone.
After being subjected to electroconvulsive therapy, McMurphy returns to the ward pretending to have brain damage, but reveals the treatment has charged him up even more.
McMurphy and Chief make plans to escape, but decide to throw a secret Christmas party for their friends after Ratched leaves for the night.