Randle Patrick McMurphy, a serial petty criminal who has been sentenced to a fairly short prison term, decides to have himself declared insane so he'll be transferred to a mental institution, where he expects to serve the rest of his time in (comparative) comfort and luxury.
McMurphy's ward in the mental institution is run by an unyielding tyrant, Nurse Ratched, who has cowed the patients—who are mostly there by choice—into dejected institutionalised submission.
McMurphy becomes ensnared in a number of power-games with Nurse Ratched for the hearts and minds of the inmates. All the time, however, the question is in the mind as to just how sane any of the players in this actually are.
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