Views & Reviews Medical classics

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 22 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:641
  1. Jim Pink, associate academic fellow (,
  2. Lionel Jacobson, honorary lecturer
  1. Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University

    Set in 1963, this landmark film took viewers into the heart of a typical psychiatric ward and exposed the realities therein. Based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey, it tells the story of Randle P McMurphy—an immoral, self centred delinquent who feigns insanity to avoid serving a custodial sentence on a work farm. Not realising that his release from the hospital is dependent on a sound psychiatric report, he decides to instigate his own brand of mayhem to pass the time and “show them who's nuts!”

    His antics backfire when …

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