One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (film)

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Jesus, I must be crazy to be in a loony-bin like this.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 film about a petty criminal who's been sentenced to a relatively short prison term but has been transferred to a mental institution. Upon his arrival, he rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse. The film was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay) since 1934, and the last to do it until The Silence of the Lambs.

Directed by Miloš Forman. Written by Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben, adapted from the novel by Ken Kesey.
If he's crazy, what does that make you?
I'd like to keep him on the ward. I think we can help him.
  • But Doc, she was fifteen years old, going on thirty-five, Doc, and, uh, she told me she was eighteen and she was, uh, very willing, you know what I mean...I practically had to take to sewin' my pants shut. But, uh between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of ya, I don't think it's crazy at all now and I don't think you do either...No man alive could resist that, and that's why I got into jail to begin with. And now they're telling me I'm crazy over here because I don't sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don't make a bit of sense to me. If that's what's bein' crazy is, then I'm senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that's it.
  • I'm here to cooperate with ya a hundred percent. A hundred percent. I'll be just right down the line with ya, you watch. 'Cause I think we ought to get to the bottom of R. P. McMurphy.
  • You wanna bet? One week. I bet in one week, I can put a bug so far up her ass she won't know whether to shit or wind her wristwatch.
  • [to Billy] You're just a young kid. What are you doin' here? You oughta be out in a convertible, why – bird-doggin' chicks and bangin' beaver! What are ya doin' here, for Christ's sake? What's funny about that? Jesus, I mean, you guys do nothin' but complain about how you can't stand it in this place here and then you haven't got the guts just to walk out!
  • How about it? You creeps, you lunatics, mental defectives. Let's hear it for Bull Goose Randle back in action...You ding-a-lings. The Mental Defective League, in formation.
  • [after his electric shock therapy] They, uh, was givin' me 10,000 watts a day, you know, and I'm hot to trot. The next woman takes me on's gonna light up like a pinball machine and pay off in silver dollars!
  • Jesus, I must be crazy to be in a loony-bin like this.
  • But I tried, didn't I? Goddammit, at least I did that.

Nurse Ratched

  • If Mr. McMurphy doesn't want to take his medication orally, I'm sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way.
  • Mr. Cheswick, you sit down!


  • Chief Bromden: Mac, they said you escaped. I knew you wouldn't leave without me. I was waiting for you. Now we can make it, Mac. I feel big as a damn mountain. Mac? [sees the lobotomy scars on McMurphy] Oh, no. [brings McMurphy close to him, hugging the comatose man] I'm not going without you, Mac. I wouldn't leave you this way. You're coming with me. [laying him down gently and preparing to kill him with mercy] Let's go.
  • Charlie Cheswick: I want my cigarettes! Miss Ratched!
  • Charlie Cheswick: Rules?! PISS ON YOUR FUCKING RULES, MISS RATCHED!!


Dr. Spivey: It said you've been belligerent, talked when unauthorized, been resentful in attitude toward work—in general, that you're lazy.
McMurphy: Chewing gum in class. Ha-ha.
Dr. Spivey: Well, the real reason that you've been sent over here is because they wanted you evaluated to determine whether or not you're mentally ill. This is the real reason. Why do you think they might think that?
McMurphy: Well, as near as I can figure out, it's 'cause I, uh, fight and fuck too much.
Dr. Spivey: In the penitentiary?
McMurphy: No, no!
Dr. Spivey: Well, you've had five prior arrests for assault.
McMurphy: Five fights, huh? Rocky Marciano's got forty and he's a millionaire.

McMurphy: Well, that fuckin' nurse, man... she, uh, she ain't honest.
Dr. Spivey: Aw now, look. Miss Ratched's one of the finest nurses we've got in this institution.
McMurphy: Ha! Well I don't wanna break up the meeting or nothin', but she's somethin' of a cunt, ain't she, Doc?
Dr. Spivey: How do you mean that?
McMurphy: She likes a rigged game, you know what I mean?

Dr. Spivey: The funny thing is that the person that he's the closest to is the one he dislikes the most — that's you, Mildred.
Nurse Ratched: Well, gentlemen, in my opinion, if we send him back to Pendleton or we send him up to Disturbed, it's just one more way of passing on our problems to somebody else. You know we don't like to do that, so I'd like to keep him on the ward. I think we can help him.

McMurphy: What do you think you are, for Christ's sake, crazy or something? Well, you're not! You're not! You're no crazier than the average asshole out walking around on the streets and that's it!
Nurse Ratched: Those are very challenging observations you made, Randle.

McMurphy: [after realizing Chief Bromden is not mute] You fooled 'em, Chief! You fooled 'em. You fooled 'em all. Goddamn. What are we doin' here Chief? Huh? What's us two guys doin' in this fuckin' place? Let's get out of here. Out!
Chief Bromden: Canada.
McMurphy: Canada. I'll be there before these sons-of-bitches know what hit 'em. Listen to Randle on this one.

Chief Bromden: My pop was real big. He did like he pleased. That's why everybody worked on him. The last time I seen my father, he was blind in the cedars from drinking. And every time he put the bottle to his mouth, he don't suck out of it, it sucks out of him until he shrunk so wrinkled and yellow even the dogs didn't know him.
McMurphy: Killed him, huh?
Chief Bromden: I'm not saying they killed him. They just worked on him. The way they're working on you.

[Billy is discovered in bed with Candy]
Nurse Ratched: Aren't you ashamed?
Billy: No, I'm not. [the other patients applaud]
Nurse Ratched: You know, Billy, what worries me is how your mother's going to take this.
Billy: [obviously terrified] Um, um, well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don't have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: I don't have to tell her? Your mother and I are old friends, you know that.
Billy: P-p-p-please d-d-don't tell my m-m-m-mother.