One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) for Rent on DVD and Blu-ray, Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this adult drama laced with humor deals with life-and-death issues and is set in a hospital psychiatric ward. Intense situations alternate with comic moments, and underlying all are the weighty topics of tyranny, sacrifice, and the fragility of the human mind. There are scenes of sustained cruelty, forcible restraint of mental patients, fighting, and two deaths (including a suicide). Language is strong throughout: “f–k,” “s–t,” “a–hole,” “jerk off,” and a multitude of other expressions, including slurs such as “queer,” “dumb Indian” and more. Characters smoke constantly, drink, and get drunk in one out-of-control party sequence.
No overt sexual activity, however, there is brief partial nudity. There are several sly sexual jokes, as well numerous humorous references to masturbation. One patient discusses his sexual problems. On two occasions female “party girls” join the patients and ultimately disappear behind closed doors.
Patients intermittently get upset, lose control, and have to be forcibly restrained by staff, sometimes very roughly. There are some violent outbursts, an occasional fight, including one in which a patient attempts to strangle his adversary. A sadistic nurse causes great harm to several of the patients. (Spoiler alert) There are two deaths in the film: one is a bloody victim of suicide, the other dies at the hands of a patient.
Frequent swearing and obscenities including multiple uses of “Goddamn,” “son-of-a-bitch,” “hell,” “s–t”, “c–t,” “crap,” bulls–t,” “a–hole,” many forms of forms of “f–k” and more. There are several ethnic and homophobic slurs, usually delivered with a sense of humor, such as: “”Mormon a–hole,” “dumb Indian,” and “queer.”
The hospital psychiatric ward can be seen as a metaphor for one individual’s fight against a power-hungry, cruel oppressor. McMurphy shows the astounding difference one courageous person can make in many lives. He lifts the spirits of the weak, takes steps toward the toppling of a tyrant, and has a lasting effect on those who have been subjected to inhuman treatment.
Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
Patients smuggle liquor into the ward and drink heavily during a wild and unorthodox party sequence. Characters smoke cigarettes continuously.
Not an issue
Depends on your kid and your family
Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it
While serving time for insanity at a state mental hospital, rabble-rouser Randle Patrick McMurphy inspires his fellow patients to rebel against the authoritarian rule of head nurse Ratched. Milos Forman’s masterpiece won all five major Oscars.,